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economic development officials during the tour.


“Some of the major comments were


that [VEDP] needed to get more back to a cluster-focused, business-attraction approach, which the new structure does reset, and that’s how VEDP used to be until about three years ago,” said Matherly. Economic development officials often target specific industries where they have had success in attracting new businesses. For example, Matherly said, the Richmond area does well in the food and beverage category, having recently announced major investments and job creation commit- ments by Stone Brewing Co. and Niagara Bottling. “It’s a very smart way to target your


resources and try to ensure a higher success in recruiting businesses by using a targeting structure,” said Matherly. The new structure reflects these senti-


ments, creating industry-based teams and putting more emphasis on business recruit- ment efforts in distressed areas. The reorganization creates three new


divisions. The Business Investment Divi- sion, whose primary focus will be cultivat- ing leads for new business, will include three broad industry teams: products, services and technologies. Vince Barnett, vice president of communication and promotions, is serving as the interim vice president of the new division. The new structure also creates a Com-


petitive Initiatives Division. It will focus on providing help to all of Virginia’s regions, especially rural communities and distressed economic areas. The vice president of this division has not been named. Another example of the increased focus on rural areas came last month when the VEDP announced the new Rural Virginia Action Committee that will be governed by a 24-member board of directors. A new Workforce Development Divi-


sion will build on the VEDP’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program. Tim Stuller, formerly a managing director in the Busi- ness Expansion unit, will be vice president of the division. VEDP’s international trade divi-


sion, which represents 28 percent of the agency’s staff and finances, will be spun off next April as the Virginia International Trade Corp. As a separate state agency, it will house the state’s export-assistance


programs. A CEO for that organization, which will be a gubernatorial appointment, is scheduled to be named in December. Paul Grossman, the longtime vice president of international trade for VEDP before the restructuring, is expected to be in the run- ning for the new top job. Gundersen has described the changes


as the first phase of what’s to come, and he flushed out more of the reorganization during a webinar on Sept. 13. For instance, VEDP plans to unveil an overhauled website on Oct. 1, www.virginiaincentives. org, that will provide more information and transparency on the state’s incentives program, a topic that got VEDP in trouble last fall. That’s when General Assembly


members, including Republican Delegates Chris Jones of Suffolk and Kathy Byron of Lynchburg, called for a review of state economic development incentives and the way they are administered. VEDP came under scrutiny after


Virginia paid $1.4 million in incentives to a Chinese company, Lindenburg Industry. The company failed to keep its pledge to invest $113 million in opening a factory in


Appomattox that was expected to create more than 300 jobs. A series of stories first reported by The Roanoke Times raised questions about VEDP’s vetting process for the project. In a Roanoke Times article on the


failed deal, Briley defended the organiza- tion’s track record. Since 1992, only 25 of the 629 companies that received money from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund have been asked to repay incentives and did not, Briley told the newspaper. VEDP has made JLARC aware


of its operational changes under the restructuring, said Drew Dickinson, prin- cipal legislative analyst for JLARC. The purpose of JLARC’s report, scheduled to be ready in mid-November, is to evaluate VEDP’s operations, the effectiveness of its initiatives, its accountability structure, coordination with local and state economic development entities, and structures and approaches used by other states. A second phase of VEDP’s reorga-


nization is expected to be announced this fall. It will focus on improving operational units of the organization, such as human resources and legal functions.


Remodeling A


Pre-1978 Home? Attention: Homeowners, Contractors,


Child Care Facilities, Schools There are state and federal regulations you need


to know if you are planning to perform renovations or lead-based paint removal on a structure built before 1978. Lead-based paint can be very hazardous to both the worker and the occupants.


        


              


           


www.VirginiaBusiness.com VIRGINIA BUSINESS 65 FOR MORE INFORMATION:


LIST OF VIRGINIA LICENSED LEAD WORKERS/FIRMS WWW.DPOR.VIRGINIA.GOV


LEAD ABATEMENT NOTIFICATION FORM (NO MINIMUM CONTRACT AMOUNT AND NO FEE FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES) WWW.DOLI.VIRGINIA.GOV


LIST OF EPA RRP CERTIFIED RENOVATORS WWW.EPA.GOV/LEAD


LEAD SAFE VIRGINIA PROGRAM WWW.VDH.VIRGINIA.GOV/LEADSAFE


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