At a recent gathering of technology business leaders in Fairfax County, this letter was shared with Ralph Northam and the audience. Northam agreed with our views and said it was consistent with his values and plans for governing Virginia.
We the below…
1) Believe that a robust economy in Virginia must include investment in our future: the innovation economy. An environment that maximizes the potential success of our technology companies, our start-ups, and our entrepreneurs is critical to Virginia leading both the country and the world in economic development.
2) Believe that the key to our region’s success includes investing in developing the best talent from early education all the way through higher ed. More so, we believe in policies and practices that will supercharge our area’s investment into apprenticeships and internships, so that our students AND schools are more closely aligned with our local economic needs.
3) Believe that creating jobs is not just about cutting taxes — we need programs that invest more deeply in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM)- based educational programs. In the 21st century economy, computers are the tool and language necessary for the jobs of the future. We need programs to make this education affordable and to incentivize talent to remain contributors to our local economy.
4) Believe we need EVERYONE to participate in this economy. The problems we solve are as diverse as our customers, subscribers, partners, and companies. Our organizations should reflect that diversity. It’s just the right thing to do, it’s good business. We believe in supporting programs to engage communities not typically seen in the innovation economy and we need to continue focusing on the barriers holding women and minorities from being a part of it.
5) We also believe Virginia’s next Governor should not only share in these beliefs, but act boldly and decisively to champion policies reflecting them. That is how we will ignite Virginia’s innovation economy and take this commonwealth to the next level.
Congressman Glenn Nye
Dr. Joshua Walker