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Need to Know: Autumn 2018


The German based technology company TQ Systems founded the subsidiary TQ Systems USA Inc. and selected Chesapeake as the location of their US Headquarters. The company, one of the largest electronics specialists in Germany, offers a complete range of design and engineering services in the fields of E²MS, Embedded, Drives, Robotics, Automation, Medical and Aviation / Avionics. The company already has an international presence with offices in China and Switzerland. The announcement is expected to create 20 new jobs.


Paul D. Camp Community College and ECPI University created a partnership that will allow students who have completed a certificate in general education and/or hardware and software support at the community college to receive guaranteed admission to ECPI to pursue an Associate of Science degree in Computer and Information Science (Cyber and Network Security) or a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer and Information Science with a major in Cyber Security and Network Security. In addition, PDCCC students who meet the eligibility requirements degree receive a 20% reduction in full-time registration per semester and a waiver of the ECPI application fee. ECPI University is happy to partner with Paul D. Camp Community College,” says Newport News Campus President Dr. John Olson. “The need for cybersecurity professionals is increasing exponentially, so it is becoming especially important that higher education institutions work together to help solve this problem."


Sly Clyde Ciderworks held their grand opening in the historic Phoebus district of Hampton in late August. The cidery, which promises "delicious hard ciders, craftily crushed from 100% Virginia apples," is the first of its kind for the region. The company’s initial announcement was made in July 2017 and represented $500,000 in capital investment and created seven new jobs for the region.

A familiar face in economic development in Hampton Roads joined the staff at Hampton Economic Development. Charles E. “Chuck” Rigney Sr., former director and assistant director of Economic Development in Norfolk, has been named Hampton’s director of Economic Development. A member of the panel that interviewed Rigney, cited his expertise, knowledge and experience, noting that "with the talent we already have, he can be instrumental in taking us to the next level." 

Isle of Wight 

In October, Isle of Wight County Economic Development launched its workforce development initiative to become a certified (ACT) Work Ready Community. ACT is a non-profit organization formerly known as American College Testing. Program certification, which is nationally-recognized and conferred by the Commonwealth of Virginia and ACT, signifies the job-ready skill sets of the current, transitioning and emergent workforce. This helps economic development efforts, by showing existing and future employers that the local workforce has the foundational skills to help their firms prosper.

Christopher "Chris" Morello was named Director of Economic Development for Isle of Wight County effective September 1, 2018. Morello served as the county’s Assistant Director of Economic Development since July 2017. He came to Isle of Wight County with over 25 years of experience in public service including having previously served the City of Newport News from 2000 to 2017 in several roles including Administrator of Development Projects, Senior Project Coordinator and Special Assistant to the City Manager. 

Newport News

The Riverside College of Health Careers was ranked among the top trade schools in the first-ever national ranking in Forbes magazine. Nursing and Health Science programs constitute the top ten programs, with Riverside landing in the number eight spot. The Riverside College of Health Careers dates to 1915, when what is now Riverside Regional Medical Center was formed. Originally a nursing school only, the Riverside College of Health Careers now offers programs in a range of allied and health professions. The programs have graduated nearly 6,000 professionals since its founding.


MS International, a leading US importer and distributor of natural stones, countertops, landscaping tiles, and porcelain, will invest $4.65 million to establish a 64,000 sq. ft. distribution and showroom facility in Norfolk. The new facility is expected to employ 20 people and be fully functional by early 2019. The company has more than 25 distribution centers throughout the country and said that the proximity to the Port of Virginia played a significant role is their selecting Norfolk for the newest location.

Old Dominion University

The Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy of the Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University offers a new opportunity for area businesses to improve their understanding of local business conditions. Information regarding business conditions, hiring trends, supplier demands and performance and more is available delivered straight to your inbox each month, based on survey responses from businesses like yours.

The Dragas Center will be conducting a monthly survey of manufacturing and service firms in Hampton Roads. This free survey and report will provide insight on local business conditions, expectations, and will be made available to survey participants prior to public release.

You can automatically sign up to receive monthly updates or be a participant via web form here: Alternatively, please contact Dr. Jay Walker via email at for more information.

Southampton County

Belmont Peanuts announced an expansion to their Southampton facility and warehouse. The company will invest $2.5M to process and store its renowned products. The plant will both increase production and improve efficiency in operations. The expansion also includes plans to add retail space to sell the Belmont Peanut product and a small kitchen for food preparation. 10 new jobs and five full-time equivalent positions will be established.

Also in Southampton County, Hampton Farms announced that it will invest $5.73M to install a bulk peanut butter production line to its existing facilities. This expansion will create 14 new jobs. The company, who already purchases a significant number of Virginia-grown peanuts each year, is expected to increase their purchases by $6M or 12M pounds over the next three years.


The Suffolk Economic Development Authority has netted $45,000 in state funding for Downtown Suffolk to launch more small businesses. The Suffolk grant is one of five Community Business Launch (CBL) awards recently announced by Governor Ralph Northam. The grants, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), are designed to assist communities in their pursuit of independently owned storefront business growth and development. In Suffolk, the goal of the CBL will be to identify local entrepreneurs; equip them with business operating fundamentals and prepare them in a business plan and pitch competition, where up to $15,000 can be won by at least three new and expanding businesses.

Bon Secours Virginia Health System announced its plans to build a new hospital on the campus of the Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View, located in Northern Suffolk. Members of Bon Secours leadership are working with the architectural team determine the exact location on the health center’s campus and finalize the cost, but it is expected to house at least 25 beds and up to four operations rooms, which will be transferred from the Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth.

Virginia Beach

Prosper Insurance Company announced in October its plans to move and expand its corporate headquarters in Virginia Beach. The company, founded in 2007, has experienced significant growth in the last decade and will be relocated from a 6,000 sq ft facility to more than 17,000 sq ft. The expansion represents $750,000 in capital investment and will add 75 new jobs to the existing staff of 43 employees over the next three years. 

PointOne, a data center developer headquartered in Alberta, Canada, recently announced plans to invest $80M in Virginia Beach. The project consists of two phases and will involve construction of two 31,000 sq. ft. facilities that will house edge computing data centers, a cable landing station for future subsea cables and an international internet business exchange.

Save the Date: Downtown Development Forum

The Downtown Norfolk Council will host its inaugural Downtown Development Forum to review national trends and explore economic growth opportunities for the region. Urban expert Bruce Katz, author of The New Localism, will be the keynote speaker. Focus areas include business, mobility, residential and retail. Other speakers and activities to be announced. Save the date and mark your calendars now. Attendance is limited. Ticket and registration information will be coming soon.

When: December 13, 2018 - 7:30am-1:15pm
Where: Hilton Norfolk The Main, 100 East Main Street

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