Regions Southwest Virginia

State program helping defense contractors to be continued

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The commonwealth will continue a program aimed at helping Virginia defense contractors find new markets for their products and services.

The Going Global Defense Initiative (GGDI), run by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, has received $1.8 million in grant funding for a third year of operation. The GGDI was created to mitigate the negative effects of defense spending cuts on Virginia’s economy. 

“As federal budget cuts and sequestration continue to hamper Virginia’s economy, the Going Global Defense Initiative is a vital tool to help Virginia’s defense companies offset the loss of defense revenue,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement. “The GGDI, which is the first program of its kind in the U.S., helps Virginia defense companies diversify their revenue streams by identifying new business in international markets.”

Virginia leads the nation in federal defense contracts and is home to about 5,000 defense-related companies.

Facing Department of Defense cuts of more than $300 billion in the next five-plus years, Virginia stands to lose many high-paying jobs. 

In its first two years, more than 250 companies participated in GGDI program. More than 100 participants travelled to an international market in pursuit of new business. 

Virginia’s support of the GGDI is made possible by McAuliffe’s funding of the Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL), announced last month.  VITAL’s goals are to increase Virginia’s exports by $1.6 billion and to create 14,000 trade-supported jobs during the next 5 years. 

The GGDI generates international sales for Virginia’s defense companies by providing:

• Research on international markets.
• Export compliance.
• Digital localization.
• Technical translation and adaptation.
• Events with U.S. Combatant Commands and partner nations.
• Export training.
• An online portal of GGDI resources.
• Going Global training courses.


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