Jobs & the Economy
The coronavirus pandemic has devastated our economy — upending small businesses and working families across the Commonwealth.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Virginians have faced record rates of unemployment, our small businesses have struggled to survive. And no one has been hit harder than women and people of color. With more than 800,000 unemployment claims filed in Virginia since March 2020, it’s clear that we must do everything we can to get our economy back up and running safely.
Record & Experience
In direct response to these struggles, I launched the Rebuilding Virginia Economic Council, bringing together business leaders and small business owners to provide policy recommendations to jump start our economy and ensure its durability once the pandemic has passed.
Leveraging our existing partnerships, I introduced amendments to the state budget to expand two key workforce development programs — the Virginia Jobs Investment Program and the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program. These programs would have given Virginians the skills they need to be competitive in today’s economy. I also proposed an additional amendment to establish a tax credit for the purchase of personal protective equipment for small businesses, veterans’ organizations, and certain non-profit groups. I was proud that the state budget ultimately included funding for job training to help those affected by job losses due to COVID-19.
However, even prior to the pandemic, I fought to make the Commonwealth one of the best states in the nation to do business. I was proud to support and pass legislation that doesn’t just get our existing workforce what it needs to succeed, but also prepares the next generations of Virginians to drive our economy forward.
As Delegate, I:
- Fought to maximize job creation and give small businesses access to capital and resources they need to succeed.
- Passed bipartisan legislation to give veterans greater access to the capital they need to start and grow a business
- Co-sponsored a bill that rewards companies for creating jobs in underserved communities
- Passed legislation to give small minority-owned businesses more opportunities to secure contracts with utilities
- Passed legislation to provide greater access to coding courses in high school, preparing our students for the 21st Century economy
- Passed a bill allowing local school divisions to enter into College and Career Access Pathways Partnerships with community colleges. Because of these efforts, I was named 2020 Policymaker of the Year by the Virginia Association for Career and Technical Education, and received a Free Enterprise Award from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce in 2018.
Plan as Governor
As Governor, I will cut red tape for businesses, bring diverse, high-paying jobs to the Commonwealth, and support small, Women and Minority owned businesses. Furthermore, I will expand high-paying clean energy jobs in the Commonwealth and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure to create thousands of long-term, good-paying jobs.