March 26, 2002

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Program To Assist Charlottesville Businesses With International Trade
-Passport Program brings export workshops and networking events to the local region -

CHARLOTTESVILLE - The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, in conjunction with the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development, today announced the launch of the Passport Program in the Charlottesville region. Charlottesville is the fifth Virginia community to host this program.

Launched in January 2001, the Passport Program is designed to increase awareness of exporting in local Virginia communities as well as to introduce additional companies to the advantages of exporting. The program is conducted in conjunction with local economic developers and chambers of commerce and has been successful in Winchester, Lynchburg, Danville and Radford.

“The Passport Program presents the vast array of international trade programs the state offers to help companies and communities like Charlottesville prosper,” said Mark R. Kilduff, Executive Director of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. “This program will ultimately provide jobs for Virginians and lead to greater economic strength for the Commonwealth.”

In conjunction with the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership will host five events throughout the Charlottesville region. Each event is free-of-charge and open to all local companies with an interest in exporting.

Passport Program events in Charlottesville include:
• March 26 (noon-2 p.m.) Kickoff Luncheon at the Boar’s Head Inn with guest speaker, The Honorable Michael J. Schewel, Secretary of Commerce and Trade
• April 18 (8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.) “ABC’s of Exporting” day-long seminar at Dominion Virginia Power Auditorium with topics including Export Documentation, Shipping Solutions Software and INCO Terms
• May 1 (9 a.m. – 11:30a.m.) International Finance Seminar at Peter Jefferson Place
• May 14 (4 p.m. – 7 p.m.) International Business Showcase where companies will exhibit their products and services at The Boar’s Head Inn (Co-sponsored by the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce)
• June 4 (8 a.m. – 10 a.m.) Final Event: “Export Case Studies: Navigating the World” where local companies will share international export experiences at The University of Virginia, North Fork Research Park - Town Center One

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 15-member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business development and international trade.

The Thomas Jefferson Partnership is an alliance of Central Virginia businesses, local governments and educational institutions formed to promote and maintain economic prosperity for all citizens and thereby enhance the exceptional quality of life that exists throughout the region. The Partnership is a private-public nonprofit organization serving the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Orange.

Charlottesville area companies interested in finding out more about Passport Program events should contact Sue Friedman, Regional Business Assistance Director of the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development, at (434) 979-5610.


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