Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Virginia has received $1.8 million in grant funding for a third year of its Going Global Defense Initiative (GGDI), administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). The GGDI was created to mitigate the negative impact of defense spending cuts on Virginia’s economy.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “As federal budget cuts and sequestration continue to hamper Virginia’s economy, the Going Global Defense Initiative is a vital tool to help Virginia’s defense companies offset the loss of defense revenue. The GGDI, which is the first program of its kind in the U.S., helps Virginia defense companies diversify their revenue streams by identifying new business in international markets. This successful program is another example of Virginia’s innovative approach to strengthening its economy.”
“The past two years of solid performance with the GGDI program demonstrates how the federal government, Virginia government and its private sector can partner in ways that will benefit the economy of the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “We are pleased to continue this effective partnership with our federal resources to provide assistance to even more of Virginia’s defense and security businesses. VEDP’s initiative will contribute to the companies’ future growth and health, thereby contributing to job growth in Virginia.”
Virginia is the top state in the nation for federal defense contracts. With approximately 5,000 defense companies in Virginia facing U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) spending reductions of more than $300 billion in the next five-plus years, Virginia stands to lose many high-paying jobs. The 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 for Virginia.
In its first two years, over 250 companies participated in VEDP’s GGDI program. More than 100 participants travelled to an international market in pursuit of new business. In its third year, the DOD has granted $1.8 million for GGDI to assist Virginia’s defense-related companies that have been adversely affected by defense budget reductions. Virginia’s support of the GGDI is made possible by Governor McAuliffe’s funding of the Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL), announced last month. VITAL’s goals are to increase Virginia’s exports by $1.6 billion and to create 14,000 trade-supported jobs over the next 5 years.
The GGDI generates international sales for Virginia’s defense companies by providing the following:
- Research on international markets
- Export compliance
- Digital localization
- Technical translation and adaptation
- Events with U.S. Combatant Commands and partner nations
- Export training
- Online portal of GGDI resources
- Going Global training courses