(804) 786-2211, x2379
Virginia Trade Program Wins National Award
-Governor Warner applauds success of VEDP’s VALET export program-
RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner announced today that the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program, an export promotion program created by Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s International Trade Division, received top honors last night from The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP).
The VALET program was the only winner of the 2004 NCPPP Public-Private Partnership Award in the Innovation category. VALET won for the public-sector, and Active Media, a participating partner in the VALET program, was honored for its private-sector role in the partnership. The award was presented at NCPPP’s 2004 Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet in Alexandria.
“More and more Virginia companies are recognizing the value of growing their businesses through exports. In fact, Virginia’s merchandise exports hit $10.85 billion in 2003, making our state the 23rd largest exporting state in the United States last year,” Governor Warner said. “The VALET program provides companies with the appropriate resources, direction and confidence they need to take their business to the next level. I am proud of VEDP’s creativity and hard work, and it is great that VALET has been recognized as a model program for others to follow.”
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. To participate, eligible businesses must meet several quantitative criteria and complete an application process. Once a business is chosen to participate, it is eligible to receive services from VALET Program Partners, a team of experienced international service providers from the private sector who assist the VALET companies with their international goals. Service providers such as attorneys, Web designers, bankers, translators and freight-forwarders contribute essential skills for expansion into international markets. Currently, 45 Virginia companies have been accepted to participate in the VALET program.
VALET was selected from more than 20 nominees for the NCPPP award. Nominated agencies represent the public and private sectors at the local, state and federal levels. The award recognizes projects and individuals annually for illustrating best practices and applications in the field of public-private partnerships. The award is given in three categories: Innovation, Infrastructure and Services.
“The VALET program is clearly an example of how the public and private sectors can work together to achieve a benefit for the public, and in this case the promotion of international sales for Virginia companies,” said NCPPP Executive Director Richard Norment. “There is an extensive review process by the NCPPP Awards Committee of all the applicants. When it came to the VALET program, the value and innovation of this partnership was quickly apparent. It’s a new kind of service with an interesting mix of public and private partners and accordingly deserves not only the recognition of this award, but also being held up as a national example.”
The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization founded in 1985. The Council is a forum for the brightest ideas and innovators in the public-private partnership arena. Its growing list of public and private sector members, with experience in a wide variety of public-private partnership arrangements, and its diverse training and public education programs, represent vital core resources for partnering nationwide.
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 recruitment, expansion and international trade. VEDP’s Division of International Trade has offices in Virginia, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Japan.
To learn more about the VALET program, visit www.ExportVirginia.org.