McDonnell creates chief jobs officer position, economic development commission

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell focused on job creation and economic development just minutes after being sworn in last weekend.

McDonnell appointed the chief jobs officer to his Cabinet level. He has previously announced that Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling will hold the position and will be charged with coordinating economic development initiatives across state agencies and recruiting new investments.

He also created the Governor’s Economic Development and Job Creation Commission, which will make recommendations on how to attract more business and jobs to Virginia.

The commission is tasked with:

  • Identifying impediments to job opportunities.
  • Evaluating how other states and countries attract jobs.
  • Reviewing state agencies’ roles in job creation and making recommendations on how to better coordinate these efforts.
  • Recommending changes to Virginia’s taxing and regulatory environment.
  • Evaluating work-force programs.
  • Assisting the governor’s cabinet and Virginia Economic Development Partnership in targeting new investment opportunities. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and another adviser will co-chair the commission, which will also include 50 citizens representing a variety of industries and the secretaries of commerce and trade, agriculture and forestry, natural resources, transportation, technology, finance and education and administration. The task force is required to create a report to McDonnell by Oct. 16. McDonnell also created the Governor’s Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring. The commission will identify ways to streamline government. This is an important step for a governor who wants to make up an estimated $4.2 billion shortfall without tax increases or any repeal of tax exemptions. The commission will be made up of 20 citizens, three members of the House of Delegates, two senators, and the secretaries of administration and finance.

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