What We Do

The Secretary of Commerce and Trade oversees the economic, community, and workforce development of the Commonwealth.  Each of the 13 Commerce and Trade Agencies actively contributes to Virginia's economic health and high quality of life. 

The Commonwealth of Virginia was founded as a business venture more than 400 years ago, and is blessed with many assets, including, but not limited to:  

  • Low corporate income tax
  • Centrally located – within a 10-hour drive of 60% of the U.S. population
  • Only port on the East Coast deep enough to receive post-Panamax ships
  • Six major interstate highways
  • Fourteen railroads
  • Fourteen airports serving Virginia
  • Higher education system is 11th largest in the nation 
  • More than 80,000 graduates in 2013 with associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees
  • Over 500,000 students in 2013 enrolled in over 90 in-state institutions of higher education
  • 23 community colleges: a community college within 30 miles of every resident in Virginia
  • Over 20,000 doctoral scientists and engineers
  • Virginia has the  highest concentration (1 in 10) of private sector high-tech workers in America for seven years in a row
  • 15,000 highly-trained veterans exiting the U.S. military each year in Virginia
  • Third lowest unemployment rate east of the Mississippi and lowest unemployment rate in the Southeast 

The primary job of the Secretariat of Commerce and Trade is to make sure we utilize these assets to help Virginia sustain its position as the preeminent place to live, work and conduct business.

Recent News

Newsroom
Governor Northam Announces Virginia’s Unemployment Drops to Lowest Rate in Over a Decade
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down 0.1 percentage point in April to 3.3 percent and was down 0.5 percentage point from a year ago.
Governor Northam Announces SAIC to Open VITA Service Center in Dickenson County, Creating 40 New Information Technology Jobs
Governor Ralph Northam announced today that the Virginia Information Technologies Agency’s (VITA) contract with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) will create approximately 40 information technology (IT) service desk jobs...
Governor Northam Announces Launch of the 2019 Commemoration’s Virginia History Trails Mobile Application
Today, Governor Ralph Northam joined the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution™ in announcing the launch of the Virginia History Trails mobile application.
Governor Northam Designates May 6 – 12 as Virginia Public Service Week
Governor Ralph Northam has proclaimed the week of May 6 – 12, 2018 as Public Service Week in Virginia to celebrate the commitment and dedication of 713,000 individuals who serve the Commonwealth in federal, state and local jobs.
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Governor Northam Announces 69 New Jobs in Albemarle County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that CoConstruct, a web-based project management system for custom home builders and remodelers, will invest $485,000 to expand its IT operation in Albemarle County.
Governor Northam Announces Arconic to Relocate Global Headquarters to Fairfax County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Arconic Inc. (NYSE: ARNC), a global technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing leader, will relocate its global headquarters from New York City to Fairfax County.
Governor Northam Announces Agribusiness Expansion, New Jobs in Gloucester County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Whitley Peanut Factory, Inc., a Virginia’s Finest Company since 1992, will invest nearly $530,000 to expand its operation in Gloucester County.
Governor Northam Opens First Virginia Career Works Center in Roanoke
Governor Ralph Northam today attended the grand opening of the inaugural Virginia Career Works center, located in the City of Roanoke.
Governor Northam Announces Nine New Jobs in Bedford County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Central Virginia Manufacturing (CVM), a sheet metal fabricator, will invest $300,000 to expand its operation in Bedford County.
Governor Northam Announces Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.4%
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down 0.1 percentage point in March to 3.4 percent and was down 0.5 percentage point from a year ago.
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Governor Northam Announces 15 New Jobs in the City of Chesapeake
Today Governor Ralph Northam announced that MI Technical Solutions, Inc. (MITS), a professional engineering and technical services operation, is investing $100,000 to expand its IT and cybersecurity operation in the City of Chesapeake...
Governor Northam Announces 15 New Jobs in the City of Chesapeake
Today Governor Ralph Northam announced that MI Technical Solutions, Inc. (MITS), a professional engineering and technical services operation, is investing $100,000 to expand its IT and cybersecurity operation in the City of Chesapeake...
Governor Northam announces nomination of 212 Opportunity Zones
Governor Northam today announced the nomination of 212 Opportunity Zones to the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Governor Northam Announces 600 New Jobs in Fairfax County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Appian (Nasdaq: APPN), a leading low-code and business process management platform provider, will invest $28.4 million to expand its headquarters operation in Fairfax County.
Governor Northam Announces Gerber to Relocate U.S. Headquarters to Arlington County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Gerber Products Company, a leader in early childhood nutrition and subsidiary of Nestlé S.A., will invest $5 million to relocate its U.S. headquarters from New Jersey to the new U.S. corporate headquarters
Governor Northam to Throw First Pitch at Richmond Flying Squirrels’ Home Opener
Governor Ralph Northam will throw out tonight’s first pitch at the home opener for the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Governor Northam Announces 51 New Jobs in Henrico County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that UDig, a consulting firm that develops technology business solutions, has invested $1.6 million to expand its IT headquarters operation in Henrico County.
Governor Northam Announces Creation of the Virginia Founders Fund
Governor Ralph Northam today announced the creation of the Virginia Founders Fund, a new seed-stage fund that increases access to venture capital in Virginia.
Governor Northam Announces More Than $1.1 Million in GO Virginia Grants
Governor Ralph Northam today announced five regional projects funded through GO Virginia (Growth and Opportunity for Virginia) grants totaling $1,115,300.
Governor Northam Announces Mohawk Industries to Expand in Carroll County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Mohawk Industries, the leading global manufacturer of residential and commercial flooring products, will purchase new equipment and expand its manufacturing operation in Carroll County.
Governor Northam Announces Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.5%
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down 0.1 percentage point in February to 3.5 percent and was down 0.5 percentage point from a year ago. February’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate
Governor Northam Announces 34 New Jobs in the City of Lynchburg
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Tessy Plastics, a premier molder of custom injection molded plastic components, will invest $9.2 million to expand its manufacturing operation to accommodate a new product line in the City of Lynchburg.
Governor Northam Announces 27 New Jobs in Arlington County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that BioInformatics Inc., a provider of critical market intelligence to major suppliers serving the life science, analytical instrument, and clinical diagnostic markets, will invest $175,000 to expand in
Governor Northam Announces 12 New Jobs in Bedford County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that KMR Aviation Services Inc., an aviation management company, will invest $1 million to expand its operation in Bedford County. The company will purchase its 7,200-square-foot leased facility and add a new
Governor Northam Announces February 2018 General Fund Revenue Collections Up 10.9% from the Previous Year; Fiscal-Year-To-Date Collections Up 6.2%
Governor Northam announced today that, although February is not a significant month for collections, revenue increased 10.9 percent. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, total revenue collections rose 6.2 percent, ahead of the annual forecast of 3.4
Governor Northam Announces Virginia as Recipient of Smart Cities Grant
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia was been selected as a recipient of a 2018 Readiness Challenge Grant. The grant program, administered by the Smart Cities Council, sought applications from across North America and selected
Governor Northam Announces Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 3.6%
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged again in January at 3.6 percent, but was down 0.4 percentage point from a year ago. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has
Governor Northam Announces 300 New Jobs in Fairfax County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that MicroStrategy® Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR), a leading worldwide provider of enterprise analytics and mobility software, has renewed its headquarters lease at 1850 Towers Crescent Plaza in Fairfax County
Governor Northam Announces 79 New Jobs in Lee County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that England Furniture, a manufacturer of quality upholstered furniture, will establish a manufacturing operation in Lee County at the 32,000-square-foot Lee County Industrial Building. The project will create
Governor Northam Announces 56 Local Tourism Programs to Receive Public-Private Marketing Funds to Bolster Growth
Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $840,000 in matching grant funds to be awarded to 56 local tourism initiatives as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program (MLP). The MLP grants are designed to
Governor Northam Announces 70 New Jobs in Pittsylvania County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Panaceutics, a manufacturer of personalized medicine and nutrition solutions, will invest $5.8 million to establish a research and development and high-tech manufacturing facility in the Ringgold East
Governor Northam Announces $4.85 Million Investment in Bedford County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Innovairre Communications, LLC, a global manufacturer of direct mail fundraising campaign materials for the nonprofit community, will invest $4.85 million to add state-of-the-art digital printing equipment
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Governor Northam Announces More Than $6.5 Million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing Loans
Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $6.5 million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing Loans for ten projects in ten localities across the Commonwealth. These projects are focused on affordable new construction and rehabilitation
Governor Northam Announces $1 Million Investment in Pittsylvania County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Eastern Panel Manufacturing, Inc. (EPM), a custom plywood manufacturer, will invest $1 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Pittsylvania County. EPM will move to a 55,000-square-foot facility
Governor Northam Announces $2,618,150 in GO Virginia Grants
Governor Ralph Northam today announced nine regional projects funded through GO Virginia (Growth and Opportunity for Virginia). Key members of the Governor’s Cabinet, the General Assembly, and the business community approved $2,618,150 in GO
Governor Northam Announces 60 New Jobs in Giles County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Cogar Manufacturing, a manufacturer of material handling equipment primarily for the natural resource industries, will invest $2.5 million to relocate its manufacturing operation from Beckley, West
Governor Northam Announces Homeland Produced by Fox 21 Television Studios Slated to Have Record Impact on Virginia’s Economy
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the critically-acclaimed SHOWTIME drama Homeland, produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, is on track to produce an estimated $45 million in direct spending in the Commonwealth, representing the largest
Governor Northam Announces Becker Global-America to Invest in New Equipment in Washington County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Becker Global-America, a designer and manufacturer of custom electrical equipment for mining, industrial military, and export markets, will invest $150,000 to purchase new equipment and diversify its
Governor Northam Announces $4.8 Million Investment in Albemarle County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Lighthouse Instruments, a world leader in laser test and measurement systems for pharmaceutical process monitoring, will invest $4.8 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Albemarle County. The
Governor Northam Announces Commonwealth’s Unemployment Rate Continues at 3.7 %
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in December at 3.7 percent, but was down 0.4 percentage point from a year ago. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to
Governor Northam Announces Northern Virginia Selected as One of 20 Contenders for Amazon’s Second Headquarters
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has selected Northern Virginia as a candidate for its second North American headquarters. In September, the e-commerce giant released a public request for proposal seeking a
Governor Northam Announces Virginia Companies Increase International Sales through Commonwealth’s Premier Exporting Program
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that 13 companies from across the Commonwealth have graduated from the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program, touting impressive results as they successfully exported products and services overseas.
Governor-Elect Ralph Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor-elect Ralph Northam today announced at Inova Center for Personalized Health in Fairfax key appointments within the Commerce and Trade secretariat and his plans for restructuring the Technology secretariat.

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