Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: July 11, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alenaa Yarmosky,

What They’re Saying: Leaders Across the Commonwealth Celebrate Virginia’s Return to “Top State for Business” in CNBC Ranking

RICHMOND—Yesterday, Governor Northam announced that CNBC has named Virginia America’s “Top State for Business” in 2019. The Commonwealth previously earned the title in 2007, 2009, and 2011, and with its fourth win, Virginia is now tied with Texas for most years named top state for business by CNBC. In case you missed it, here is what leaders across the Commonwealth are saying about Virginia’s return to the top spot in CNBC’s annual ranking:

“The number one goal of the Chamber is to make Virginia the best state for business. The acknowledgment today by CNBC is confirmation of what we believe to be true—that Virginia has returned to be the top state for business as a direct result of pro-business policies that are supported by public policy makers and the business community.” —Barry DuVal, President and CEO, Virginia Chamber of Commerce

I applaud the initiatives and collaboration of our state leadership, legislature, state agencies, educational institutions, civic organizations and businesses (both large and small) of achieving this wonderful recognition. This achievement is also a well-deserved tribute to our broad and skilled workforce. As importantly, I am excited about Virginia’s continued economic growth potential as a result of the recently announced investment initiatives by the Governor to promote a more diversified and inclusive economy for all.” —Gil Bland, President and CEO, Urban League of Hampton Roads

Virginia’s top ranking is a testament that the Commonwealth is a great place for businesses and the workers they employ. The Commonwealth’s strategic focus on expanding job training opportunities for our workforce and supporting market innovation is invaluable to the growth of the automobile industry. This support is exemplified by Volvo Group’s recent announcement that they will invest nearly $400 million to expand their heavy-duty truck manufacturing facility in Dublin, Virginia and position the facility and union-represented workforce for long-term growth.” —Matt Blondino, President, Local 2069 United Automobile Workers

Now the whole world knows what’s always been clear to Virginians—that the Commonwealth is the best place on earth to develop skills, build businesses, and nurture families. Our unparalleled talent pool and unwavering commitment to workforce development are the foundation of our first-class business climate, our dynamic economy, and future success.” —Nathaniel Marshall, Chairman, Virginia Board of Workforce Development

CNBC’s recognition of Virginia as the top state for business is validation of the Commonwealth’s outstanding leadership and strong commitment to making Virginia the best and most welcoming state for talent. Coupled with Amazon’s HQ2 decision, Virginia is on a roll.” —Todd Stottlemyer, CEO, CNSI

“This coveted recognition is beyond a testimony that Virginia is a great place to visit—but that Virginia is a great place to live, raise and educate a family, and to do business, whether large or small. It is a reflection of the hard work and cooperation of the leaders of Virginia’s state and local governments, its renowned education institutions, and of the leaders of it business community. As a leading technology council, NVTC is proud of this collective accomplishment and will strive to do its part to maintain and grow Virginia as a leader in technology.” —Richard A. Montoni, Chairman, Board of Directors, Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) and Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, MAXIMUS, Inc.

Winning recognition as the Top State for Business in 2019 is a great honor and speaks well to Virginia’s success in attracting leading companies across a broad spectrum of industries. As a company headquartered here for many years, ManTech is proud to be part of this success story.” —Kevin M. Phillips, President and CEO, ManTech and Member, Board of Directors, Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC)

Virginia is the center of the universe when it comes to tech and government contracting. Access to talent, executive networking opportunities, infrastructure and support for businesses in the area were all factors that led to our decision to anchor here. We wouldn’t think of locating our headquarters anywhere else.” —Greg Baroni, Chairman and CEO, Attain and Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC)

“We were really excited by Virginia, what it had to offer. Probably the most important thing was the attraction of this place to talent, and particularly tech talent. They listened and really heard our needs about talent and infrastructure and education.” —Brian Huseman, Amazon’s vice president for public policy and part of the core HQ2 site selection team, in an interview with CNBC

The exceptional upgrade in business rankings in Virginia has been accomplished because of the leadership in government and business, who have worked tirelessly to make Virginia the best place to do business. While our education systems have been outstanding, we are fine tuning and working hard to make them much better, especially in the area of credentials workforce training. And my hat is off to VEDP who has led the way in bringing attention to the needs of business.” —Ben Davenport, Chairman, First Piedmont Corporation

I am proud to be headquartered in a state where the administration is intentional about creating success channels for its businesses. After hearing the news of Virginia being ranked as the #1 state for business, I became even more excited about last weeks’ historic signing of Executive Order Thirty-Five and the impact it will carry to ensure that not only large corporations are celebrated but that small, women, and minority owned businesses across the Commonwealth also feel that Virginia is the #1 state business and it values its small business partners.” —Devon Henry, President and CEO, Team Henry Enterprises LLC

“Congratulations to the Commonwealth! On behalf of the hundreds of professionals who practice economic, industrial, and community development throughout Virginia, we are thrilled to spread the news of CNBC’s findings that Virginia’s investments in workforce, education and infrastructure once again make it the best state for business!—Stephanie Landrum, President, Virginia Economic Developers Association and President and CEO, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership

Read more about Virginia’s business ranking here. Watch Governor Northam discuss how Virginia reclaimed the “Top State for Business” title in this video.

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