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UMW to host regional economic development summit

The University of Mary Washington will host a summit Oct. 29 focused on the importance of a regional economic development strategy.

Area business leaders, economic development directors and local government administrators have been meeting with top UMW officials and consultants for some time to discuss a plan that can help the Fredericksburg-area economy grow.

The three-hour summit will represent a culmination of those discussions and economic studies. The focus will be on the need for collaboration between all stakeholders and localities in the region.

“Regional cooperation is no longer a buzz phrase,” UMW President Rick Hurley wrote in an op–ed running in Sunday’s Free Lance–Star. “For the Fredericksburg region, it is a blueprint for action.”

Along with local business leaders including Linda Worrell, Meta Braymer and Fred Rankin, Hurley has helped oversee a process that has solicited input from people in the business community on what the Fredericksburg area needs.

Many of the findings will be presented during the event, which is open to the public and starts at 7:30 a.m. at the University of Mary Washington’s Stafford County campus.

Chmura Economics and Analytics will present the results of an “industry cluster analysis” that was conducted this past summer and identifies opportunities for the regional economy.

The Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Next Generation of Business Leaders group will present the results of a recent survey of area young professionals on how to recruit and retain young workers in the region.

Other topics will include transportation, infrastructure, workforce, broadband, tourism and business co-location. The summit is called “Transformation 20/20.”

“With public and private sectors working together, we can realize the vision of a transformed region by 2020 and beyond,” Hurley wrote.

People can register for the summit at presi


Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405