The Port of Virginia took a big step on Monday, setting in motion work on the first of two big expansion projects that will boost cargo-container capacity significantly.
Survey crews started preparations to expand the rail/container-stacking yards at Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth, the second-largest of the port’s two big container terminals.
When work is completed there and at the port’s other big facility – Norfolk International Terminals – in 2020, the port will have grown its cargo-container capacity from roughly 2.7 million containers to roughly 4.4 million. The industry standard is 20-foot units, or TEUs.
When Christian Vaughan and Miles Gilmore approached Dinwiddie Area Forester Heather Dowling to learn about a job, they knew just what to do. Already neatly dressed, the young men offered Dowling a polite hello, a firm handshake and careful attention.
For many employment-seekers, those few actions could be expected to propel them several steps closer to the goal of having a job by Monday and a paycheck by next Friday. But for Vaughan and Gilmore, the job needed was a few years down the road. After all, the young men were only in their early teens, and their “interview” with Dowling was just a part of Dinwiddie County’s 4th Annual Industry Day.
In what was his public debut before the larger business community, Stephen Moret, the new president and CEO of Virginia’s business recruiting arm, told members of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday that he wants to position Virginia as one of the fastest growing states in the South and the U.S.
Governor McAuliffe today announced the permit for a new solar facility to be built in Sussex County. The project, under development by Sappony Solar, will use traditional photovoltaic solar modules to produce 20 megawatts (MW) of renewably generated electricity, enough to power an estimated 3,500 homes.
The Metro Richmond Exports Initiative (MREI) and the City of Hopewell welcomed business leaders from all over the Richmond Metro Area to the Beacon Theatre yesterday to discuss exporting and its benefits for the region. At their second Lunch & Learn event, industry experts and companies already exporting gave presentations focused on international trade finance and the options available for payment, risk mitigation and financing.
For the first time this year, the sound of leaves hitting the ground can be heard at R. Garland Dodd Park in Chesterfield. It’s mid-October and the trails here are a popular attraction during this season. Kids hang out on a playground in the distance. Ahead, the Appomattox River flows by listlessly. This afternoon the trails lead only to the river and back to the parking lot. But that is about to change.
Approximately 4,240 miles from Norfolk, the Panama Canal has spent the past few years undergoing a $5 billion expansion. The expanded canal, which opened officially on June 26, now allows bigger ships to pass through the 102-year-old waterway, doubling cargo capacity. Despite the distance, the canal expansion is having direct impacts on coastal ports across the United States, especially in Virginia.
Over a year after its launch in July 2015, the Virginia Growth and Opportunity (GO Virginia) Board held its inaugural meeting last month to discuss their ambitious plan to jumpstart Virginia’s economy.
Instead of a locality-by-locality strategy, GO Virginia approaches economic development on a regional level, incentivizing individual cities and counties to work together rather than compete for projects. This plan promotes a collaboration of individual communities’ strengths while recognizing that assets and needs vary regionally across Virginia.
Manufacturing is actually flourishing in the United States. According to a recent Associated Press article, the country has lost more than 7 million factory jobs since 1979, while factory production has more than doubled in that same time period, minus raw materials and other costs. The same article held that even though General Motors employs roughly one-third of the 600,000 workers it had in the 1970s, it produces more trucks and cars than ever before.
Demand is high locally – so much so that local companies are trying to promote the region, particularly the Interstate 95 South corridor, as the “Silicon Valley of advanced manufacturing” – that employers have joined up with Chesterfield County Public Schools’ Chesterfield Career and Technical Center and John Tyler Community College to create a pipeline of skilled workers.
The Port of Virginia, quite possibly, had the most important day in its history on Sept. 21. On that day, the governor and the leadership of the port signed a new lease agreement for Virginia International Gateway and in doing so set this one-of-a-kind, state-owned maritime asset on a path to be the leading venue for trade on the East Coast.