Barry DuVal, President of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, recently shared his insights on the key components of regionalism at the January member meeting. He highlighted the significant role of having a skilled and talented workforce in promoting a region’s growth and prosperity. Institutions of higher education, including both 4-year schools and community colleges, play a vital role in ensuring that Virginians are well-equipped with the necessary skills to contribute to the economy.


Additionally, DuVal emphasized the importance of being connected to the outside world through the use of the internet and infrastructure. The internet has become an essential tool for regional connectivity, enabling rural areas to connect to the rest of the world. Infrastructure, such as highways, rail, and airports, are also essential for a region’s growth and prosperity. Without proper connectivity, it can be difficult to attract businesses and promote economic development.


Energy is another important component of regionalism. DuVal stressed that clean and affordable energy is what everyone wants and expects. Projects related to energy need to be environmentally sensitive but also economically successful.


DuVal also stressed the importance of collaborating and working together as a region. He explained that when different areas work together, they can leverage each other’s strengths and resources, leading to more growth and prosperity for the entire region. This collaboration can take many forms, such as sharing resources, working on joint projects or initiatives, and supporting each other’s businesses.


Lastly, pro business policy is a significant component of regionalism. DuVal highlighted how Virginia’s pro business policies have attracted businesses to the state. He questioned why businesses flee certain states in our country that have many of these components, and come to Virginia. Overall, regionalism plays a vital role in a region’s growth and prosperity, and the key components highlighted by DuVal are essential for achieving it.


Regionalism is a key component of growth and prosperity for any region, and having a talented workforce, strong institutions of higher education, reliable infrastructure, and a spirit of collaboration can all contribute to a region’s success. It is important for leaders and stakeholders to work together to prioritize these components and ensure that their region is well-positioned for long-term growth and prosperity.

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