Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on Monday announced the members of the Governor’s Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission created by his Executive Order Number One, issued moments after he took the Oath of Office January 16.
Keeping in mind the unprecedented economic difficulties facing Virginia families and businesses, the highest unemployment rate in decades and the ever increasing competitiveness of the global economy, the commission will work to put forth bold and innovative ideas addressing these significant challenges, the governor's office said in a release.
The Commission is scheduled to have its first meeting in May, and will complete its initial report to the governor by October 16, 2010. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who serves as Virginia’s first-ever Chief Jobs Creation Officer, and Bob Sledd, the Governor’s Senior Economic Adviser, will serve as Co-Chairs of the Commission.
McDonnell says, “The foremost priority of our administration is job creation. Economic opportunity and free enterprise are the bedrock of a stable and prosperous Commonwealth. Virginia is home to abundant resources, fiscal responsibility boundless human potential and the entrepreneurial spirit instrumental to a robust economic recovery.
“The work of this commission is to create more opportunities for good paying work for all Virginians. I look forward to the ideas and solutions that this commission will put forward to help create new jobs, spur economic development and ensure this is a ‘Commonwealth of Opportunity’ for all Virginians.”
Bolling remarks, “Gov. McDonnell and I have been clear in our commitment to do everything we can to get Virginia’s economy moving again and create jobs. We accomplished a great deal with part one of our Jobs and Opportunity Agenda during this year’s legislative session, but there is more work to be done. Over the coming year, the Governor’s Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission will help us craft part two of our Jobs and Opportunity Agenda.
"By looking for additional ways to make Virginia a more competitive state and invest in proven economic development and job creation programs, we can strengthen our reputation as the most pro-business state in America, and secure the capital investment and jobs we need to provide the people of Virginia with greater economic security."
Bob Sledd, the Governor’s Senior Economic Adviser, notes, “I took this job to help create good jobs for Virginians. That is the focus of this administration and the work of this commission. Every state and every nation is engaged in a fierce competition to attract capital, jobs and economic development. As Virginians we cannot afford to lose. The private sector creates jobs, but public policy plays a major role in creating an environment that makes job creation easier or tougher.
"Our goal is to put in place the policies that will free our job-creators and entrepreneurs to grow and be successful, to innovate and expand. When they can do that, Virginians will find the good paying jobs that they deserve and upon which our future prosperity depends."
Among those appointed to the panel is Joe Funkhouser, president of Coldwell, Banker and Funkhouser Realtors in Harrisonburg.