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Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership Identifies Transportation, Economic Development, Workforce and Healthcare as Key Priorities for 2013 Legislative Session
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Eileen Curtis, Dulles Regional Chamber: 571.323.5301
Mark Ingrao, Greater Reston Chamber: 703.707.9045
Tony Howard, Loudoun County Chamber: 571.209.9020

The Dulles Regional, Greater Reston and Loudoun County chambers of commerce, otherwise known collectively as the Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership, identified transportation investment, economic development, workforce and healthcare as the priority issues they will focus on during the 2013 session on behalf of their members. The Partnership represents more than 2,800 employers and 100,000 jobs.

Eileen Curtis, President and CEO of the Dulles Regional Chamber, stated: “We are very pleased our organizations will be building on our previous successes by continuing to serve as a strong, coordinated voice for Northern Virginia businesses through the Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership.”

The Partnership chose its focus for 2013 by identifying the areas that provide the greatest opportunity to promote a strong, pro-business environment to enhance Virginia’s and the Northern Virginia region’s economic competitiveness, cultivate growth in all segments of our economy, and ensure adequate access to critical business infrastructure and resources.

“While there are a wide range of bills and budget items that may impact the business community in some form or fashion, we thought it was critical that, this session, we really zero in on those issues where we can have a real impact on those issues that most effect our members,” said Mark Ingrao, President and CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber. He continued, “This is particularly important given the dynamic and challenging business environment in which we are all operating.”

As in previous years, the individual chambers within the Partnership each possess a broad and comprehensive public policy agenda. Beyond those, the following makes up the collective priorities for the 2013 session:

• Secure new, sustainable, reliable, long-term regional and statewide transportation funding to meet our critical transportation construction and maintenance needs.

• Secure additional state funding to support completion of the Dulles Corridor Rail Project in order to minimize the impact of increasing tolls for Dulles Toll Road users and ensure that one of the Commonwealth’s major economic development drivers remains affordably accessible.

• Maintain support for the vast array of economic investment and policy tools that enable the Commonwealth to attract and retain jobs and employers to Virginia.

• Support making Virginia’s legal system as business-friendly as possible through a series of reform bills that will provide additional economic development tools to attract and retain businesses to Virginia.

• Invest in and support conventional four-year degree programs, as well as highly-technical, specialized workforce training with continued emphasis in the science, technology, engineering, math and health – or STEM-H – fields.

• Invest in and support efforts to ensure Virginia has a competitive K-12 education system to enable us to meet the workforce needs of the future through strengthening teaching in the classroom, injecting greater innovation into education, rewarding creativity and success, and ensuring accountability in our education system.

• Protect employers and their employees from any negative impact federal healthcare reform legislation may create as state-level policy and regulations are developed.

The complete agenda for the Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership is also attached.

Well known as long time leaders in the business community, Mindy and Michael Carlin of Access Point Public Affairs, LLC, have once again been retained to represent the Partnership during the 2013 legislative session.

“The top priority of every member of the Virginia General Assembly and the Governor’s Administration must be the creation of good, high paying jobs and on investing in the workforce and infrastructure that is absolutely necessary to keep our economy strong,” said Tony Howard, President and CEO of the Loudoun County Chamber. He continued, “There is really no area where this is more critical than transportation investment. We cannot wait any longer to implement a transportation solution to address our critical needs that are crippling our economy and our businesses.”

The leading business organizations in the Dulles Region (including the Dulles Corridor, western Fairfax, Reston and Loudoun County), the Commonwealth’s most vibrant economic market, formed the Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership to ensure the needs of area businesses are represented before Virginia’s key public policy decision makers in state government. “When you consider the pure number of employers and jobs represented by our Partnership, it is clear we are providing an unparalleled voice for Northern Virginia’s business community in Richmond at a time when supporting pro-business policy is more critical than ever,” said Ingrao.

Now in its fifth year of investing significant resources and time into building a strong business advocacy program at the state level, the Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership has become a credible, known entity in the halls of the General Assembly building and Capitol in Richmond. “Our work with our state policy makers translates into real value for our members on the issues that truly impact their bottom line,” said Curtis.

“We are committed to working not just with our own delegation members, but with members throughout the Commonwealth,” said Howard. “Generally, what is good for businesses in Northern Virginia is good for businesses statewide, so we look forward to working with legislators and our business colleagues to make the Commonwealth as business-friendly as possible.”

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