Home Governor McAuliffe addresses Walmart Manufacturing Summit

Governor McAuliffe addresses Walmart Manufacturing Summit

Governor-McAuliffeGovernor Terry McAuliffe spoke at today’s opening session of the Walmart Manufacturing Summit to an audience that included suppliers who do business with the retailer.

Beloware the Governor’s remarks at the event:


Good morning.  It is an honor to be with you all to share Virginia’s strong business story and discuss the thriving manufacturing industry in the Commonwealth. I have brought my economic development team with me today, including:

  • Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade
  • Todd Haymore, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, and
  • Martin Briley, President and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP).

As our valued corporate partners, Walmart and Virginia-based suppliers (such as Korona) can attest that Virginia is a leading state for business in North America.Virginia was founded as a business venture more than 400 years ago. The Virginia Company of London was a joint-stock company formed both to bring profits to its shareholders and to establish an English colony in the New World.

Since its founding, the Commonwealth of Virginia has stood for economic opportunity.

And it has been my top priority to build on those opportunities since Day One of my term as Governor. I want you to know that I am working aggressively every single day to build a new Virginia economy. I am committed to job creation by attracting new businesses to the Commonwealth and helping our existing businesses to grow. And I am determined to see “Made in Virginia” products on more shelves around the world.I am proud to say that we are achieving results.

I have made 426 jobs announcements so far in my Administration with more than $7.5 billion in capital investment, more than any previous Virginia Governor. Our leadership position stems from our pro-business environment, low operating costs, exceptional transportation and utility infrastructure, a world-class education system at all levels, a growing workforce, and strategic location.

These elements provide a solid foundation for growth and make the Commonwealth a great place for enterprise, preserving a centuries-old legacy. The testaments of the corporations who call Virginia home demonstrate the Commonwealth’s business leadership position.

Virginia boasts more than 600 international companies from more than 40 countries.

As the headquarters for 35 Fortune 1000 firms and 52 firms with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion, the Commonwealth offers a strong, stable and entrepreneurial economy for all new investors.

Many communities in Virginia that once flourished because of agriculture, natural resources, or branch manufacturing plants have experienced challenges associated with the transformation of U.S. manufacturing.

We now are experiencing a larger nationwide trend of on-shoring manufacturing jobs, and it is critical that we advance this important industry that is key to economic growth.  In Virginia, affordable energy is essential to driving the success of this manufacturing Renaissance.

For example, our extremely competitive energy costs were key to securing a deal with Shandong Tranlin Paper Co., a leading Chinese pulp and paper company. Tranlin is investing $2 billion and creating 2,000 jobs as it establishes its first U.S. advanced manufacturing operation in Chesterfield County. The investment represents the largest Chinese investment and job creation project in Virginia history and is the largest Chinese greenfield economic development project in the United States.

I am confident that Tranlin is just the beginning as we continue to make smart energy choices. Falling energy prices due to domestic sources of natural gas have presented the Commonwealth with tremendous new economic opportunities.

I have advocated for increasing Virginia’s access to these sources through additional natural gas infrastructure. In particular, I support the 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, providing Virginia with direct access to the most affordable natural gas supply in the United States.

As we work to attract new businesses and expand existing businesses, access to low cost energy is a critical benefit.

Our business-friendly tax structure is also a key tool that we have used effectively to attract and grow businesses. I am committed to fully funding tax incentives that encourage growth while keeping tax rates low, including our 6 percent corporate income rate. It hasn’t increased since 1972 and remains one of the lowest in the United States. In fact, Virginia’s corporate income tax ranks as the 6th most competitive in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation’s Tax Climate ranking.

Finally, another essential element to our success in reigniting our manufacturing sector is a well-educated and well-trained workforce. We need to train Virginia workers for jobs of the 21st century, providing them with the tools they need to meet the demands created by advances in manufacturing technology.

The advanced manufacturing industry is a cornerstone of my administration’s efforts to grow and diversify Virginia’s economy. Despite the previous challenges, Virginia’s manufacturing base continues to strengthen, with nearly every region of the Commonwealth relying on manufacturing operations as part of its overall economic base.

Shipbuilders, automotive suppliers, machinery and equipment manufacturers, food processors, aerospace suppliers, semiconductor fabricators, plastics and wood products all help compose a diverse manufacturing base in Virginia.

Virginia is especially attractive to manufacturers because we are connected to the global economy in a way that many other U.S. states are not. Virginia’s central location on the Atlantic Coast provides interstate and rail access to the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest.

The Port of Virginia is a gateway to international markets, offering the deepest shipping channels on the U.S. East Coast.

Our port is the only one on the East Coast that is capable of handling post-Panamax ships.

Washington-Dulles International Airport is another international gateway in the Commonwealth that provides non-stop flights to any continent in the world.

I am happy to tell you that Virginia is home to 5,800 manufacturers employing more than 240,000 workers.

In the past 10 years, manufacturing firms have invested more than $13.7 billion and created more than 64,000 new jobs in the Commonwealth. Manufacturing in Virginia has a significant economic impact, with a direct annual economic output of $118.3 billion.

The manufacturing sector also supports $58.9 billion in additional economic output.

Virginia’s major manufacturers include Canon Virginia, Siemens, DuPont, GE, Goodyear, Rolls-Royce, Orbital Sciences Corporation, MeadWestvaco, Micron, STIHL, Volvo Trucks North America and many others.

In partnership with private industry, we are conducting cutting-edge research to drive innovation and continued economic growth.

Let me tell you about one exciting project in Virginia. The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, in conjunction with Virginia’s top universities, provides production-ready advanced manufacturing solutions to member companies across the globe.

We are confident that the collaborative nature of the facility and its ability to bridge the gap between research and commercialization will advance Virginia as a hub of advanced manufacturing.

Advanced manufacturing jobs are the heart of a strong and growing economy, and we need to attract these high-skill, high-salary jobs and ensure that we’ve got the trained workforce to fill them.

Education and training are vital components to the continued momentum of the advanced manufacturing industry in Virginia.

Virginia’s universities and community colleges support manufacturers by offering degrees and training to support the workforce of the future.

World-class engineers graduate every year from our nationally recognized universities.

And Virginia’s 23 community colleges ensure manufacturers have a pipeline of skilled technicians and provide non-degree training.

Virginia is also home to numerous R&D facilities that support the manufacturing sector in corporate, academic and government settings.

These include NASA Langley Research Center; the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; the Center for High Performance Manufacturing; and the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center.

These partners are major players that move us toward growing and diversifying our economy, and we want Virginia’s workforce to have the skills necessary to keep us competitive in a global economy.

Let me say once again, I am working every day to build a new Virginia economy.

A crucial pillar of my strategic economic plan is to increase advanced manufacturing and add more jobs in this important sector.

Virginia is well-positioned to continue this momentum. Thanks to all of the partners here today for your great impact on the future of manufacturing in the Commonwealth.

We look forward to a continued relationship to leverage resources and promote this vital sector in Virginia as we keep our Commonwealth moving forward in the 21st century. Thank you.



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