Home For national security: manufacturing competitiveness topic of roundtable

For national security: manufacturing competitiveness topic of roundtable

Rebecca Barnabi
Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman and Gov. Glenn Youngkin participated in a roundtable discussion about manufacturing competitiveness on Sept. 12, 2022. Courtesy of office of Rob Wittman.

Congressman Rob Wittman hosted a roundtable discussion with Gov. Glenn Youngkin on manufacturing competitiveness in Virginia on Monday.

Ronald Reagan Institute Director Roger Zakheim also participated in the discussion, the goal of which was to discuss efforts needed on a state, local, federal, private and public level to work together to revive U.S. manufacturing competitiveness in areas critical to national security and bolster the defense workforce, according to a press release. Roundtable participants were defense and manufacturing leaders, state and federal government representatives, and thought leaders.

“Virginia is uniquely critical to our nation’s security — for the Commonwealth, national security is economic security,” Wittman said. “All direct defense spending within Virginia has ripple effects across the entire Commonwealth’s economy. We must continue to prioritize innovation and competition to provide economic opportunities and growth for Virginians. This roundtable discussion was a crucial initial step toward working on a whole-of-government and cross-industry approach to ensuring Virginia remains a leader in manufacturing competitiveness, built on a strong and vibrant workforce. I look forward to the direct initiatives yesterday’s conversation will contribute to in the future, and I am grateful to the Reagan Institute, Roger Zakheim, Governor Youngkin, and all of the participants for joining this roundtable discussion.”

Youngkin said that Virginia “holds a vital role in bolstering U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and it’s a key priority of my administration. I want to thank the officials and legislators who worked on the Reagan Task Force report and convened yesterday to address our workforce shortages, industrial capacity, supply chain resilience, address any deficiencies and brainstorm solutions for the betterment of the Commonwealth. Virginia is home to important defense contractors and more have moved their headquarters to the Commonwealth in the last year. Together, we can grow the Commonwealth’s defense economy and enhance Virginia’s defense manufacturing capabilities.”

The Reagan Institute convened a task force to tackle domestic manufacturing competitiveness, which is one of the biggest national security issues facing the country, according to Zakheim.

“That task force produced a series of policy recommendations in our report, ‘A Manufacturing Renaissance.’ To ensure both our economic prosperity and our national security, we must work across all levels of government and all sectors of society to maintain our competitive edge. Yesterday’s roundtable, which showcased an exceptional group of members of Congress, senior government officials in Virginia, policy experts, and leaders from defense and technology companies, helped connect these different key stakeholders and drive solutions,” Zakheim said.


Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.