The Commonwealth of Virginia has been a leader in entrepreneurship and innovation since its founding in 1607 and has continued to pioneer new models for economic development in the 21st century. Today, we are hitting the accelerator to foster a best-in-class business environment that builds on Virginia’s tremendous assets: a strategic mid-Atlantic location that enables domestic and global connectivity; exceptional rail, road and marine infrastructure; competitive business costs, a top-rated education system; and a robust workforce in a right-to-work state.
From the sweeping landscapes of the Shenandoah Valley to the coastal plains of Chincoteague, to the national historic landmarks of Jamestown and George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Virginia is also an incredible place to live, as I have my entire life.
My administration has developed a comprehensive and ambitious plan to enhance Virginia’s competitive position and drive economic development into another gear. Virginia has added 90,000 jobs since I took office, and the Commonwealth is doubling down on policies that impact job growth and business investment. Last year, for example, Virginia passed nearly $4 billion in tax relief—the largest in its history—reducing the cost of living for Virginia families. The package included the elimination of the state grocery tax, an income tax deduction for military retirement income for veterans and a near doubling of the standard deduction for single and joint filers, and we have asked the General Assembly to do more, lowering rates for individuals, corporations and retirees in 2023. I’ve also signed the largest K-12 and higher education budget in Virginia’s history and significantly increased funding for public safety, proving that we can both reduce the cost of living and make key investments in public priorities. The Commonwealth is now on a path to compete to win new jobs and welcome new Virginians who desire a better quality of life.
Virginia has many competitive advantages for businesses, and the Commonwealth is building strategic ecosystems for key industry sectors; improving connections between talent and businesses and preparing Virginians to acquire in-demand, marketable skills to grow our workforce; making historic investments in site development to enhance the Commonwealth’s infrastructure with more competitive project-ready sites; addressing housing supply shortages, energy costs and individual taxes to reduce the cost of living in Virginia; modernizing Virginia’s regulatory processes to reduce business costs—transforming the way government works for its citizens; and strengthening a statewide culture conducive to entrepreneurship by enhancing connections between businesses, universities, investors and talent and reducing burdensome regulations for small businesses and early-stage companies.
These initiatives are catalyzing waves of economic investments and business expansions across multiple industries to invigorate job growth and opportunity in Virginia. Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to invest $35 billion by 2040 to establish multiple data center campuses across Virginia—the largest capital investment in our history. We have welcomed the global headquarters of aerospace giants Boeing and Raytheon from Chicago and Boston and secured the expansion of Hilton’s global headquarters in Fairfax County. The LEGO Group will invest over $1 billion to establish its only U.S. manufacturing plant near Richmond, including a 1.7 million-square-foot precision manufacturing facility that will create more than 1,760 jobs. Plenty Unlimited is building the world’s largest indoor vertical farming campus in Virginia, a $300 million investment that will create 300 jobs. Thermo Fisher Scientific is investing $97 million to expand its bioanalytical laboratory operations in the greater Richmond region, creating more than 500 new jobs. Rocket Lab USA selected Wallops Island as the location for its launch site and will invest more than $100 million to construct its manufacturing and operations facilities for its Neutron rocket, creating 246 new jobs for Virginians. Virginia is hitting a new gear and demonstrating once again why the Commonwealth is the best location for business in America.
Virginia was built on grit, determination and ingenuity, and the Commonwealth seeks to attract companies that want to build their future in the same fashion. I am honored and humbled to serve as Governor, and I want business leaders to know that Virginia is here to compete for their business creations, relocations and expansions, and Virginia is here to win.