September 16, 2002

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

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

FREDERICKSBURG - The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, in conjunction with the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, today announced the launch of the Passport Program in the Fredericksburg region. Fredericksburg is the sixth Virginia community to host this program.

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, Radford and Charlottesville.

In conjunction with the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership will host four events throughout the Fredericksburg region. Each event is free-of-charge and open to all local companies with an interest in exporting.

Passport Program events in Fredericksburg include:
• September 19 – Kickoff Breakfast at the Holiday Inn Select at Central Park (8:00-10:00 a.m.) with guest speaker, The Honorable Michael J. Schewel, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade
• October 3 – “ABC’s of Exporting” Workshop at Germanna Community College (9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.)
• November 7 – Foreign Trade Zone Seminar at Fredericksburg Country Club (11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.)
• November 14 – Final Event: “Export Case Studies” (local companies share international export experiences) at “That’s Amoré” Restaurant at Central Park (11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.)

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. VEDP has offices in Virginia, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Japan.

The Fredericksburg Regional Alliance is an economic development organization that promotes and assists existing businesses and industries and helps aggressively market the Fredericksburg Region to corporate decision makers who are planning to expand or relocate their company. The Alliance, which receives both public and private funding, serves the city of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford.

Fredericksburg area companies interested in finding out more about Passport Program events should contact Russell Seymour, Vice President of the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, at (540) 361-7373.


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