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Stephen Moret, CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, at the 2018 Governor’s Summit o

The goal is clear: return Virginia back to America’s best state for business, both in perception and reality, Stephen Moret, CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership told the sold-out crowd of the 2018 Governor’s Summit on Rural Prosperity during his luncheon remarks at this year’s event.

How do we do that? We need to position every region in Virginia to grow, he said – including rural Virginia. Virginia will no longer consider itself successful based on statewide, aggregate metrics.

Among other focus areas Mr. Moret highlighted at the Summit was the need to produce an additional 20,000 jobs per year above baseline counts; improve state economic development competitiveness by putting a major focus on human capital development in skilled trades; and target growth industries for Virginia (technology, logistics & manufacturing, business centers of excellence, disruptive technologies).

Thank you, Mr. Moret, for bringing a strong economic development message – and one that touches directly on rural Virginia – to the Summit.

To watch the recorded Facebook live video of his remarks, go here.


The annual Governor’s Summit on Rural Prosperity, hosted by the Virginia Rural Center, was held in 2018 from October 21-22 in Staunton, Virginia. The summit featured a keynote address by Governor Ralph Northam, panel discussions on rural economic development and workforce development, and remarks from multiple members of the Governor’s cabinet.

Attendees also learned about the latest in rural broadband innovations from the Governor’s Chief Broadband Advisor, Evan Feinman, and got an update on the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan from the Honorable Shannon Valentine, Virginia Secretary of Transportation.

Activities commenced with an evening welcome reception on Sunday, October 21 with an address from the Honorable Brian Ball, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade.

Economic development officials, elected officials, business and community leaders, local government officials, trade organizations and policymakers from across the Commonwealth were all in attendance.

Throughout the event, presenters discussed innovations in broadband connectivity, state economic development initiatives, regional asset development and entrepreneurship, and innovative workforce solutions.

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