RD108 - Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority 2008 Annual Report and 20th Anniversary Year

Executive Summary:
This 20th anniversary year for VCEDA has been a productive one. In 2008, VCEDA approved seven loans and seven grants for a total of $9.4 million and more than 500 projected jobs with an expected investment of $5.6 million in projects throughout the region.

2008 also saw the continued refinement and implementation of the Virginia’s e-Region strategy, which focuses on the region’s core strengths and competitive advantages in electronic information technology, energy, education, and emerging and traditional specialty manufacturing technologies.

Special thanks is due to the region’s coal and natural gas industry for not only the jobs and huge economic impact they provide, but also for their support of VCEDA as an organization and economic development in general.

VCEDA as an organization, and the region as a whole, have many successes of which to be proud over the past twenty years. There is no doubt that much positive progress has occurred in the region in the past twenty years, and one need only refer to things such as the reduction in regional unemployment rates, increases in income, and increasing diversification of the regional economy. Specific marquee events such as the locations of the Northrop Grumman and CGI information technology projects to the region and the development of the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise County demonstrate the viability of Virginia’s e-Region as an exceptional place to do business.

The challenge for the next twenty years is to build upon the successes and strategies laid in place over the previous twenty years. As demonstrated over the organization’s initial two decades, the unique strengths of VCEDA as a regional organization will be a great asset to the region in meeting that challenge. The team approach of working together with our local, regional, state, and federal allies to promote and advance Virginia’s e-Region is also one of the most positive advantages we have and will continue to be a key to success.