Youngkin begins building cabinet, notes devotion to his “Day One Gameplan”

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 8:30 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - With less than one month until Inauguration Day in Virginia, Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin has begun choosing the team that will help him lead the commonwealth.

So far, he has picked his Secretary of Finance, Stephen Emery Cummings; Secretary of Education, Aimee Rogstad Guidera; and Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Caren Merrick.

Youngkin tells WHSV that all of his picks will help deliver on his Day One Gameplan.

“We’re going to go to work on January 15 to make sure we get the cost of living down, our schools are delivering for our children and our communities are safe, and the economy is roaring,” Youngkin said. “Everybody that we’re appointing is going to satisfy those objectives.”

Cummings most recently served as President and CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) in the Americas. Youngkin said Cummings shares his vision of “ensuring the Commonwealth’s budget is managed effectively and efficiently.”

“[Cummings] shares the vision of getting the cost of living down by cutting the tax burden on Virginians, but also making sure we have ample resources to invest in the most important areas like education, law enforcement, and behavioral health,” Youngkin said. “Also workplace development and site development so that businesses will grow in Virginia and new ones will come.”

Guidera is currently the President of Guidera Strategy, and is the former founder and chief executive of the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), a national organization advocating for improved quality, accessibility, and use of education data to increase student achievement.

“We’re going to make sure we’re raising standards of excellence in schools. They’ve been watered down over the last eight years,” Youngkin said. “We’re going to reestablish high standards, but also provide support for students who need it in order to meet those expectations.”

Merrick serves as the CEO of the Virginia Ready Initiative. Youngkin said she will “play a pivotal role on the team that will jumpstart our economy and reinvigorate job growth” in Virginia.

“Merrick has an extraordinary track record in workforce development,” Youngkin said. “We’re going to get this economy moving by having a workforce that is ready to get back to work through training programs to make sure that people have the skills necessary to take these in-demand jobs. We need to have Virginia’s economy grow, but we have to have a workforce ready to take it.”

Youngkin said over 5,000 applications were submitted to be on his cabinet.

Inauguration Day is Jan. 15.

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