FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2002

Ellen Qualls
www.governor.state.va.us
(804) 786-2211, x2379


Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Virginia Receives Acclaim As National Economic Development Leader
-Governor Warner recognizes Virginia’s “Top Group and “Top Deal” rankings in Site Selection magazine-


RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that for the second year in a row, Site Selection, a widely read economic development trade magazine, named the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) a “Top Development Group” for 2001.

Virginia earned this honor with 2001 announced investments totaling $3.24 billion with 37,590 announced new jobs. The magazine also ranked Virginia’s 2001 Ford announcement as one of the “Top 10 Deals of 2001.” Ford’s three year, $375 million expansion will generate up to 200 new jobs over today’s employment level of 2,400 at the Norfolk plant, which assembles the popular F-150 pickup trucks.

“It is an honor to be recognized by this leading publication for our accomplishments," said Governor Warner. “I congratulate our marketing team at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. This honor reinforces my commitment to maintain the Commonwealth’s aggressive economic development efforts.”

VEDP was one of only five states that won the Top Group honor based on new capital investment and new jobs, plus per-capita capital investment and per-capita jobs. Site Selection also reviewed each nomination for evidence of new, value-adding services and programs to benefit prospective new firms and existing companies, as well as leadership, problem solving, innovation and cooperation. Site Selection cited such innovations as VEDP’s newly redesigned web site and economic development legislation initiatives.

“Business has answered Virginia’s call,” states the May 2002 Site Selection article. “The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) launched a new website, www.yesvirginia.org, which allows site seekers to compare Virginia’s advantages. The answer from businesses appears to be yes.”

Other Top Group winners include Broomfield Economic Development Commission, CO; Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce; Montreal, Quebec; Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development; Michigan Economic Development Commission; Mooresville - Iredell Chamber of Commerce, NC; North Carolina Department of Commerce; Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development; and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance.

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 City of Norfolk was also honored with Honorable Mention in this year’s “Top Development Group” ranking.

An awards ceremony will take place on May 5 at the CoreNet Global Summit in Salt Lake City. To learn more about Virginia’s accomplishments, visit www.siteselection.com or contact Site Selection Editor Mark Arend at (770) 446-6996.



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