In November 2015, Microsoft Corp. announced plans for its fourth expansion since 2010 at its Mecklenburg County data center in Southern Virginia. This most recent expansion, an additional $402.4 million in capital investment and 42 new jobs, brings Microsoft’s total planned investment in this facility to $1.7 billion.

As Virginia’s General Assembly returns to Richmond, it is important that we remind the legislature of the value and return on investment that Virginia’s economic development community provides to our great Commonwealth.In partnership with our allies at the local and regional levels, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership successfully assisted 383 projects during fiscal years 2014 and 2015. These projects announced $8.11 billion in new capital investment and 33,710 new jobs. They will generate a steady revenue source across the Commonwealth, increasing Virginia’s ability to fund the important needs of our citizens. Combined 10-year state and local new revenue projections from these 383 projects are more than $2.8 billion.

 

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the creation of the Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL), a new initiative managed by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) that will increase international trade in Virginia. VITAL expands the Commonwealth’s nationally recognized international trade program via formal partnerships with Virginia’s public universities, industry associations and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce to serve their member companies as they expand international sales.

 

VEDP International Trade hosted more than 290 professionals at the 67th annual Virginia Conference on World Trade in Norfolk.

 

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) has received grant funding for a third year of its Going Global Defense Initiative (GGDI). The purpose of this international program is to mitigate the negative impact of defense spending cuts on Virginia’s economy. With 5,000 defense companies in Virginia facing U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) announced spending reductions of more than $300 billion in the next five-plus years, Virginia stands to lose many high-paying jobs.

 

VEDP recently conducted a Governor-led marketing mission to the United Arab Emirates and India, with additional agriculture-related stops in Oman and Kuwait. The Port of Virginia and Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) partnered to make the mission a success.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership is committed to working as one with our economic development allies as we aggressively market Virginia around the world and compete for economic opportunities.

Pandy Brazeau has been promoted to business attraction project manager serving the Midwest territory.

Sustained growth is the ultimate objective of most for-profit companies, yet growth is surprisingly rare. Attracting and nurturing sustained growth companies should be a top priority of economic developers.

The Virginia Gateway Region (VGR) consists of eight highly diverse communities, including the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg, and counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Surry and Sussex. The area is home to a wide range of employers, from a major Army training center to advanced materials producers, food producers, national distributors and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

Businesses often cite their ability to meet their workforce needs as one of the key reasons they will choose one site over another during the site-selection process. Time and time again, businesses have chosen Virginia, at least in part, because of our well-trained and diverse workforce. Therefore, workforce development will continue to play an essential role in economic development throughout the state. We cannot predict the future, but we can use many tools to anticipate the staffing needs of business prospects we wish to attract.

Aerojet Rocketdyne announced an $11 million investment to expand its manufacturing operation in Orange County, bringing 100 new jobs to the Central Virginia region.

 

3B Consulting Services LLC will invest $2.5 million to establish its headquarters in Russell County. The project will create 15 new jobs in Southwest Virginia, paying above the average prevailing wage for the region.

 

Blue Wolf announced a $1.56 million expansion to its industrial cleaner manufacturing operation in Tazewell County. The company will move to a larger facility and install new advanced packaging and manufacturing machines due to a strong increase in product demand bynationwide retailers. Virginia successfully competed against West Virginia for the project, which will create 15 new jobs.

Xpress Natural Gas will invest $7.8 million to establish a natural gas supply operation in the Appomattox Center for Business and Commerce in Appomattox County. Virginia successfully competed against Pennsylvania for the project, which will create 50 new jobs.

TeleTech Holdings will invest $4.07 million to establish a customer experience center in Scott County. Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee for the project, which will create 300 new jobs.

 

Trex Company will invest $12.3 million in the City of Winchester and $3.1 million in Frederick County to expand its manufacturing operations. Additionally, the company plans to lease newly constructed warehouse space in Frederick County for a training facility and plastics recycling center, and to relocate a Trex distribution center for deck railing. The expansion will create up to 89 new jobs in the City of Winchester in the coming years.

NorrisBuilt Fabrication will invest $1.5 million to expand its welding and fabrication operation in Wise County. The company recently acquired the MDJ Machine Shop, expanding its service offerings and customer base. Virginia successfully competed against Kentucky for the project, which will create 24 new jobs.

 

Microsoft Corp. announced a $402.4 million expansion to its data center site in Mecklenburg County. Virginia successfully competed against other sites in the U.S. for the project, which will create 42 new jobs.

 

CARFAX® will invest $5 million to expand its headquarters in Fairfax County, creating 120 new jobs. The company will also invest $10.8 million to upgrade its data center operation in Loudoun County.

 

KmX Chemical Corporation will invest $2.075 million to expand its solvent reclamation facility in Accomack County. The project will create 16 new jobs paying above the average prevailing wage in the region.

 Camrett Logistics Inc. will invest $2.125 million to expand its operation in Pulaski County, creating 38 new jobs.

Colonna’s Shipyard Inc. will invest over $30 million to expand its operation in the City of Norfolk, creating 51 new jobs.

 

Harris Teeter will invest $95 million to establish a 1.5 million-square-foot food distribution operation in Caroline County, of which the first phase will be at least 650,000 square feet. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project, which will create 400 new jobs.

Virginia has again received a top billing in the Pollina Corporate Real Estate/AEDI Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2015.