The future of Prince William County’s economy as well as Virginia’s overall economic development were discussed in Woodbridge last week.
They were covered at an Economic Development Series Breakfast the Prince William Chamber of Commerce hosted at Old Hickory Golf Club.
According to Virginia Chamber President/CEO Barry Duval it’s important that the business community is involved in the economic development at the regional and state level.
“The economic future of the Commonwealth should have the fingerprints of the business community,” he said.
Virginia Economic Development Partnership Executive President Jason El Koubi also spoke briefly of a strategic plan that included specific goals for Virginia’s future economic development.
The first goal is to reposition Virginia back as the number 1 state for job growth.
The second goal is to make sure all regions within Virginia are in “positive territory.”
“We don’t want to be the best state for jobs, we don’t want to be the best state for business if that means that large portions of the commonwealth are in decline,” El Koubi said.
The third goal is to reclaim Virginia’s status as a leader in national business climate rankings.
El Koubi explained that about 10 years ago, Virginia consistently ranked among the leading states for business in America. He continued, explaining that Virginia fell slowly as a result of sequestration and the national economic recession.
He mentioned three steps for reclaiming Virginia’s former ranking.
“One is that we need to improve our economic performance overall. Two we need to make some competitiveness improvements … and thirdly we need to improve the perception of Virginia among business leaders nationally and among site selection consultants,” El Koubi spoke.
Duvall ended the discussion on a positive note, lauding the chamber for its impact on the business community:
“The chamber is a tremendous organization in every community; the opportunity to bring people together like you have in this room today and think about what you want to be in eight years and where you want this region to be in eight years and then have an informed strategic vision.”