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Kaine Discusses Economic Development, Workforce Training In Bedford Co., Danville & South Boston

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine visited Bedford County and South Boston to learn more about regional economic development efforts and hosted an open house at his Danville office. In Bedford County, Kaine toured the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) that works to bring public and private partners together to foster innovation and encourage workforce development in the fields of science and technology. While at the facility, Kaine also visited international energy technology company Babcock & Wilcox and learned about its B&W mPower™ small modular reactor program located at CAER, which is much smaller than a traditional nuclear reactor. Throughout the tour, Kaine expressed his support for CAER's efforts to promote economic growth in Southside.

"The region is already a leader in nuclear energy research and manufacturing. The center offers us the ability to accelerate that leadership for the benefit of the nation and the Lynchburg economy," said Kaine. "I applaud the five local governments in the region who have partnered with the center and pledge to do what I can to convince Congress that the foolish sequester, which reduces Department of Defense and Department of Energy funding for energy research, should be replaced."

In the afternoon, Kaine hosted an open house in Danville to welcome members of the community to his new regional office and introduce his staff. Kaine spoke about his experience in the Senate and the critical services his Danville regional office offers the Southside community. Kaine has six regional offices located in Richmond, Manassas, Danville, Virginia Beach, Norton and Roanoke. 

"It's always great to be back in Southside and see so many friends from local government, the business community, and other congressional offices including Congressman Hurt who is located next door," Kaine said at his open house in Danville.  "Anyone across Virginia can always call or write to us in Washington but there's no substitute for the person-to-person contact and assistance that constituents across Southside can access at my Danville office."

In the afternoon, Kaine visited the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) that offers educational services and workforce training to local Virginians. On his tour of the facility, Kaine spoke with employees about the center’s efforts to help individuals, particularly those living in rural areas, develop advanced technical skills and grow a talented workforce in the region.

Throughout the day, Kaine discussed the importance of workforce training programs that will increase hiring and help Southside lead the way in a 21st century economy. As governor, Kaine supported economic development in Southside and helped make the New College Institute in Martinsville a reality, which is now training the next generation of Virginia's workers.