Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Addresses NVTC Board
On March 12, 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam joined the NVTC
Board of Directors to discuss the current state of technology and
business in Virginia. Robby Demeria, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and
Trade for Technology for Virginia, accompanied the Governor.
Governor Northam indicated that Virginia’s economy is on an upward
trajectory. He pointed out that the unemployment rate is at 2.8 percent
and that he has announced 73,000 jobs and $10 billion in capital
investment since he took office in January 2018.
Northam stated that Virginia is building its economy by educating
and training our workforce for 21st Century jobs. He discussed the
importance of STEAM-H education (science, technology, engineering, art,
math and health care) and the need to better prepare more Virginians for
“new collar jobs” which call for new and different skill sets. He
indicated that providing access to broadband in rural parts of Virginia
is an ongoing challenge that must be solved so that Virginians in those
areas are not disadvantaged in educational and work opportunities.
Governor Ralph Northam at NVTC Board Meeting. Robby Demeria, Deputy
Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Technology for Virginia, also
accompanied the Governor.
Northam spoke to the need to continue efforts to diversify Northern
Virginia’s economy to ensure it is not too reliant on federal funding
streams, and he indicated that the recent major investments by Amazon
HQ2 and Micron will help with diversification by creating many new
private sector jobs and further solidifying Virginia’s status as “the
tech hub of the world”.
Northam ended with a Q+A session with NVTC Board Members. Topics
discussed included the continued challenges of regional transportation
and how to improve the tech talent pipeline. Northam detailed recent
efforts to help Virginia’s K-12 school by providing a 5 percent
statewide increase in teachers’ salaries, actions to designate more
funding for school counselors and early childhood education, improving
technology infrastructure at schools and focusing attention on at-risk