Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms spoke to a sold out crowd of 800 at the Chamber’s Virginia Beach State of the City on March 18.
During his address at the luncheon, Sessoms formally announced that Avis will be relocating 100 senior management positions from New Jersey to Virginia Beach. He said, “The bulk of these jobs are being created for our Hampton Roads region, and those jobs will average $70,000 a year excluding benefits. What a strong boost for our economy!” In addition, Sessoms mentioned that Geico, headquarterd at Corporate Landing, has plans to add another 110 new jobs here.
The mayor spoke about the development and growth of Town Center and Princess Anne Commons, as well as the enhancements at the Oceanfront.
With the recession and budget cuts happening throughout the nation, Sessoms said, “We will be challenged. We will have to trim some programs, and we may have to find some new revenue sources.” He explained that hard economic times have affected the city, its businesses, and its residents.
Sessoms asked the crowd, “Twenty years down the road, what will Virginia Beach be like?” He is focused on becoming a more cohesive region, and added that ensuring Hampton Roads was connected to national high speed rail would be a top priority. Sessoms said, “The key elements of our economy – the military, tourism and business travel – are all tied into a transportation system, and that’s why I believe such linkages are absolutely necessary to ensure the continued economic growth and competitiveness of the state’s urban centers.” He created a Mayor’s Alternative Energy Task Force last year and explained that the city has many of the tools to make green industry viable. He said, “We could be, we should be the Silicon Valley of alternative energy.” Sessoms said he supports the Navy’s efforts for a new outlying landing field to support carrier landing practice. He added, “I plan to pull out all the stops to keep all our carriers here at home.”
Click here to read the entire speech.
Thank you to sponsors: TowneBank (Series Presenting); Farm Fresh (Series Gold), Cox Communications (Series Media), Bon Secours Virginia Health System (Series Bronze), Tivest Development and Construction, LLC (Series Partner); and Virginia Beach Convention Center (Host).