Virginia Economic Development Partnership visits the Middle Peninsula!

Saluda, Virginia, September 20, 2018:

"We learned so much about the Middle Peninsula's "blue/green economy"! That's what representatives of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership said after spending a full day experiencing a few unique venues in Middlesex, Mathews and Essex Counties and the Town of Tappahannock.

Three representatives from VEDP's Business Investment Division spent the day sailing on the water, creating art, learning the history of boatbuilding, and meeting with business and civic leaders. VEDP's BI Division is responsible for marketing the regions of the Commonwealth to businesses which may want to expand or locate and create jobs. One of the ways the BI managers understand the types of businesses that could locate here, is by personally visiting the Region and learning about its workforce, its transportation, its agriculture, marine and aquaculture businesses, and the vision that its leaders have for creating a sustained, healthy economy.

Michael Kucera and Anton Webre of Norton Yachts in Deltaville (Middlesex County) started the day off with a sailing excursion that showcased the beauty of the Middle Peninsula's rivers and the impact of aquaculture and marine trades on our economy. The team was then hosted by the Deltaville Maritime Museum and received a guided tour from Board member Bill Powell, learning about the importance of the boat-building history. "We are so proud of these local assets," Middlesex Tourism and Economic Development Manager Michelle Brown said. "Business owners like Michael and Andre, and volunteers like Bill, are the heart of what makes our community so special."

Bay School Community Arts Center in Mathews County showcased its unique position as the heart of the Middle Peninsula's artisan network by offering the VEDP team members the opportunity to create their own art to take home as a reminder of this cultural gem. EDA Board member Hal Bourque, Mathews County Visitors Information Center Director Emily Allen and the Bay School's Executive Director Pam Doss hosted the event. VEDP team members also received a tour of Mathews' newest lodging venue, the Callis House Inn. This special community presents a valuable sense of place that is so important to entrepreneurs and businesses.

Ending the day in Tappahannock, the team members met over a casual dinner at the Essex Inn with business and civic leaders, including Delegate Keith Hodges, Tappahannock Mayor Roy Gladding, Essex Board of Supervisors Member Rob Akers, Essex EDA Member Bill Croxton and staff Trent Funkhouser, Rappahannock Community College Workforce VP Jason Perry, and Ronnie Gill from Farm Credit and a member of the Essex County Agricultural and Economic Development Committee. Discussions about the agricultural and forest base of the northern portion of the Region helped the VEDP team understand the "green" of the Middle Peninsula's "blue/green economy".

"Connecting with the VEDP staff is important to our Region, as VEDP is the Commonwealth's primary connection to new businesses who are looking for locations in which jobs can be created," said Travis Moskalski, Chairman of the Middle Peninsula Alliance. "We are pleased that our partner communities participate and showcase their assets so effectively. This time, we thank Middlesex County, Mathews County, Essex County and the Town of Tappahannock for their involvement. In previous visits by VEDP staff, our other local partners of King William County, Gloucester County, the Town of West Point, and King & Queen County have taken similar steps. We believe these visits help bring visibility to our Region and will ultimately lead to new job creation."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership is charged with the mission of outreach to businesses to foster increased expansion of Virginia's economy.

The Middle Peninsula Alliance is the Region's economic development lead organization, with a mission to promote the assets of Virginia's Middle Peninsula by connecting people, ideas and resources to develop new opportunities and visibility for the Region. The Middle Peninsula Alliance includes the Counties of Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King William, Mathews, and Middlesex and the Towns of Tappahannock and West Point. For more information on the Middle Peninsula Alliance and its programs, contact Liz Povar, Principal Officer, at 804-399- 8297 or Dawn Kirby at 804-758-2311.

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