State Programs Prepare Eight Virginia Companies for Export
-AIM program graduates first class; VALET program graduates four companies -
RICHMOND - A combined eight companies from across the Commonwealth will graduate Thursday from two state export programs, carrying with them the tools and know-how necessary to export their products and services overseas. The graduating companies will be recognized during a noon luncheon Thursday at the Omni Hotel.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Accessing International Markets (AIM) program will graduate its first class, which entered the program in December 2005. The four companies that successfully completed the program include American Mine Research of Rocky Gap, Electronic Development Labs of Danville, Hoover Color Corporation of Hiwassee and Virginia Insulated Products, Inc. of Saltville.
Graduating companies developed and implemented Market Access Plans in countries in South America, Europe and Asia. The AIM program was developed to introduce companies across the Commonwealth to new global business opportunities. Companies do not have to have export experience to participate in the AIM program, but all agree to visit their target export market prior to graduation. The four AIM graduates made six overseas business trips during the year, to meet with potential customers and/or representatives. Their collective exports to AIM target markets grew 20% in 2006 and are expected to grow an additional 28% in 2007.
“The AIM program allowed the graduates to complete projects that support their overall export sales. Three companies translated marketing materials, two updated their websites, and together they requested eight free consultations with the five private-sector AIM Program Partners,” said Elizabeth Morgan, AIM Program Manager. “In addition to target market export growth, all graduates also reported growth in overall export sales in 2006. As a group their total export sales grew 20% in 2006 and are expected to grow an additional 18% in 2007.”
Four companies also will graduate from VEDP’s Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program, including Catalytic Generators, Inc. of Norfolk, Comprehensive Computer Solutions, Inc. of Christiansburg, Tri-Dim Filter Corporation of Louisa and Vitex Packaging Group of Suffolk. As a group, these companies have increased their international sales by 74% during their two years in the program.
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. Participating firms are chosen based on their dedication to growth through export. Currently, 86 Virginia companies have been accepted to participate in the VALET program.
“The VALET Program accelerates the development of international business by connecting companies with the practical tools needed for successful export sales,” said Leslie Parpart, VALET Program Manager. “Each of these graduating companies has indicated that while they have seen a direct increase in their international sales over the course of the two years, they know that the milestones they reached participating in the VALET Program have laid the groundwork for even greater success in the future.”
Both export programs provide participating companies with assistance from a team of experienced international service providers to help them meet their international goals. Service providers such as attorneys, web designers, bankers, translators and freight forwarders contribute essential expertise for expansion into international markets.
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 21-member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor and the Virginia General Assembly. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion and international trade. VEDP has offices in Virginia, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Japan.
To learn more about the AIM and VALET programs, visit www.ExportVirginia.org. To attend Thursday’s noon luncheon, please contact Christie Miller at (804) 545-5805.