Women in Manufacturing: Closing the Gap

September 28, 2017 / Current News

Women have played a role in the manufacturing industry since World War II, when the U.S. government called upon women to fill vacated positions left by male enlistment in the armed services. During those years, women took up jobs in the factories and shipyards that were largely considered to be only suitable for men. The image of Rosie the Riveter, among others, was used as a campaign to draw women into the workforce, appealing to their sense of patriotism. And it worked. During these times, women excelled at jobs in the aviation, munitions, and many other industries. But as the war ended, a majority of these women left their factory jobs or were replaced by the men returning from war

Metro Richmond Exports Initiative Announces the Launch of New Website

September 20, 2017 / Current News

The Metro Richmond Exports Initiative (MREI) launched its new website,, to provide small- and medium-sized business owners and managers in the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area with easy-to-find information on export-related topics.

Governor Announces New Matoaca Megasite in Chesterfield

August 31, 2017 / Current News

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe joined the Economic Development Authority of Chesterfield to announce the acquisition of 1,675 acres of prime real estate in the county to be used to attract a large industrial manufacturing company that could bring 5,000-10,000 direct and supplier jobs and billions of dollars in investments to Chesterfield County.

“I am pleased to take part in announcing the creation of a significant new economic asset that will drive job creation and economic activity for Chesterfield and the Richmond region,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. “This site gives Virginia something unique and allows us to compete for projects on a level we haven’t had before.”

Rebuilding America’s Advanced Manufacturing Workforce, One Veteran at a Time

August 24, 2017 / Current News

On January 3, 2005, Marine Staff Sergeant John Jones was leading his platoon in a convoy on his second combat tour in Iraq when a double-stack anti-tank mine exploded under his vehicle. The thunderous blast blew him 25 feet into the air and when the dust settled, Jones had been severely injured. He had lost both his legs below the knee and his career in the Marine Corps.

He spent the next two years in rehab at Brooke Army Medical Center and the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, Texas. He was medically discharged in 2007 after 12 years in the Marine Corps. At age 30, he faced the challenge of starting a new career in a civilian world he left right after high school.

That was 10 years ago. When I met him four years ago, I learned that he had not only found that new career, but also was using his Marine training and the skills he had acquired since leaving the corps to help other veterans making that same challenging transition.

Mark Haley Retires

August 16, 2017 / Current News

Barring any special meeting circumstances, Aug. 8 was City Manager Mark Haley’s last meeting in City Council chambers as the top administration. During Council proceedings they honored Haley reading a proclamation of his accomplishments and going on record expressing their appreciation.
Haley has worked in the City of Hopewell for 38 years. As he will tell it, he wondered into the city working the graveyard shift at the Wastewater Renewal Facility (now the Hopewell Water Renewal facility) where he eventually became and worked as the director for 34 years.

Why Skilled Labor is the No. 1 Location Driver for Manufacturers Today

August 3, 2017 / Current News

The state of U.S. manufacturing is a hot topic in national economic and political conversations today. Issues like tax reform, trade partnerships and regulations are fueling a national debate over how to create and retain U.S. manufacturing investment and jobs. Though a favorable business and tax climate is important to manufacturers, the most critical factor leading to location decisions for new investment and jobs is actually the labor market.

Thanks to technology advancements, manufacturing operations are much more automated today than they were decades ago. As a result, high-tech production processes that rely less on manual labor have made it possible to consider new investment in the U.S. over low-cost labor markets in countries like China. Automated production does not equate to zero jobs; instead it means that operations need more skilled labor in order to operate, maintain and retool technologically advanced equipment.

Study: Virginia’s Gateway Region among the Best in the Nation

July 17, 2017 / Current News

A 10-year evaluation of Virginia’s Gateway Region has found that the economic development group is among the best in the nation.

Sustained Impact of Boston, Massachusetts, an independent evaluator fully funded by the Cameron Foundation recently completed the study. The in-depth study was conducted to thoroughly examine the VGR’s practices and procedures and construct a benchmark of the organization’s effects on economic development compared to other economic development groups across the nation.

The study stated that the VGR had “undergone dramatic transformation over the past decade” effectively becoming a global outreach vehicle for the region. The International Economic Development Council, the largest global non-profit membership organization of its kind based out of Washington, D.C., has developed the most widely accepted standard of best practice guidelines for the industry. The Sustained Impact study determined that the VGR has utilized many of these practices.

Governor McAuliffe Announces 2,173 Credentials Awarded through New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant Program

July 12, 2017 / Current News

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Monday that, through the New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant program, Virginia’s Community Colleges provided workforce training that enabled 2,173 Virginians to secure industry-recognized credentials, licenses, and certifications needed for high-demand careers, in the first year of the grant program. Governor McAuliffe awarded the 2,172nd and 2,173rd credentials at an event commemorating this achievement this afternoon.

This milestone nearly triples the number of people who were credentialed last year, bringing the total to 4,268 Virginians. More than half of the credential earners, 2,173, took advantage of the New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant program. Training for the remaining 2,095 credentials was funded by employers, federal grants, or other private sources.

Fort Lee Marks 100 Years of Service

July 10, 2017 / Current News

Fort Lee will be hosting a series of events today and tomorrow to celebrate its birth 100 years ago.

The majority of events will occur on Monday, including a Centennial Celebration at 11 a.m. at Williams Stadium. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature the Black Daggers parachute demonstration team, Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps and the final mile of a 100-mile run through local communities.

But while the celebration is now, the history of Fort Lee stretches back a century. In 1917, in order to prepare soldiers for World War I, the Army turned what was largely vacant land into Camp Lee. It was one of just 32 camps that was build to train soldiers for World War I.

Boathouse at City Point Sets Sail

June 16, 2017 / Current News

After months of anticipation, the Boathouse at City Point will open to the public Saturday night, with all hands on deck.

“The Hopewell community created this restaurant with our partnership,” said Paige Healy of the HOUSEpitality Family Restaurant Group, the company that owns and operates the four regional Boathouse restaurants.

First floated two years ago, the idea of opening the Boathouse at City Point didn’t gather significant steam until last summer, when the city of Hopewell brokered a multipart deal with its Economic Development Authority, owner of the former Navigator’s Den restaurant Haralambos Papanicolaou and Boathouse originator Kevin Healy.