October 14, 1999

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Secretary of Commerce & Trade Barry DuVal Announces Formation of State Taskforce for Federal Asset R
--Also announces release of state directory of research & development facilities in Virginia- -

Wallops Island - At the direction of Governor Jim Gilmore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal today announced the formation of a State Taskforce for Federal Asset Retention of Research and Development Facilities at the Wallops Island-Virginia Commercial Spaceport. DuVal is leading a team of 35 economic development professionals from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Department of Business Assistance on a two-day statewide tour of major federal research and development facilities.

"This state taskforce will benefit the Wallops Island-Virginia Commercial Spaceport as well as the people of the Eastern Shore of the Commonwealth," Governor Gilmore said. "We must do all we can to utilize the full potential of Virginia's research and development facilities.

The Taskforce for Federal Asset Retention of Research and Development facilities will be a community-based, state-coordinated association of leaders from the private and public sectors committed to supporting Virginia's major federal research and development facilities. Taskforce members will participate in efforts to educate elected officials, business leaders and other citizens on the economic and strategic importance of the installations to their host communities, the Commonwealth and the nation.

Secretary DuVal also announced that the Wallops Island facility will be prominently featured in a soon-to-be released state directory highlighting the research and development facilities and programs in the Commonwealth. Virginia's research and development directory will be distributed to businesses, national, and international economic developers. The information contained in the directory will enable businesses considering locating in Virginia to easily learn the location, scope and mission of statewide research and development programs and facilities.

"The Taskforce will be an important partnership between the community and state to advance our shared interest in the success of these crucial federal assets for the benefit of all Virginians," Secretary DuVal said. "The R&D Directory will be a useful tool to promote the economic development of communities hosting research and development assets."

In addition, DuVal announced that a dedicated marketing manager will be hired to promote Wallops Island to business prospects around the world. A marketing manager will allow the Commonwealth of Virginia to become more competitive in the race to recruit aerospace firms.

The economic impact of Wallops Island-Virginia Commercial Spaceport is of great importance to the Eastern Shore and the Commonwealth. The facility has a budget of $137 million and employs more than 1,400 Virginians with an annual payroll of $76 million. Virginia's major federally funded research and development facilities have a combined budget of more than $1.68 billion and employ over 10,000 Virginians with a payroll exceeding $465 million.



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