VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret addresses the NVTC Board on November 6

Nov. 6, 2018 - On November 6, Stephen Moret, president & CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), joined the NVTC Board of Directors at PenFed Credit Union for a discussion of economic development challenges and opportunities in Virginia.

During his presentation, Moret described Virginia’s many strengths, including an educated workforce, top universities and K-12 public education, infrastructure and ports, federal laboratories and low overall tax burden. However, he also shared that the Commonwealth’s over-reliance on the federal government, high tax impact for new firms and expansions, and lack of coordinated workforce development efforts are weaknesses that hurt Virginia’s ability to grow and expand business.

NVTC Board Meeting.
VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret addresses the NVTC Board on November 6.

Moret outlined VEDP’s new growth strategy, including goals to position Virginia to achieve a top five growth rate and prepare every region across the state to grow, to improve the business climate, and build collaboration and coordination statewide. Specifically, he explained the VEDP’s focus on strengthening human capital and building a robust pipeline of tech talent with a focus on producing more graduates in high-demand tech fields. In Northern Virginia, Moret explained the need to improve mobility and affordable housing options, improve collaboration with Maryland and DC, and build the talent pipeline.

The meeting ended with a robust Q&A with Board members on a variety of topics. Moret highlighted the need for increased state investment in Virginia’s higher education institutions and to incentivize students to pursue high-demand degrees. The discussion also included issues related to taxes on new and expanding companies, investments in rural Virginia, what small companies need in order to be competitive in recruiting and retaining top talent, and how to reward companies that are making investments in worker training.