Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: November 14, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alenaa Yarmosky,

Governor Northam Honors State Employees with 40+ Years of Service

Includes 14 Central Virginia employees with at least 50 years of experience

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today recognized 230 state employees in Central Virginia with 40 or more years of service to the Commonwealth during a special ceremony at the Science Museum of Virginia. This is the second recognition event to honor state employees.

“Virginia residents benefit from the hard work of our state employees, and today we honor our most tenured public servants,” said Governor Northam. “With record-low unemployment in the Commonwealth, we know state employees have lots of employment options and we are committed to making state government an attractive place to work.”

Governor Northam was joined by Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax and Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner in presenting specially-designed medallions to 14 employees with 50 or more years of service, 53 employees with service of 45 years, and 163 employees who have served the state for 40 years. All of the employees received a custom medallion with blue lanyards engraved with their names and years of dedicated service. The color of the medallion varied with the years of service—red for 40 years, blue for 45 years, and white for those with 50 or more years with the Commonwealth. Employees with 55 or more years of service also received a Governor’s challenge coin.

“Our highly talented and dedicated workforce, who embody public service each and every day, are integral to the success of the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner. “Supporting and providing benefits for our workforce is a key priority for this administration, and it is important to have events like today’s to recognize and applaud the fortitude of our state employees.”

Since taking office in January 2018, Governor Northam has made the state workforce a priority of his administration, implementing a variety of workforce incentives and programs to showcase Virginia’s commitment to its most valuable asset.

  • In June, Governor Northam announced the implementation of a two-part state Employment Equity Initiative designed to position the Commonwealth as a leader in equitable pay and employment. The new State Compensation Policy will provide a framework for fair and equitable pay.
  • Governor Northam signed the budget in May 2019, which includes raises for state employees, teachers, college faculty, sheriff’s deputies and other state-supported local employees. This is the largest percentage-based salary increase for state employees in 20 years.
  • In January 2019, the Governor introduced a compensation tool to enable agencies to make contributions to employees’ Virginia529 accounts as an incentive to attract and retain those in critical or high-turnover positions. This new compensation tool will be in addition to a student loan repayment bonus approved in June of 2018 for similar positions.
  • Governor Northam signed Executive Order Twelve in June 2018, authorizing eight weeks of paid parental leave for employees of executive branch state agencies.
  • In May 2018, Governor Northam launched the OnTheSquare Virginia program, a series of educational and recreational events designed to engage employees and foster cross-agency collaboration.

State employee service recognition and engagement events are also planned throughout the next year for the eastern and northern regions of Virginia. An earlier event was held in Abingdon to honor long serving employees in the southwest region.

# # #