FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2008



Christie Miller
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
State Programs Prepare 14 Virginia Companies for Export
-AIM program graduates seven companies; VALET program graduates seven companies-


RICHMOND - A combined 14 companies from across the Commonwealth will graduate today from two state export programs, touting impressive results from their newly acquired tools to successfully export products and services overseas. The graduating companies will be recognized during a noon luncheon at the Richmond Omni Hotel.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Accessing International Markets (AIM) program will honor seven graduates. The seven companies that successfully completed the program are Blue Crab Bay Co. of Melfa, Identification International Inc. of Blacksburg, Inovex Industries Inc. of Sterling, PARI Respiratory Equipment, Inc. of Midlothian, Pragmatic Environmental Solutions of Roanoke, Robert Bryan Ltd. of Port Royal, and Speedtech Instruments of Sterling.

“Contrary to the news we are hearing these days from Wall Street, the seven AIM graduates are reporting positive results after completing the AIM export activation program,” said Elizabeth Morgan-Brown, AIM Program Manager. “In addition to quadrupling sales in their AIM target markets, the seven graduates also reported doubling their total export sales between 2006 and 2007.”

During the year long program, the seven graduates made 17 trips to their AIM target markets. In return, they received extensive export support, including funding, research, training and counseling from private-sector experts. As a result, five reported signing new representatives, six reported making new sales in their target markets and two added 11 new jobs as a result of their increased exports. Their collective exports to their AIM target markets are on-track to reach $8.5 million and their total exports should exceed $77 million by year end.

The AIM program accepts five new companies each quarter for year-long classes beginning the first of March, June, September and December. Since its inception in December 2005, AIM has accepted 45 companies and congratulated 20 graduates across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Seven companies also will graduate from VEDP’s Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program, including CHEMetrics, Inc. of Fauquier, Core Engineered Solutions of Herndon, Franklin Equipment of Franklin, Sleepmate Technologies of Midlothian, VFP, Inc. of Scott County, Virginia Transformer Corporation of Roanoke, and WEXCO, Corp. of Lynchburg. Collectively, these companies have increased their international sales by more than 100 percent during their two years in the program. These companies began the program with a reported $12 million in international sales and graduated with a reported $26 million in international sales.

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. The VALET program now has 50 graduates and 31 current participating companies.

“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. “These graduating companies are outstanding examples of how much can be accomplished in two years where there is a focus and commitment to developing and growing an international business strategy. I am confident that they will see the return on their investment for years to come.”

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, Belgium, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Japan.

To learn more about the AIM and VALET programs, visit www.ExportVirginia.org.

VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

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