State Programs Prepare 16 Virginia Companies for Export
-AIM program graduates 10 companies; VALET program graduates six companies-
RICHMOND - A combined 16 companies from across the Commonwealth will graduate Wednesday 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 at the downtown Richmond Marriott Hotel.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Accessing International Markets (AIM) program will honor 10 graduates. The ten companies that successfully completed the program include, The 24 Hour Company of Falls Church; Damascus Corporation of Washington County; LEROS Technologies of Fairfax; Monarch Supply Co. of Chesapeake; Peace Frogs, Inc. of White Marsh; QMT Windchimes of Manassas Park; Shibuya Hoppmann of Elkwood; Tele-Works, Inc. of Blacksburg; TORC Technologies of Blacksburg; and Valkyrie Enterprises of Virginia Beach.
During their year in AIM the 10 graduates used AIM Program resources for projects to support their export strategy, including U.S. export compliance, updating international legal agreements, Web SEO and marketing updates, participating in trade shows, global advertising campaigns and various translation projects. At graduation these 10 companies reported a 229 percent increase in target market export sales and a 76 percent increase in their total export sales.
“AIM jump-starts the development of international business by connecting companies with public- and-private sector resources as well as practical tools needed for successful export sales,” said Elizabeth Morgan-Brown, AIM Program Manager. “These 10 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 new target country overseas. AIM accepts 20 Virginia companies per year and is highly competitive. AIM has 59 graduates and 20 active participants.
Six companies also will graduate from VEDP’s Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program, including Advanced Technology Systems Company of Arlington; Bauer Compressors, Inc. of Norfolk; Hoover Color Corporation of Hiwassee; Skyline Software Systems, Inc. of Fairfax; Spec Ops, Inc. of Ashland; and Turman Sawmill of Hillsville. Collectively, these companies have increased their international sales by more than 28 percent during their two years in the program.
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 86 graduates.
“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 worked extremely hard during a very tough international climate, and I am confident they will see the return on their investment for years to come.”
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.