Governor Ralph Northam has announced a total of $7.0 million in Virginia Business Ready Sites Program development grants for 11 projects across the Commonwealth, including communities in Virginia's Growth Alliance. Administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, this discretionary program develops and characterizes sites to enhance the Commonwealth’s infrastructure and promote its competitive business environment. The program identifies, assesses, and improves the readiness of potential industrial sites, which must contain a minimum of 100 contiguous, developable acres.

“Companies want to invest in the Commonwealth, and this program is critical to making it easier for businesses to do business here,” said Governor Northam. “Virginia has been named the best state in which to do business in for three years, and investments like these are part of the reason why.”

Virginia ranked #1 for the South Atlantic region in Site Selection Magazine's 2021 Workforce Rankings published in the January 2022 issue. Rankings are impacted by the number of ACT National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC) awarded in the state.

Virginia map showing ACT National Career Readiness communities

Virginia, Tennessee and Massachusetts have been named winners of the Business Facilities’ 2021 States of the Year awards, the first time BF has named three winners to this annual contest.

Virginia was named the state (commonwealth) with the Overall Best Business Climate, Tennessee was named the state with the Best Dealmaking, and Massachusetts was named the state (commonwealth) with the Best Workforce/Educational System. The three jurisdictions, as well as honorable mentions in all three categories, will be highlighted in the January/February issue of Business Facilities.

“For the first time, we thought it was appropriate to name three winners in this prestigious process,” said BF Editorial Director Seth Mendelson. “As businesses look to expand or relocate, the questions they have about communities are becoming more complex. They want to know as much as they can about a community before making a final decision. We think this is going to help them make informed choices.”

More than $1.5 million pledged by business partners

Governor Ralph Northam today announced the collective pledge of more than $1.5 million by the Cameron Foundation, Dominion Energy, Facebook, and Primis Bank to expand broadband access to underserved locations across the Commonwealth. The funding will further the ongoing efforts to bridge the digital divide for the approximately 233,000 locations in Virginia that lack access to broadband.

“These investments will play a vital role in connecting thousands across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “We are thrilled to see the private and philanthropic sectors recognizing the need for broadband access and stepping up to support getting as many Virginians connected as soon as possible. With these investments, our goal of universal broadband by 2024 is even closer.”

Partnership and facility to help former tobacco farmers seize fast-growing market for organic vegetables

Governor Northam today announced Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing, LLC has partnered with Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority to construct a new, 45,000 square-foot, $4.2 million produce processing and packing facility.

Old Dominion Organic Farms, a member of Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing, will operate the facility. Over the next three years, 40 new jobs will be created and the facility is expected to process nearly $24 million Virginia-grown vegetables, approximately 80 percent of which will be certified organic. The new facility will support more than 22 farmers located in Amelia, Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Prince George, and Surry Counties during its first season.

Commonwealth becomes the first to claim consecutive wins with education system, workforce, and inclusiveness highlighted

Governor Ralph Northam today announced that CNBC, a world leader in business news, has named Virginia as America's "Top State for Business" in 2021. The Governor joined CNBC at the Port of Virginia for a live broadcast where the winner was revealed following an extensive study of 85 distinct metrics across 10 competitiveness categories. CNBC's scorecard highlighted the Commonwealth's education system, workforce, and commitment to equity and inclusion.

Following the announcement, Governor Northam held a press conference with leaders from the General Assembly to discuss the pragmatic, forward-looking policies that propelled the Commonwealth to reclaim the top spot in 2019 and made Virginia the first state to win back-to-back titles in CNBC's ranking.

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