Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: July 20, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel,

Virginia Selected for NGA “Smarter States, Smarter Communities” Learning Lab

Virginia among five states chosen for three-day learning lab on best practices for smart community development

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced Virginia’s selection to participate in the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices’ (NGA Center) Smarter States, Smarter Communities Learning Lab. Virginia, along with Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Colorado, will participate in a tailored, three-day learning lab to facilitate smart community development on the state level.

“Virginia has worked tirelessly to become a national leader in smart community development from closing the digital divide between our urban centers and rural populations to collaborating with state and local partners to defend against cyber threats and share data effectively,” said Governor Northam. “This tremendous opportunity will help us solidify our implementation roadmap, reduce barriers that limit many communities from accessing smart technologies, and move forward with innovative policies that integrate smart community initiatives in all areas of our Commonwealth.”

Last year, the Commonwealth established the Smart Communities Working Group to focus statewide efforts and recommend policy approaches to achieving smart community development. Governor Northam has assembled a multidisciplinary team from across the Cabinet and from state agencies to participate in the learning lab. The effort will be a collaboration between representatives of the following secretariats: Commerce and Trade, Public Safety and Homeland Security, Administration, Health and Human Resources, and Transportation.

Governor Sandoval, Chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), announced the selection today at the opening session of NGA’s Summer Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Smarter States, Smarter Communities Learning Lab will take place in Chicago, Illinois on October 17–19. For more information, visit

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