~ Funds to support programs assisting Virginia’s defense-related businesses in diversifying to international and domestic non-defense-related markets ~
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Virginia has been awarded $5.4 million in federal Community Planning Assistance Funds from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment. This grant will be used to assist communities, businesses and employees in defense-related areas respond to the impacts of defense reductions. Additionally, the grant will provide funding to expand entrepreneurship opportunities for defense-related employees and businesses, and to support displaced defense contractors seek other employment opportunities.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Virginia has taken the lead in identifying businesses potentially impacted by the recent defense reductions and worked with state, community, and business leaders to develop meaningful programs to address the issues. In order to build a new Virginia economy, we must create an environment where businesses can thrive even in the face of federal cuts. With these funds, Virginia will provide direct support to companies as they transition to alternative markets.”
“This is an excellent opportunity to help our communities that have been impacted by defense reductions,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “We are working directly with companies and individuals to generate new business opportunities to help them grow and prosper.”
“This is the seventh consecutive year the Commonwealth has been awarded a grant from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment,” said Secretary of Veterans & Defense Affairs, John C. Harvey. “These grants have supported the Commonwealth in planning and mitigating the impacts of the defense budget reductions over the past several years.”
Virginia consistently ranks among the top states in defense spending. According to an Office of Economic Adjustment report, Defense Spending by State Fiscal Year 2013, Virginia was ranked first at $58.8 billion.