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.
In the Spotlight
May is Business Appreciation Month in Virginia
Virginia will acknowledge its existing business community and the pivotal role it plays in strengthening the Commonwealth and building the new Virginia economy in a month-long celebration in May 2017.
Please join Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden and several state agencies, as we recognize the accomplishments of our existing businesses; entrepreneurs; small, minority and women-owned businesses; and the major employers that contribute greatly to Virginia’s economic vitality and the well-being of our citizens.
Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL) increases international trade in Virginia.
Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL) expands Virginia’s nationally recognized international trade program via formal partnerships with Virginia’s public universities, industry associations and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce to serve their member companies as they expand international sales.
Goals for VITAL include:
VITAL partners include:
Credentials to Compete: Governor McAuliffe's Workforce Priority
August 2014, with the signing of Executive Order 23, Governor McAuliffe made dramatically increasing the number of Virginians attaining workforce credentials the top priority for Virginia’s publicly funded workforce system, comprised of 15 local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) and 24 state programs administered by eight state agencies that serve about a million Virginians each year, from middle school to retirement age.
Energy in the New Virginia Economy
Update to the 2014 Energy Plan