Capital investment increases capacity and supports national security and classified missions within one secure installation

Governor Ralph Northam today celebrated the opening of the Commonwealth's newest facility to prepare rockets and payloads for launch at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The new Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Payload Processing Facility (MARS PPF), which held a ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication with Governor Northam this morning, represents a major expansion in capabilities for the NASA Wallops Flight Facility and the region.

"The new MARS Payload Processing Facility enhances the Wallops complex and is a critical part of our commitment to serve as a world-class center for space research, exploration, and commerce," said Governor Northam. "With one of just four spaceports in the country located in Virginia, and one of only two on the East Coast, this investment will continue to position the Commonwealth as the premier leader in the aerospace industry."

Governor Ralph Northam today announced that CNBC has named Virginia America's "Top State for Business" in 2019. CNBC unveiled Virginia as the top state for business this morning during a live broadcast from Shenandoah River State Park, and Governor Northam was on location to discuss the announcement. The top ranking is determined by CNBC following an extensive study of all 50 states based on 64 metrics in 10 categories of competitiveness. Virginia is tied with Texas for most years named top state for business by CNBC, with wins in 2007, 2009, 2011, and now 2019.

va state sealVirginia Unmanned Systems Center

The State, Public Safety and Homeland Security Secretariat, and the Virginia Unmanned Systems Center at CIT are announcing four regional public safety workshops to provide public safety agencies an opportunity to learn a number of topics and observe a number of UAS demonstrations.

  • Regulations
  • Proper ways to establish a program
  • Safety and privacy concerns
  • Types of equipment
  • Field demonstrations of potential uses including SAR, accident scene documentation, hazmat/fire reconnaissance, etc.

Blackstone Accredited National Main StreetBlackstone, Virginia (04/24/19) - Downtown Blackstone, Inc. has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center.

Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs to recognize their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™

“We are proud to acknowledge this year’s 840 nationally accredited Main Street America programs that have worked tirelessly to strengthen their communities. These programs deserve recognition for generating impressive economic returns, preserving community character, and celebrating local history. Main Street America Accredited communities are part of a powerful movement of change-makers, and their dedication to improving quality of life in the place they call home is inspiring,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center.

Commonwealth aims to increase local food purchases to at least $22 million by 2022

RICHMOND—Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam, Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring are calling on the Commonwealth's school nutrition programs to increase annual statewide local food purchases to at least $22 million by 2022. Mrs. Northam announced the goal last month in Hampton during the annual Virginia Farm-to-School Conference.

"Serving locally grown food products in our schools is a great opportunity to connect our exceptional agricultural resources with Virginia's greatest resource—our children," said First Lady Northam. "Children benefit from wholesome and fresh food to nourish their growing brains and bodies while learning the importance of agriculture and food production in their communities and across Virginia."

Local food purchases by Virginia schools have at least doubled since 2014, from $7.7 million, to $15.4 million in 2017, the most recent year for which data are available. The Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) attribute much of the growth to the increasing popularity of farm-to-school programs that connect schools and students to local farmers and food producers.

Programs offer financial rewards to Virginia schools, scholarships for college students

Governor Ralph Northam today announced that registration is now open for the 2019 Girls Go CyberStart program, which aims to support and inspire high school girls across Virginia to explore careers in cybersecurity and computer science.

"As a national leader in the cybersecurity and technology industry it is vital that we encourage Virginia students to take advantage of opportunities to explore cybersecurity and computer science," said Governor Northam. "The 2019 Girls Go CyberStart program provides early experience that positions young women across the Commonwealth to step into valuable roles and careers after college."

The Girls Go CyberStart program is an online game consisting of a series of challenges that put students in the role of a cyber protection agent charged with solving realistic problems and puzzles. It is designed to explore relevant and exciting topics such as cryptography and digital forensics.