VMA Port Day 2024


RICHMOND, VA | On February 8th, VMA held a successful 2024 Port Day at the General Assembly. Over 70+ VMA members split into 21 teams, engaging with 85+ state delegates and senators advocating priorities crucial for the maritime and supply chain industries. These interactions promoted valuable one-on-one discussions with regional decision-makers, serving to introduce the Virginia Maritime Association and its members to newly elected officials while also strengthening bonds with existing ones.

VMA’s Port Day kicked off the previous evening with a Legislative Reception providing an informal environment for VMA members to make connections with members of the General Assembly and officials in Governor Youngkin’s administration. The following day, teams embarked on visits to legislators at the General Assembly Building, initiating dialogues on pressing maritime and supply chain issues. The event concluded with a luncheon featuring The Honorable George “Bryan” Slater, Secretary of Labor, Commonwealth of Virginia, as the guest speaker, who addressed critical aspects of maritime workforce development.

Key legislative priorities discussed during the event included:

  1. Workforce Development: Advocating for programs and initiatives to attract, retain, and develop talent in maritime and supply chain industries.

  2. Freight Transportation & Economic Development: Supporting measures to enhance Virginia’s freight transportation networks to attract investments and create jobs.

  3. Site Readiness: Endorsing continued investments in business ready sites and infrastructure to seize market opportunities.

  4. Energy Resilience: Backing policies ensuring access to sustainable energy sources to fortify Virginia’s industrial supply chain base.

Teams advocated for specific legislative actions, including supporting initiatives such as Talent Attraction and the Creation of Standardized Credits & High School Graduation Credentials to address workforce challenges. They also endorsed measures such as the International Trade Plan and the Mount Rogers Planning District Inland Port to bolster freight transportation and economic development.

Additionally, there was support for proposals like Business Ready Sites funding and the Establishment of Business Ready Expedited Permitting Program to enhance site readiness. Moreover, bills like Energy Efficiency Grant Identification & Application Assistance received backing to ensure energy resilience and sustainability.

The success of the 2024 “VMA Port Day” underscores the collective commitment of VMA members to advocate for policies fostering growth, competitiveness, and resilience within the maritime and supply chain industries and building relationships with legislators. VMA continues to collaborate, advocate, represent, and drive positive change for our members, industry, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

2024 VMA Port Day

VMA Board member Clyde Clark, VPA Board Commissioner Ed O'Callaghan, and VMA Executive Director David White presented port artwork to the Speaker of the House Don Scott during Port Day. This is one of several pieces which will be displayed on loan from VMA in the Speaker's offices in the General Assembly Building.