September 2023

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Monthly News from Hampton Roads

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Note from the President

Doug Smith, Alliance President & CEO

Our team at the Hampton Roads Alliance has been buzzing with activity this September, traveling the globe, and making significant strides in economic development. From strategic international partnerships to local investments that strengthen our regional economy, we have been hard at work fulfilling our mission.

  • Amy Parkhurst, alongside Steven Wright from Chesapeake Economic Development and Mia Byrd from Norfolk Economic Development, had a productive trip to Italy and Switzerland meeting with companies who were expanding their operations to the United States. Amy also attended America’s Food and Beverage Show, accompanied by Mallory Butler from Newport News Economic Development and Nic Langford from Suffolk Economic Development.
  • Matt Smith was joined by Karl Heck from Franklin Southampton and Preston Wilhelm from Chesapeake at The Battery Show in Detroit. The trip aligned well with our energy planning efforts to seek economic development opportunities in energy transition. The Battery Show brings together engineers, business leaders, top-industry companies, and innovative thinkers to discover ground-breaking products and create powerful solutions for the future and is the largest advanced manufacturing event in North America.

  • In addition, Jared Chalk, along with Chuck Rigney and Paige Fox from Virginia Beach Economic Development participated in the Business Network for Offshore Wind Global Gateway Brazil Delegation and the Brazil WindPower Conference. They also partnered on a single location promotion event at the US Embassy in coordination with Select USA.

We anticipate these trips will result in several site visits to Hampton Roads soon and we will be sure to report back on the progress.

Many of our missions have led directly to recent project announcements. A great example of this work in action was the recent Toronto mission in the Spring and the announcement last week that Automatic Coating Ltd., from Toronto, will invest $22.8 million to establish its U.S. operation in the City of Suffolk. We also worked with Nakano Warehouse & Transportation Corporation, based in Tokyo, who previously announced in November of 2022, to celebrate a ribbon cutting on September 18th with the City of Chesapeake in which the Governor participated.

The Alliance also assisted Virginia Beach Economic Development and Hermes Abrasives USA, who will invest $5.6 million to expand operations in the City of Virginia Beach, enhancing their production capabilities. Additionally, Lyon Shipyard in Norfolk is investing $8.5 million to bolster their operations, creating 134 new skilled trade jobs to support the offshore wind industry. These announcements and expansions are a testament to the collaborative efforts and economic vitality of our region.

Thank you for your continued dedication and support in shaping Hampton Roads into an economic powerhouse. Together, we will continue to drive growth and prosperity for our community.

Your ally in economic development,

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Advanced Materials Manufacturer to Expand in Virginia

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Hermes Abrasives USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Germany-based Hermes Abrasives and a global leader in supplying industrial abrasive materials to support production finish, will invest $5.6 million to expand in the City of Virginia Beach, integrating new production lines to increase capabilities. The company will return its narrow belt production line to the facility, which was moved from Virginia Beach to Mexico in 2019. Virginia successfully competed with Mexico for this project, which will create 30 new jobs. 

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Ship Repair Facility to Expand in Virginia

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Lyon Shipyard, a full-service ship repair and industrial services provider, will invest $8.5 million to expand its operation in the City of Norfolk. The company plans to increase capacity to operate on commercial ships and vessels that service offshore wind farm operations. Virginia successfully competed with Maryland and North Carolina for the project, which will create 134 new jobs.  

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Williamsburg Couple Receives National Recognition from Small Business Administration

Ti’Juana and Lawrence Gholson were recognized this month by the U.S. Small Business Administration for one of the many businesses the couple runs to support the community in the Historic Triangle. Nearly 100 people gathered in the Williamsburg Community Building to witness and celebrate the Gholsons, whose organizations include TAG Consulting, the Inner Peace Coalition, The Maximized Life Coaching and Mentoring team and YOU Factor Coaching. They also run two co-working offices, The Maximum Building and Work Nimbly, as well as the Make ‘ur Merch boutique in York County, and have each published books drawn from their own experiences to help others.

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Hampton Roads is Betting Big on “Green Hydrogen.” What Does That Look Like?

Hampton Roads officials are betting big on a new power source: “green hydrogen.” It’s a technology with the potential to cut fossil fuel use in certain industries and reduce the carbon emissions that drive climate change.  But unlike the wind turbines and solar panels springing up around the region, the new industry won’t be immediately visible as it develops. A team with the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center plans to research and produce green hydrogen fuel inside a new building at an office park in Newport News. The $6.5 million project also includes working with local industries and developing a hydrogen workforce.

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York County Seeking Deputy Director of Economic and Tourism Development

This position is a leadership role, supporting the Director in the county’s efforts to increase economic investment and visitation in York County. This position will have an active role in the development, delivery, and performance for all aspects of the department’s efforts to promote tourism and stimulate economic development. The position will assist the Director and staff assigned to leading the county’s economic development efforts to attract and maintain business and industry, and to encourage the maintenance and improvement of the quality of life in York County, by expanding the economic base. 

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The Coolest Thing Made in Virginia

The Virginia Manufacturing Cup celebrates the incredible work and diversity of the manufacturing sector in Virginia, which has long served as the backbone of our state’s economy. Virginia’s administration is committed to supporting Virginia’s manufacturers, encouraging their growth and prosperity, and raising public awareness that Manufacturing Makes Virginia. Product nominations are open now.

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York County Appoints Mark Bellamy as Interim County Administrator Effective Jan. 1

The York County Board of Supervisors has appointed Deputy County Administrator Mark Bellamy as Interim County Administrator effective Jan. 1. Bellamy’s appointment coincides with the retirement of the current county administrator, Neil Morgan, who announced in an August letter to the board of his plans to retire at the end of the year.

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Virginia Beach and Norfolk to Receive $10.3 Million for Improvements at Military Bases

The cities of Virginia Beach and Norfolk were awarded more than $10.3 million in federal funding for infrastructure improvements at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story and Naval Station Norfolk. Of the $10.3 million, about $8 million will be used to replace deteriorated infrastructure at the Fort Story Creeds Law Enforcement Training Facility. The remaining $2.3 million will be used to improve Naval Station Norfolk’s stormwater management system on a main access road to reduce flooding so as not to impede access to the installation.

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International Corrosion Coating Company to Locate U.S. Operation in Virginia

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Automatic Coating Ltd., a technologically advanced custom powder, liquid, and corrosion coating industry leader headquartered in Toronto, Canada, will invest $22.8 million to locate its U.S. operation in the City of Suffolk to support an existing contract with the U.S. Navy and expand with new industrial and commercial customers in the U.S. The company contracts with the U.S. Navy to use its patented process for corrosion coating on a wide variety of components including water tight doors, louvers, hatches, and scuttles. Virginia successfully competed with Florida for the project, which will create 50 new jobs.  

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VEDP Ranks in DCI's "Winning Strategies in Economic Development"

According to the 10th edition of the "Winning Strategies in Economic Development" survey report released by Development Counsellors International at the International Economic Development Council Annual Conference, VEDP is now viewed as one of the top state economic development organizations in the country. When asked to list "best-in-class" state EDOs, VEDP was ranked among the top five"best-in-class" economic development agencies by the site selection consultants who participated in the survey.

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A Building Boom is Coming. Will the U.S. Have Enough Skilled Workers?

If there were ever a time for young women and men to enter the skills trade, it’s now. Over the next decade, this country is going to be busy building — not only building big, complicated projects such as bridges and tunnels but also semiconductor chip factories, battery plants and charging stations — and we’ll need skilled trade professionals to see these projects through.

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Gathering Power: Energy-Related Startups Benefit from Renewables Push

Virginia is one of 22 states to pass clean electricity laws in agreement with the Paris Climate Accords’ aim of mitigating the impacts of climate change by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Passed in 2020, the Virginia Clean Economy Act requires all electricity in Virginia to be produced from carbon-free power sources no later than 2050. Similarly, the Biden administration has also set a 2050 national goal for net-zero carbon emissions. This push to a greener grid has kicked off an entrepreneurial drive for innovative solutions to meeting and facilitating these ambitious energy goals.

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2023 Top States for Doing Business Meet the Needs of Site Selectors

The states considered the best locations for doing business according to an expert panel of location consultants are the highest performers in more than a dozen categories upon which companies make their site selection decisions. Virginia ranked number nine overall, and ranked in the top 10 in 10 of 14 categories, including number two for workforce training programs!

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TowneBank Tower Opens in Norfolk

TowneBank Tower had its official grand opening! The ribbon cutting celebrated the renovations done to ten floors that will house Towne Companies, according to a press release from TowneBank. Those in attendance had the opportunity to tour several of the floors after remarks from Bob Aston, executive chairman of TowneBank; Will Morrison, president and chief executive officer of Towne Financial Services Group; Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander, PhD; and Amy Sampson, president and chief executive officer of CHKD Health System.

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TCC Visual Arts & Design Center Grand Opening

On Thursday, September 21, Tidewater Community College celebrated the opening of the new Visual Arts & Design Center. Dr. Marcia Conston, TCC President, welcomed Dr. David Doré, Chancellor of the VCCS, Kenneth Alexander, Norfolk Mayor, and community supporters to the official opening ceremony.

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Hear What Newport News CEO was Recognized in the Latest Forbes Magazine’s 50 Over 50, Alongside Jamie Lee Curtis & Others

Age can be your superpower. Just ask any of the entrepreneurs, investors, inventors and artists on Forbes' third annual 50 Over 50 list. All of them—200 in total, spread across four categories—are changing the world.

Thousands of names were gathered through, on social media and from staff journalists. To cull that huge group down to the final 200, Forbes asked some tough questions, then a group of semifinalists was sent to 12 expert judges. The result is a group of people whose collective power—literally—stretches from the deep sea to outer space.

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Amazon to Build Two State-of-the-Art Operations Facilities in Virginia Beach, Creating 1,000+ New Jobs

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Amazon will launch a new, state-of-the-art fulfillment center and delivery station in the City of Virginia Beach, creating full-time jobs with industry-leading pay and comprehensive benefits starting on day one. Amazon will establish a multi-story robotics fulfillment center and delivery station, which will bring more than 1,000 new full-time jobs. The new robotics fulfilment center is anticipated to launch operations in 2025, with the delivery station anticipated to launch in 2024 in time for the holiday season. 

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Sentara Awards $300,000 Grant to American Heart Association's Live Fierce, Reduce Your Risk Program

Sentara Health awarded $300,000 to the American Heart Association’s Live Fierce, Reduce Your Risk program. This contribution underscores Sentara's commitment to fostering healthier communities through education and empowerment. The Live Fierce, Reduce Your Risk program encourages individuals of all ages to adopt heart-healthy lifestyles, providing them the tools needed to improve their health and overall well-being.

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More Allies Needed in Fight Against Pediatric Cancer

With more than 15,000 children diagnosed and 1,500 dying annually, cancer is the No. 1 cause of death by disease in children in the U.S. The month is a time for us to reflect not only on the challenges that young patients and their families face, but also on the incredible capacity of communities to rally together for a common purpose. This collective spirit is the essence of credit unions and profoundly impacts the communities we serve.

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Dominion Energy Advances Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial Project; Announces Federal Regulatory Agency Completes Environmental Analysis

Dominion Energy's Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind commercial project reached a major regulatory milestone today when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced it has completed its environmental analysis of the 2.6-gigawatt project planned off the Virginia Beach coast. The Final Environmental Impact Statement reflects feedback from Tribal Nations, ocean users, local communities, the offshore wind industry and other interested stakeholders, and analyzes potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures associated with CVOW's construction.

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State Support Enables ODU, EVMS Integration to Move Forward

The Virginia General Assembly included funding to support the integration of Old Dominion University and Eastern Virginia Medical School in its amended budget approved by Governor Glenn Youngkin. The allocation represents a significant step forward in the process to join the two institutions and create the most comprehensive health sciences center in the commonwealth. 

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CME Achieves Highest Level of Re-Accreditation

EVMS CME has received a six-year accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education — the highest level of accreditation possible.

The prestigious recognition of “Accreditation with Commendation” award means the CME office is accredited through July 31, 2029. ACCME accredits institutions that provide continuing medical education to physicians.

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Supply Chain in the Fast Lane Podcast

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly bring you a new podcast filled with deep industry discussions. They speak with today’s top thought innovators, spanning topics across the entire supply chain. Supply Chain in the Fast Lane fast tracks topics you need to know from leaders you want to know. The Port of Virginia's CEO, Stephen Edwards, recently spoke about embracing port technologies.

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Sarah Jane Kirkland Joins Delegation Trip to Germany to Explore Country’s Vocational Education Training Model

One of the goals laid out in Old Dominion University’s 2023-2028 Strategic Plan is to develop corporate and community partnerships that spur economic development in Hampton Roads and beyond. To that end, Sarah Jane Kirkland, associate vice president for corporate partnerships, recently traveled to Stuttgart, Germany, with educational, business and city leaders from Hampton Roads. The goal: to learn about the country’s Vocational Education Training model and how it could be applied to our region.

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How HII is Refining Air Mobility Aircrew Training

HII has provided increased training opportunities for Air Mobility Command’s aircrews under the Mobility Air Forces Distributed Missions Operations program and has set records for unit participation since the program’s inception. Air Mobility Command awarded the $79 million task order under the Air Force’s Training Systems Acquisition III contract, marking the first time a Major Command DMO program was transitioned to a new contractor.

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ODU Rises in U.S. News & World Report Rankings

For the sixth straight year, Old Dominion University is one of the top institutions in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best College Rankings, improving its position in several categories. U.S. News evaluated nearly 1,500 four-year higher education institutions for their 2023-2024 Best Colleges rankings. ODU ranked in the top tier for national universities and public schools, tying for 280 and 151, up from 299 and 156 respectively.

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2023 Workforce Innovation Awards

Congratulations to the Hampton Roads Workforce Council 2023 Workforce Innovation Award Honorees! We'd like to give a special shout out to W.M. Jordan, an Alliance member who has been recognized, as well as Hampton Economic Development and the City of Norfolk's Department of Economic Development!

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HRPDC Economic Monthly

Each month, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) provides economic insights and informative articles to connect you with what changes are occurring in the local economy.

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Jillian Goodwin

Director, Marketing & Communications

Jillian began her tenure with the Alliance in June 2015 as a Social Media & Marketing Intern. In 2016, she joined the team full time as a Communications Coordinator, before moving to Director of Marketing & Communications in April 2017. As Director, Jillian is charged with developing and executing the Alliance's marketing and communications strategy and oversees all internal and external communications efforts to include website, social media, blogs, newsletters, marketing collateral and more. She is responsible for maintaining the Alliance’s brand and identity throughout all print and digital publications and serves as a primary point of contact for media relations. 

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Jillian holds an Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design from Tidewater Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Old Dominion University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Jillian considers herself a Hampton Roads native, having moved to the area in kindergarten as a result of her parents' military service. She grew up in northern Suffolk, before relocating to Norfolk in 2016. She is passionate about her life in Hampton Roads and enjoys serving the local community both professionally and philanthropically. Jillian is an active volunteer and patient advocate for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - Virginia Chapter and is currently serving as Volunteer Engagement Chair on its Hampton Roads' Board of Directors. Since 2015, Jillian has been an active member of the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach and has served in a variety of roles including President Elect, Fund Development Vice President and Communication Vice President. In 2019, she was recognized by the Association of Junior Leagues International as their 2019 Rising Star for her commitment, leadership and community service efforts consistent with the Junior League mission. Jillian is a 2021 Old Dominion University Alumni Association Top 40 Under 40 Honoree, a 2019 Inside Business Top 40 Under 40 honoree, a 2019 graduate of LEAD Hampton Roads, and a 2017 COVA Biz Millennial On the Move.

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