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Partnership. It’s a word so common in business today it’s almost lost its meaning, and yet it is core to everything we do. We work hard to increase the outstanding economic development efforts of our public and private-sector partners — to build local and global relationships that broaden their reach and scope of influence. This way, we think bigger, aspire for more, help find new solutions to the world’s challenges and take our place as a great global region.
This past May, our staff joined the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) at the Private Label Manufacturer Association’s “World of Private Label Trade Show” in Amsterdam. The event provided an opportunity to market Newport News as an ideal location for companies in the food and beverage industry.
Private Label Manufacturers Association is a non-profit organization founded in 1979 to promote store brands. Its 3,500 member companies span over 75 countries and supply major U.S. grocers, including Costco, Kroger, Lidl, Trader Joe’s and Walmart. Many are looking to establish a US production presence to reduce costs and shipping time. Our staff represented Newport News in a series of pre-arranged and impromptu meetings to make sure our City is top of mind as these manufacturers look to grow.
VEDP’s Business Investment team collaborates with local, regional and state partners to encourage the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy. It is responsible for marketing and lead generation, as well as business retention, expansion and attraction. Additionally, this team works closely with Newport News EDA staff to provide performance-based incentives and talent solutions for businesses.
In late July, the EDA joined the Hampton Roads Alliance for a regional familiarization tour for 13 new Business Investment representatives from the VEDP. Staff provided a brief overview of Oakland Industrial Park, highlighting the $90 million in private investment currently underway and promoting the remaining three sites available for development. We also joined VEDP representatives for a tour of Ferguson’s new HQ3 building. The Newport News portion of the tour concluded with a visit to Tech Center Research Park for presentations by the park’s director Jeff Johnson and Jefferson Lab’s director Stuart Henderson.
Our EDA team was also able to land a critical face-to-face relationship-building opportunity with some of the nation’s top site selection consultants. We worked together with our collaborators at The Port of Virginia and the VEDP for the Consultant Connect Conference, Site Selectors Cruise. We educated consultants on Newport News as a player within the greater Hampton Roads context and showcased our connectivity and benefits related to the Port, Norfolk International Terminals and maritime staging and manufacturing. We were able to ensure the City stands out as a collaborative community connected by the waterways.