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.

State is the first to be awarded No. 1 ranking five times

screenshot northam cnbcVirginia retained its place as CNBC’s Top State for Business this year, beating out North Carolina and Texas and becoming the first state to achieve the honor twice in a row and five times in all, the cable business news channel announced Tuesday morning.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam appeared live Tuesday morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” sitting in front of the Norfolk harbor, where ships blasted their horns and sprayed water in celebration following the announcement that Virginia had again ranked No. 1 in CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business competition. Virginia also took the top spot in CNBC’s annual state rankings in 2019, 2011, 2009 and 2007. CNBC did not rank the states in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pictured from left to right are: Lauren Mathena, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation, Todd Lindsey, President, Eastern Engineered Wood Products, Gary Walker, Chairman, Virginia’s Regional Heartland Industrial Facility Authority (Five County Consortium), Linda Balderson, Preservation and Access Programs Manager, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Dan Witt, Charlotte County Administrator and Wade Buick, Director of Operations, Eastern Engineered Wood Products.

New Distribution Center in Virginia’s Regional Heartland Industrial Park

On Monday afternoon, representatives from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Charlotte County, and Virginia’s Regional Heartland Industrial Facility Authority joined representatives from Eastern Engineered Wood Products for the groundbreaking of the company’s new distribution center near Keysville, Va. They addressed public officials and guests from Keysville and the surrounding area who attended the ceremony.

Charlotte County Administrator Dan Witt said, “Eastern will be a great fit for Charlotte County and a great partner in the Heartland Park.  It has been great working with them and I am looking forward to filling up the Heartland Park. I hope this is the first of many.” 

The 32-acre parcel is located in Virginia’s Heartland Regional Industrial Park at the interchange of US Routes 15 and 360.  Construction will be completed later this year and the facility will consist of office space, cutting buildings, a drive-through storage building, and vertical racking.  Approximately 22 acres of the site will be finished for inventory lay-down. It will replace a smaller leased facility the company occupies in Emporia, Va. and will expand the present delivery footprint to new markets further west in Virginia and North Carolina.  It will also service customers in Washington D.C. and parts of Maryland. 

$5.23 million grant from National Cemetery Administration will support construction of 3,600 additional burial spaces

Governor Ralph Northam today celebrated the start of construction to expand the Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia County, supported by a $5.23 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemeteries Admiration (NCA). The funds will be used to add 3,600 new pre-placed burial crypts at the cemetery, which is operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS).

An aerial view of the Lakeside Commerce Park located near the Town of Clarksville Virginia

Microsoft Corporation has purchased all or most of the land in three industrial parks located in Mecklenburg County — Hillcrest Industrial Park in South Hill, Roanoke River Regional Business Park located between La Crosse and Brodnax, and Lakeside Commerce Park near Clarksville.

All three land transfers occurred in the past week.

Details are scant on the transactions, through which Microsoft Corporation acquired nearly 900 acres of land from five local economic development entities — the Mecklenburg County IDA, Brunswick County IDA, Town of Clarksville EDA, Chase City EDA and the Town of South Hill.

Five counties have been awarded a total of $502,491 in grant funding for fast-tracking broadband from the Commonwealth of Virginia as part of the federal CARES Act. Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland, Lunenburg, and Nottoway counties have each been awarded $85,000.

The Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) assisted all five counties in submitting the applications. The project, in partnership with Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp (MBC), will improve broadband in these counties. MBC will partner with existing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in each county to expand broadband services to target areas. The project will benefit approximately 2,445 households and 400 businesses.

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