Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) has received grant funding for a second year of its Going Global Defense Initiative (GGDI). The purpose of this international program is to mitigate the negative impact of defense spending cuts on Virginia’s economy. With 5,000 defense companies in Virginia facing U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) announced spending reductions of more than $300 billion in the next five-plus years, Virginia stands to lose many high-paying jobs. VEDP’s GGDI is the Commonwealth’s only program that replaces DOD revenue streams for Virginia’s defense companies, which, in turn, preserves jobs and replaces declining state tax revenues. In its initial 10 months, VEDP’s GGDI enrolled 160 defense companies, of which 100 travelled to an international market in pursuit of new business. Seventy-three companies project an average increase in their international sales of 130%. Limited resources prevented VEDP from enrolling more companies.
VEDP has allocated nearly $2 million to assist Virginia’s defense-related companies that have been adversely affected by defense budget reductions. This initiative leverages VEDP’s award-winning International Trade programs to promote the diversification of Virginia defense companies into new international markets, thereby ensuring jobs for Virginia.
The Going Global Defense Initiative generates international sales for Virginia’s defense companies by providing the following:
- Research on International Markets
- Export Compliance
- Contract and Proposal Generation
- Technical Translation and Adaptation
- Events with U.S. Combatant Commands
- Export Training
- Online Directory of Virginia Defense Companies
- Going Global Training Courses
Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “As Virginia’s economy continues to face federal budget cuts and sequestration, an aggressive economic development program like the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Going Global Defense Initiative is a critical solution to offset losses. Virginia’s state budget is now suffering because of reduced DOD spending in what is one of Virginia’s largest industrial sectors. VEDP’s work with defense companies to identify new markets is the first program of its kind in the U.S. and is vital to growing and diversifying Virginia’s economy.”
“This is the kind of federal, state and private sector partnership needed to grow the economy of the Commonwealth,” added Maurice Jones, Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “We are delighted to be working with our federal partners to provide assistance to Virginia’s defense and security businesses. This initiative will contribute to their future growth and health, thereby contributing to job growth in Virginia.”
“VEDP is delighted to continue this program to help Virginia defense-related companies grow in international markets,” said VEDP President and CEO Martin Briley. “Our International Trade program is one of the nation’s top-rated international export development programs. The health of Virginia’s defense sector is critical to a strong Virginia economy, and finding new business from international markets is a proven economic development model.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a marketing organization, was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. The Partnership is a state authority, which is governed by a 25-member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor and the Virginia General Assembly. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion and international trade. VEDP has offices in Virginia, China, Germany, Japan, India and the United Kingdom.