By Virginia’s Gateway Region
Last month, Virginia’s Gateway Region Economic Development Organization hosted the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) new President & CEO Stephen Moret for a regional familiarity tour of the southern half of the Richmond MSA.
VEDP leads Virginia’s marketing efforts to businesses both domestically and internationally, negotiating incentives with companies planning large capital investment and significant job creation. A close partner of VGR, VEDP works to bring more jobs to the Commonwealth.
Stephen Moret came to the VEDP in January 2017 from the Louisiana State University (LSU) Foundation. Prior to his work at LSU, Moret worked in Louisiana’s Economic Development department where his business recruitment efforts helped to generate over $62 billion in capital investment, moving Louisiana from its typical business ranking in the forties to an average of 26 spots higher from 2009 to 2015. As a result, Moret earned a reputation for the creation of successful workforce development programs. VGR looks forward to working with Moret as the organization’s new strategic plan for regional prosperity, Global 3.0, identifies workforce development programming as a key priority for the region’s success.
During his visit to the Gateway Region, Moret met with community and corporate representatives from each of VGR’s eight localities allowing them to ask questions, voice their concerns and present their visions for the region’s future. Over the past year VGR has worked with community leaders to develop such visions and goals through a strategic planning process. The organization collaborated with over 100 community and corporate representatives at numerous focus group meetings and confidential interviews to draft and refine a roadmap for successful economic development strategies for the next five years, the foundation of Global 3.0.
With plans to cultivate stronger relationships with the top site selection professionals in the country and implement a customized workforce training program for Virginia’s rural areas, improvements at the VEDP going forward will directly enable remarkable progress in the Gateway Region as well.
Moret’s visit with VGR also included tours of existing industry and major industrial parks throughout the region.