State Programs Prepare 16 Virginia Companies for Export
-AIM program graduates nine companies; VALET program graduates seven companies-
RICHMOND - A combined 16 companies from across the Commonwealth will graduate Thursday from two state export programs, touting impressive results from their newly acquired tools to successfully export products and services overseas. The graduating companies will be recognized during a noon luncheon Thursday at the Richmond Omni Hotel.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Accessing International Markets (AIM) program will honor nine graduates. The nine companies that successfully completed the program include Amthor International, Timber Truss Housing Systems, both of Salem; Ceramic Technology Inc. of Cedar Bluff; Charlatte America of Bluefield; Collier Research/Hypersizer of Newport News; Consolidated Steel of Pounding Mill; Gatekeeper Security of Reston; Joan Gabriel Company of Fredericksburg; and Sealeze of Richmond.
During their year in AIM the graduates made a combined 17 trips to their AIM target countries and as a result, three reported signing new representatives. These graduates used AIM funds for projects to support their export strategy, including updating international legal agreements, global IPR registrations, sending demo products to in-country partners, SEO and Web updates, updating marketing materials, participating in trade shows, global advertising campaigns and various translation projects.
“AIM focuses on helping Virginia companies expand sales in one target country overseas,” said Elizabeth Morgan-Brown, AIM Program Manager. “AIM’s systematic, proactive approach to exporting minimizes risks and maximizes returns. These nine graduates are well positioned to expand their export sales in the near future.”
Launched in December 2005, the year-long AIM program helps Virginia companies pursue leads in one target country overseas. AIM accepts 20 Virginia companies per year and is highly competitive. The AIM program now has 49 graduates and 20 active participants. Graduates to date report on average a 92 percent increase in target market sales and 44 percent increase in total export sales. In addition 40 percent of graduates reported signing a new representative in their target market.
Seven companies also will graduate from VEDP’s Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program, including Aero International, Inc. of Sterling; BIO-CAT, Inc. of Troy; Cornet Technology, Video Convergence Division, Inc. of Fairfax; H2Gen Innovations Inc. of Alexandria; Hilden America, Inc. of South Boston; Moog Inc.—Components Group of Blacksburg; and SteelMaster Buildings, LLC of Virginia Beach. Collectively, these companies have increased their international sales by more than 68 percent during their two years in the program. These companies began the program with a reported $37.7 million in international sales and graduated with a reported $63.35 million in international sales.
Launched in January 2002, the VALET 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 now has 80 graduates and 30 current participating companies.
“The VALET Program accelerates the development of international business by connecting companies with the practical tools needed for successful export sales,” said Leslie Parpart, VALET Program Manager. “These graduating companies have utilized all of the resources of the VALET Program and have really challenged themselves to grow their international businesses. This class of companies was very strong, and I am confident that they will continue to increase international sales even in a challenging economic climate.”
Both export programs provide participating companies with assistance from a team of experienced international service providers to help them meet their international goals. Service providers such as attorneys, Web designers, bankers, translators and freight forwarders contribute essential expertise for expansion into international markets.
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 22-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, Belgium, Hong Kong, Mexico and Japan.
To learn more about the AIM and VALET programs, visit www.ExportVirginia.org.