What Does the Future Hold for Newport News?
As the Chair of the Newport News Economic Development Authority, and a business leader myself, I prefer to reframe that question as, “What does Newport News hold for the future?” The future is up to us, and we are moving forward with ambition and resolve.
We are a community of strong, action-oriented individuals, and we are committed to creating a future full of connection, innovation and prosperity. We are literally building the ships to navigate the tides of change and, across industries and neighborhoods, we are creating unprecedented growth opportunities for our residents. This is an exciting time for our City, and I am delighted to be a part of this Future Forward team.
While 2021 has been a year of rebuilding in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also been a year of collaboration. Multiple City departments and private businesses have worked together to secure grants, disperse aid and strengthen our communities. One great example is the Maritime Trades Training Program — a course-to-hire marine trainee program that provides wraparound services, like childcare and transportation, to the residents of Marshall Ridley and the Southeast Community as they complete a comprehensive training program that assures employment starting at $19/hour upon graduation. Programs like these help set the course for the future for Newport News.
We also recognize that we can only be Future Forward by building on our strong foundation. As such, the City has worked hard to secure grants for improvements at important locations like the Seafood Industrial Park and Menchville Marina. We are also investing in projects that are revitalizing our Downtown. We see a future of residents, visitors and employees connecting in an area that is rich in both history and possibility.
Newport News continues to attract Future Forward companies. Sustainable home builder, indieDwell, has chosen Newport News as its East Coast headquarters, which will create over 200 new jobs. Our City is poised to be an integral part of Dominion Energy Virginia’s offshore wind energy project that aims to bring clean energy to over ten million residents. Our new transportation center continues to progress, and we get even closer to a future of more efficient transportation that solidifies Newport News’ position as a hub of industry and a well-connected place to call home.
While we are not out of the woods on the pandemic quite yet, our future is incredibly bright. From the exciting $15 million expansion of Aery Aviation, to the master-planning efforts which are underway on the Sherwood site, to the opening of Ferguson’s new award-winning HQ3 facility in City Center, our work continues across the City. We are seeing expansions from leaders like Liebherr, and our Enterprise Zones continue to incentivize investments in our community. We are even launching a rebranding project to capture the essence of our City and project it far and wide. It starts with listening to our residents and translating their stories into one cohesive, exciting brand.
I have been inspired at the ability of our City to move forward despite obstacles, and I am thrilled to be a part of the team that is dedicated to building a prosperous Future Forward for Newport News.