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What They’re Saying: Leaders Across the Commonwealth Applaud Virginia’s Consecutive Victories as “Top State for Business” in CNBC Ranking


From Gov. Ralph Northam’s office:

What They’re Saying: Leaders Across the Commonwealth Applaud Virginia’s Consecutive Victories as “Top State for Business” in CNBC Ranking
RICHMOND—This week, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia has been named America’s “Top State for Business” in 2021 by CNBC, becoming the first to win the coveted recognition twice in a row. The Commonwealth has now earned the top spot five times, the most of any state, with previous victories in 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2019. In case you missed it, here is what leaders across the Commonwealth are saying about Virginia’s back-to-back titles in CNBC’s ranking:

“CNBC’s ranking reaffirms that long-term investments in workforce training, education, and inclusivity result in economic success for everyone. Virginia remains the top state for business as a direct result of policies that have made the Commonwealth an exceptional place to create and grow any enterprise, large or small. We look forward to continued partnership with our policymakers to support economic growth in Virginia.” —Barry DuVal, President and CEO, Virginia Chamber of Commerce

“We salute Governor Northam and his team on Virginia being recognized as America’s top state for doing business. We are particularly pleased with the wide range of factors considered to earn this prestigious ranking. Criteria such as inclusion, health equity, and education reflect the Governor’s priorities and investments and build upon the foundation for a continued high quality workforce that is also inclusive of the diversity of the Commonwealth.” —Gil Bland, President and CEO, Urban League of Hampton Roads

“It is exciting to see our state recognized for what Virginians already know—the Commonwealth is a great place to develop skills, grow businesses, and nurture families. Our unparalleled talent pool and unwavering commitment to workforce development are the foundation of our first-class business climate, our dynamic economy, and future success.” —Lane Hopkins, Chair, Virginia Board of Workforce Development

“Amazon is proud to call Virginia home and we commend Governor Northam and the entire Commonwealth on again being named the Top State for Business. Imperative to our decision to locate here was the business-friendly environment and access to the state’s world-class talent. Virginia’s continued investment in the tech talent pipeline is certainly a key driver to retaining this important designation. We look forward to continuing our investment and growth here for years to come.” —Brian Huseman, Vice President for Public Policy, Amazon and part of the core HQ2 site selection team

“We were pleased to see that Virginia’s robust health care resources were factored into its ranking as CNBC’s Top State for Business. The past year has highlighted the critical importance of accessible health care to a stable economy and high quality of life. We will continue to work diligently, along with our partners across the state, to ensure that Virginians have access to the high-quality care they need to thrive in the Commonwealth.” —Nancy Agee, President and CEO, Carilion Clinic

“Virginia’s greatest asset is its workers, not only because of their talent and dedication but because of the diversity of experiences and perspectives that they bring to our economy. Virginia’s standing as the number one state to do business demonstrates that there is no limit to what we can accomplish when we embrace inclusivity.” —My Lan Tran, Executive Director, Asian American Chamber of Commerce

“We are thrilled to see that CNBC has acknowledged the critical importance of diversity to the strength and vibrancy of an economy, and that Virginia has ranked highly in this area. Our progress is encouraging but we still have a long way to go. We hope this exciting win will serve as a rallying cry for businesses to continue the important work of promoting inclusivity across the Commonwealth.” —Sheila Dixon, Executive Director, Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce and Ervin B. Clarke, Founder and Chairman, Central Virginia African American Chamber of Commerce

“Virginia’s designation as the top state for business is yet another feat to be proud of in the Commonwealth. Our efforts to foster greater diversity in business have resulted in a stronger and more vibrant economy that deserves such national recognition. I would like to sincerely thank and congratulate all of our partners at the local, regional, and state level who made this win possible.” —Michel Zajur, President and CEO, Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

“I was thrilled to hear the news that Virginia has been awarded Best State for Business yet again! The administration’s continued focus on broadband investments have paved the way for Southern Virginia to keep pace with the 21st century economy. Thanks to these investments, our future is looking bright.” —Ed Owens, Mayor of South Boston, Virginia and Chair, Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission

“On behalf of the hundreds of professionals who practice economic, industrial, and community development throughout Virginia, we are thrilled to spread the news of CNBC’s findings that Virginia’s investments in workforce, education and infrastructure have kept us first in the nation for business!” —Steven J. Harrison, President, Virginia Economic Developers Association and Vice President, Hampton Roads Alliance

“Virginia’s incredible workforce, one of the best-educated in the nation, deserves this applause. Nearly 39 percent of our workers have a bachelor’s degree or higher,
and we enjoy the nation’s third-highest concentration of STEM employees. Yet we won’t rest on our laurels. With continued investment and new initiatives like the Governor’s G3 program, more Virginians can develop the skills to compete for the high-quality jobs available in our economy.” —John Downey, President, Blue Ridge Community College

“We are happy to see more support for Black-owned businesses being offered at the state level. This win is a tangible demonstration of equity that should have a positive generational impact on economic development across the state.” —Blair Durham, President, Black BRAND

“Virginia is the center of the universe when it comes to tech and government contracting. Access to talent, executive networking opportunities, infrastructure and support for businesses in the area were all factors that led to our decision to anchor here. We wouldn’t think of locating our headquarters anywhere else.” —Greg Baroni, Founder and CEO, Attain Partners and Chairman, Board of Directors, Northern Virginia Technology Council

Read more about Virginia’s 2021 ranking here. Watch Governor Northam discuss how Virginia retained the “Top State for Business” title in this video.


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