Shenandoah Valley Partnership highlights transportation assets at fall events

economic-forecast-headerThe Shenandoah Valley Partnership hosted two economic development events this fall focusing on the Shenandoah Valley’s access to markets and substantial transportation and logistics assets.

With its major railroads, three Interstate highways—I-81, I-66, and I-64—access to The Port of Virginia, as well as the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport and nearby Dulles International Airport, the Shenandoah Valley is a major transportation corridor. An estimated two-thirds of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive.

On October 6, an estimated 175 Valley public and private sector leaders attended the Partnership’s Connect event at Dynamic Aviation located at the Bridgewater Air Park in Rockingham County. Several of SVP’s members also enjoyed a flight over the Shenandoah Valley onboard Dynamic Aviation’s “Miss Virginia,” one of the world’s few remaining and best restored C-47s, a World War II-vintage bomber.

The aircraft was featured at V-E Day ceremonies on May 8, 2015, in Washington, D.C., where it flew over the U.S. Capitol to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Dynamic Aviation purchased the aircraft from the U.S. Army in 1990 and modified it for commercial uses. It was retired in 2000 and meticulously restored by the company’s mechanics.

“Dynamic Aviation is a valued member of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership and is a great example of the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in our region,” said Carrie Chenery, SVP’s executive director.

“From its beginnings as an aerial spraying company for agriculture in 1936, it has grown into a technology-rich powerhouse that provides mission-critical aviation services for federal, state, and local agencies as well as national research organizations and private companies. It demonstrates how Valley transportation-related businesses have grown and prospered in our region, and having this event in this setting allowed our local, regional and state public and private partners to see first-hand the Valley’s connectivity to the global economy,” Chenery added.

“The Shenandoah Valley Partnership, through focused attention on strengthening relationships and regional collaboration, has been critical to the continued growth and development of the area,” said Dynamic Aviation President and CEO Michael Stoltzfus.

On October 23, SVP members attended a Fall Economic Development Forum titled, “Trade and Transportation: Connecting the Valley in the Global Economy.” Held at Blue Ridge Community College’s Plecker Center, the event featured keynote speaker Russell Held, vice president for Economic Development at The Port of Virginia. It also showcased regional transportation-related companies in a trade show and highlighted the Valley’s strategic competitiveness in moving goods and services throughout the United States and around the world.

Devon Anders, president of InterChange Group, who spoke on a panel about the Valley’s third-party logistics advantages, said, “With direct access to I-81 and the ocean and inland terminals of the Virginia ports, the Shenandoah Valley provides superior, consolidated, and efficient access to the majority of U.S. consumers. Where else can you reach beyond Boston, Jacksonville, Nashville, Indianapolis, and Grand Rapids in the same day?”

Both the SVP Connect event and the Economic Development Forum are held semiannually by SVP solely for the organization’s members.

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