Virginia Policymakers Meet Directly with Job Creators on “Chamber Day”
This week, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce invited its members to join them on a trip to Richmond to meet with state policymakers and see government in action. The group included members of the Chamber’s Prince William Veteran Council. “General Assembly members were excited to see that we have an active, engaged council that both supports veterans and taps into the expertise and energy that they bring to the community,” said Nancy Hiteshue, Chamber Vice President of Public Policy and Communications.
The day started with a briefing from Hiteshue, where attendees prepared for the legislative visits and learned about grassroots advocacy. They were then joined by Governor Bob McDonnell and Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton.
“We had a productive discussion on the Governor’s proposed transportation funding package, sharing thoughts on how the business community could be involved in the process of solving Virginia’s transportation crisis,” said Chamber President & CEO Rob Clapper. “It is vital that a transportation bill is passed this year. We can not afford to allow further decline of our transportation system.”
Clapper also noted that the Prince William region has a number of key projects that have been in a holding pattern for years, and that will not be possible without significant, new, dedicated trasnportation funding. These include widening of Route 28, the extension of Rt. 234 bypass to Dulles Airport (the “Bi-County Parkway”) and improvments along the Route 1 corridor.
Chamber members watched as the House Finance Committee voted on the house version of the funding bill. They also witnessed Hiteshue in action, as she testified in favor of HB 1336, the Telework Tax Credit bill. It would help to offset some of the costs incurred by individuals who telework.
“Telework incentives lay the foundation for Virginia to be the workforce of the future. It means that our talented and well-educated citizens could reside here while working for companies around the world, diversifying our economic base and increasing opportunity,” said Hiteshue. The Chamber hosted a Northern Virginia Telework Summit in November.
Said Chamber member Cliff Glier of SenCura of Chamber Day, “The Prince William Chamber’s efforts to help our group were fantastic and the opportunity to see our state government in action was much appreciated.”
That evening, the Chamber members were joined for dinner by members of the Prince William Delegation to the General Assembly and their aides. Clapper explained that this part of the Chamber Day allows for business leaders to get to know policymakers one-on-one.
“The Prince William delegates and senators are committed to keeping Virginia a top location for doing business. Our Chamber Day in Richmond is an opportunity for them to hear from the front lines, to talk to the job creators and gain insight from small business owners,” said Clapper.
To learn more about the advocacy efforts of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, the largest chamber in Virginia and the DC Metro area, visit pwchamber.org or call 703.368.6600.