WFXR: Pulaski County Looks Abroad for Economic Development

(FROM WFXR NEWS) PULASKI COUNTY, VA – Turkish dignitaries concluded a three-stop tour of the New River Valley Tuesday at New River Community College, which showed off machinery and a future workforce they hope are worthy of investment.

It’s all part of an ongoing economic relationship between Turkey and Pulaski County, which leaders hope will pay off down the road.

“Sometimes, the most unlikely of relationships are the most fruitful,” said Jonathan Sweet, county administrator for Pulaski County.

His signature is on the bottom of a proclamation to make January 29th, 2019 “Republic of Turkey Day.”

“Their visit here demonstrates that we’ve got something to showcase, and there’s something special here,” he said.

He helped host two Turkish dignitaries Tuesday for a tour around New River Community College, a day after the pair made stops at Virginia Tech and Radford.

He’s not the only one thinking in dollar signs.

“Actually, we are trying to increase our trade volume, we are trying to increase our investment both ways,” said Mustafa Koca, the Chief Commercial Counselor of the Turkish Embassy.

Koca represents a country ranked 20th in GDP, with growing automotive, petrochemical, and electronics industries; according to the the IMF and CIA, respectively.

In a 2018 release on NewRiverValley.org, Sweet writes in part, “More than 1,000 new jobs having come from (international) companies in the last 18 months.”

“And that they’re not going to find a better workforce anywhere in Virginia, anywhere in the U.S., than right here in Pulaski County,” he said.

Koca says he’s impressed with what he saw, but only time will tell how that translates economically.

Sweet hopes to leave the pair with a central message.

“That we are a welcoming community. That we are the center for international business is southwestern Virginia. And there is a place for foreign direct investment to be made here in Pulaski County, here in the New River Valley,” he said.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”