Business and government officials from across Virginia gathered in Front Royal Tuesday to address the state of Virginia’s ports.
The event, hosted by the Virginia Maritime Association at the Hospitality Drive Holiday Inn, highlighted the job growth in the region associated with the ports and in particular, the inland port in Front Royal–referred to by officials with the port authority as the gateway to the American heartland.
“The state of the port is quite strong,” said John Reinhart, the Chief Executive Office of the Virginia Port Authority. “There’s been almost a billion dollars invested in this area since we opened the Virginia Inland Port. It’s created 8,000, 9,000 jobs.”
Across the commonwealth, Reinhart says more than $4 billion have been invested in the past four years and more than 15,000 jobs were created.
The Authority plans to expand the inland port in the near future to bring new jobs and more companies to the area, all the while reducing its carbon footprint by relying more heavily on railways and waterways, rather than highways.
This plan will also help to reduce congestion on roadways, such as Interstate-81, creating a sustainable model for other areas of the country, says Reinhart.
“We’re sending a message to the world, ‘Virginia is open for business. We want you to come to Virginia, and we want to move your cargo across Virginia and create jobs for Virginia.”