Virginia Holds IT Summit

Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore's Commission on Information Technology meets today to come up with recommendations on how the six regions of the state can work more closely to leverage information technology as an engine to stimulate and support economic growth.

The commission held regional meetings throughout the state during March and April in anticipation of today's summit. Made up of technology and business leaders, members of the General Assembly and relevant Cabinet secretaries, the commission was established to strengthen Virginia's position in the IT industry.

The day-long program -- being held at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon -- will include the presentation of a report developed during earlier meetings. The report is expected to include a recommendation for a detailed "cluster analysis" of technology-based industries. It also will propose maximizing the potential of Virginia's communications infrastructure -- from regional air service to increased telecommunications services.

A similar report presented last year on a comprehensive state Internet policy resulted in six pieces of new legislation that earned national attention.

The Commission on Information Technology is scheduled to meet again Sept. 1 at George Mason University in Fairfax, where the group will address solutions on attracting and educating more IT workers to support the Virginia's booming economy.

-- Heather Hayes (hbhayes@cfw.com)

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