Eleven companies from across the Commonwealth graduated this week from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program, touting impressive results from their newly acquired tools to successfully export products and services overseas. The graduating companies were recognized during a luncheon at the downtown Richmond Marriott.

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January’s 11 graduating companies include Click & Pledge, and ESS Technologies Inc., both of the Town of Blacksburg; Comter Systems, Inc., and Dewberry Consultants, both of Fairfax County; Defense Technology Equipment Inc. of Sterling; Elicere, Inc. of Falls Church; Hermle North America of Amherst County; Integrated Global Services of Chesterfield County; ITA International, LLC of York County; Polymer Solutions of Montgomery County; and Registrar Corp. of the City of Hampton. Collectively, these companies have increased their international sales by 134 percent during their two years in the Program. The VALET program now has 159 graduates.

Launched in January 2002, the Program assists exporters in the Commonwealth that have firmly established domestic operations and are committed to international exporting as an expansion strategy. Participating firms are chosen based on their dedication to growth through export.

“The VALET program puts participating companies on the fast track to international business growth by connecting them with the necessary tools for successful export sales,” said Paul Grossman, VEDP Vice President of International Trade. “The companies graduating this month have put in a tremendous amount of work and demonstrated their commitment to international expansion by taking advantage of the full range of resources offered by the VALET Program. That work has paid off, in the form of increased sales and new international partnerships, and I am confident that they will continue to see a return on their investment in the coming years.”

Currently, the VALET program has 50 companies as participants. New participants in the program have access to $15,000 in reimbursement funds from the Commonwealth. The program provides participating companies assistance from a team of experienced international service providers to help meet their international goals. Private sector service providers such as attorneys, web designers, bankers, translators and freight forwarders contribute essential expertise to assist companies in executing their export initiatives. To date, 209 Virginia companies have been accepted to participate in the VALET program.