Economic Development Update: “Diversify, Expand Footprint, Attract New Investment”
Prince William, Virginia – Martin Briley, President & CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP),was the guest speaker at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce’s annual Economic Development Luncheon. More than 90 business leaders gathered to hear Briley, who previously served as Executive Director of the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.
Briley recommended that local business leaders work with elected officials to take inventory and present Virginia’s skilled workforce as a whole package, factory-ready to compete on a global scale, and to get the word out about the Going Global Initiative, which will, with the passing of a state budget, receive nearly $2 million to ramp up Virginia’s international visibility. Briley demonstrated how VEDP is working with Virginia businesses, both home and abroad, to diversify as quickly as possible in the shadow of sequestration.
During his presentation, he praised county and state officials for the consistency of their leadership.
“We have a great partnership program now, and our Prince William County team and George Mason University will be with us in San Diego at the BIO convention, and 14 partners across the state will be with us in London for the aerospace show, and that’s key, putting our money together for Virginia,” said Briley.
Briley called attention to the Commonwealth’s continued strengths in information technology and data centers and pointed out that “the conversation is in advanced manufacturing” like Micron Technology. “Corporations are looking for a skilled workforce to be factory ready. We need to listen to the demand side of this and be ready to deliver.” He also called attention to another long-rooted strength throughout Virginia: food manufacturing.
“When you’re outside the state, talk about Virginia, and get the message out that Virginia is #1 for business,” he said. “We need our citizens to be business educators, if you believe it, please reiterate it.”
In welcoming Briley, CEO Rex Parr, whose company, Didlake, Inc., is the Prince William Chamber Economic Development Vision Partner, said: “I’ve had the privilege of living and working in Northern Virginia for fifty years. The transformation of this region is nothing short of remarkable. But what shaped the future in 1964 is exactly what is going to shape the future in 2014, and that is economic development. Our collective investments will determine the quality of life we leave for our children.”
Constant Contact sponsored the luncheon at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville. Other sponsors included Branch Daffan and Compton & Duling LC.
“We appreciate the insight shared by Mr. Briley,” said William White, Chairman of the Prince William Chamber. “The Chamber strives to empower our membership, giving them the tools they need to shape a strong business environment.”
Join the Chamber, as well as Virginia Senators and Delegates for the next event in the Chamber’s Leadership Series: the Annual Legislative Wrap-Up, scheduled for May 15 from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. at Old Hickory Golf Club. Details can be found online at www.pwchamber.org or by calling 703-368-6600.
About the Prince William Chamber of Commerce:
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce is the strongest voice for the business community in the Washington, DC Metropolitan region. Together with our diverse membership, representing nearly 70,000 employees we work to create an environment where business and people thrive. To accomplish this, we focus our efforts in the key areas of business growth, economic development, advocacy, education and community outreach. In this way, we are building a solid foundation for the success of our business members and our community. For more information, visit our website at www.pwchamber.org or call the Prince William Chamber at 703-368-6600.