February 2023

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Monthly News from Hampton Roads

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Note from the President

Doug Smith, Alliance President & CEO

On Wednesday, February 22nd, the Alliance hosted more than 175 people for our Annual Meeting at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. There, we presented our 2022 Annual Report, which outlines the successes of the past year, including seven supported announcements and more than $330 million in capital investment; in fact, 2020-2022 represents the best three years of supported job growth by the Alliance in nearly 20 years. However, today’s success does not guarantee tomorrow’s, so our team also unveiled three goals for the next five years of growth: 1) build a world-class regional economic development ecosystem 2) invest in our sites and people 3) strengthen our region’s resiliency. We believe that if we can accomplish those three goals, which are supported through seven strategic initiatives, we can create 7,000 new direct jobs by 2027; the result will be roughly $1.3 billion in total earnings, when these jobs, along with accompanying indirect jobs, are realized. We look forward to sharing the details of this five year-plan in the weeks and months ahead.

In addition to updating investors on the Alliance’s activities, we heard a compelling presentation from keynote speaker Robert Boehringer, Managing Director, Deal Advisory & Strategy at KPMG. He shared what it’s like to be a site selector in today’s fast-paced environment and went through his most recent high-profile project: helping Hyundai select Savannah, GA for a massive investment in just a few months. Robert shared his best advice for how Hampton Roads can get on the list, stay on the list, and close the deal of a major project. Cross-boundary cooperation is key to increasing a region’s competitiveness and given the importance of site availability in economic development today, he highlighted the potential of the Eastern Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority (EVRIFA) to enhance the region by bringing municipalities together to invest in major sites and projects. He concluded by touting the region for having the labor force, business environment, and geographic location to welcome the world’s premier so-called “mega projects.” What we need now are the sites to host them.


Hampton Roads is in a global competition for jobs, talent, and investment, and in order to win the future, we must take a comprehensive approach to diversifying our economy and work together. The print version of the Annual Report provides a summary of our activity, but for the first time the Alliance is sharing more information and an inside look at the past year’s accomplishments in an interactive and in-depth online report available on www.AllianceAnnualReport.com. We invite you to explore the report, which includes not only the projects announced by the Alliance, but also some projects that did not select Hampton Roads along with reasons why. Indeed, by examining our successes and shortcomings we believe that we can better position the Alliance and Hampton Roads for a brighter tomorrow.

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Healthcare Joint Venture to Establish Manufacturing Facility in Virginia

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that PRINCO LLC, a joint venture comprised of Premier, Inc., a leading technology-driven healthcare improvement company, Vario Labs LLC of Virginia Beach, and Caretrust LLC, will establish a healthcare products manufacturing facility in the City of Norfolk. PRINCO LLC will create approximately 284 jobs and initially invest $18.1 million, with potential additional investment of $5.7 million.

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17 Execs Setting a High Bar for Success

Black History Month traces its origins to an annual weeklong observance started in 1926 by historian and scholar Carter G. Woodson, a Virginia native. And since then, the February celebration of Black history makers and events has been intertwined with commemorating successful business icons like fellow Virginia-born greats Maggie Walker and Booker T. Washington.

With this in mind, Virginia Business presents our 2023 Virginia Black Business Leaders Awards, recognizing a reader-nominated group of some of the state’s most accomplished Black executives.

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Spotlight: Virginia Beach as a Growing Interconnectivity Hub

Virginia Beach is known across the world. If you’re a tourist, it’ll be Chesapeake Bay, and the 3-mile boardwalk spanning its famous beaches. Or, if you’re from the military, you’ll know the region as America’s largest military community. But, what many may not expect from Virginia Beach, is its thriving - and rapidly growing - role in the digital telecoms sector.

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Suffolk Economic Development Launches New Website

Suffolk Economic Development is thrilled to announce the launch of their new website, www.yessuffolk.com. The redesign was done in partnership with the designated marketing firm, Pat Davis Design Group. The site features business resources, demographic and map information, available properties for prospective businesses, and incentive information for local, state, and federal grant opportunities. Suffolk Economic Development invites visitors to explore the new website, as well as subscribe to the monthly newsletter and visit attached social media channels.

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How Do State Officials Attract Big Companies Like Ford? Here’s How it Usually Happens in Virginia

Gov. Youngkin withdrew Virginia from consideration for a Ford Motor Co. battery plant. This decision prompted questions about the process of recruiting a large company like Ford. What does this kind of recruitment look like? How long does it usually take? What makes a site competitive? Does the governor typically get involved in potential economic development projects?

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Building Momentum: New Industries Make Hampton Roads Home

From olive oil to space rockets, 2022 saw a variety of companies seeking to invest — or reinvest — in the Hampton Roads region and Eastern Virginia.

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Inventory Software Development Company to Expand in Virginia

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Yellow Dog Software, an inventory software development company, will invest $150,000 to expand its operation in the City of Norfolk. The company is increasing its footprint by approximately 10,000 square feet to accommodate additional employees for its expanding sports and hospitality markets, creating 20 new jobs.

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Magazine Jukebox Inc. to Expand in Virginia

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Magazine Jukebox Inc., a company that provides commercial spaces with a digital alternative to traditional print magazines, will invest $1 million to expand in the City of Norfolk. The company’s investment will create 20 new jobs to support its new contracts and rapid growth, quadrupling current staffing. “In our work of growing the regional economy, we look at the success of startup companies as an indicator of a healthy economic ecosystem that provides the support and resources for existing companies and those eyeing Hampton Roads as their new location," said Hampton Roads Alliance CEO Doug Smith.

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Mayor Pons Elected Chair of Hampton Roads Planning District Commission

Mayor Douglas Pons was elected chair of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission on Jan. 19, 2023. HRPDC is a regional organization that includes the Hampton Roads area’s 17 municipalities. HRPDC provides a forum for regional cooperation on matters of mutual concern and shares the goal of improving the region’s quality of life. 

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How Hampton, Virginia is Leading Developments in Unmanned and Autonomous Flight

A diverse set of robust facilities and capabilities that are likely to make major contributions to drone, eVTOL aircraft development, refinement of concepts of operations and airspace allocation over the next decade are based in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area on the east coast of the USA.

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Princess Cruises Includes Yorktown Stops in 2024 Schedule

Stops at Yorktown, including itineraries for Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, will be part of Princess Cruises’ 2024 schedule, the cruise liner announced. The schedule will include five daylong stops in the region: three with the 2,200-passenger Island Princess and two with the 3,080-passenger Emerald Princess.

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Volunteer Hampton Roads 2023 Volunteer Achievement Awards

Volunteer Hampton Roads has announced their 2023 Volunteer Achievement Award honorees. Congratulations to Greg Garrett of Garrett Realty Partners, Sarah Jane Kirkland of Old Dominion University and Ferguson Enterprises, the corporate volunteer honoree. The Alliance is proud to have all these excellent partners as investors. Thank you for your service to our community!

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Cox Expands Myers’ role to East Coast

Cox Communications Inc. has expanded Virginia executive J.D. Myers II’s’ role so that he now oversees much of the East Coast. Myers, who is based in Chesapeake, previously had oversight of operations and business growth in Virginia. As senior vice president and region manager of Cox’s East Region, he now has oversight of the cable telecommunications provider’s service areas in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Virginia.

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TechArk Solutions to Expand in the Norfolk Innovation Corridor

The Norfolk Department of Economic Development announced today that TechArk Solutions plans to expand its Norfolk-based headquarters. TechArk will invest over $100,000 to improve its present facility located within the Norfolk Innovation Corridor – a Technology Zone – and create eight new high-tech, high-wage jobs in Norfolk. TechArk was recently included in the annual Inc. 5000 list, a prestigious ranking of the fastest-growing companies in the country.  

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Ferguson Headquarters 3 Receives ACEC Virginia Honor Award

Clark Nexsen received an Honor Award at the 2023 ACEC Virginia Engineering Excellence Awards Gala on February 2 for the Ferguson Enterprises Headquarters 3 building. The new facility is a collaborative, amenities-rich environment that reflects Ferguson’s shift towards transparency, connectivity, and sustainability. Award entries were judged based on their ability to demonstrate outstanding engineering design, delivery, function, and cost effectiveness.

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Warner & Kaine Announce $29.4 Million in Federal Funding for Virginia Airports

U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $29,400,000 in federal funding for three Virginia airports. Funds were made available through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Terminals Program. This funding was made possible through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which was negotiated by Sen. Warner and strongly supported by Sen. Kaine. 

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Hampton Roads Workforce Council's Top 20 Under Twenty

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Nominations for Hampton Roads Workforce Council's 2023 Top 20 Under 20 Awards are underway!

The awards seek to recognize Hampton Roads' emerging young leaders in entrepreneurship, workforce, and community service. HRWC is looking for youth who are excelling beyond expectations, influencing and leading in the 757 region. Submit your nominations online through February 28, 2023.

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STARTUP Franklin South Hampton

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Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. is pleased to announce the fifth installment of STARTUP Franklin Southampton. The business plan competition serves to provide financial assistance and business training within City of Franklin and Southampton County limits.

Participants in the program must submit an online application, attend seven business courses provided by various business instructors, submit a completed business plan, and pitch the business to a panel of community leaders. One grand prize winner will be selected with a monetary award of $20,000. One runner-up winner will be selected with a monetary award of $10,000.

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