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

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Governor McAuliffe Announces $20 Million to Improve Energy Efficiency in Virginia

02 September | Richmond

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today the launch of VirginiaSAVES, the Commonwealth’s first Green Community Program. VirginiaSAVES is a loan program created to lower financing costs for energy efficiency, renewable energy generation and ...continue reading

Governor McAuliffe Launches Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship

24 August | Richmond

Governor Terry McAuliffe today signed Executive Order 47 establishing the Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship, which shall be responsible for coordinating and implementing youth entrepreneurship initiatives and fostering the growth of the ...continue reading

Governor McAuliffe Announces 3rd Year of Virginia’s Going Global Defense Initiative

24 August | Richmond

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Virginia has received $1.8 million in grant funding for a third year of its Going Global Defense Initiative (GGDI), administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). ...continue reading



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