The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Regional Board of Directors and Trustees are provided opportunities to hear firsthand about economic development in the region, transportation issues, laws, and updates on our Military. Senator Frank Wagner, Andrea Kilmer, President of the ESG Companies, and Phillip Hucles, Attorney with Willcox Savage, P.C., enlightened our board members on what’s happening in the region.
State Senator Frank Wagner discussed the Wallops Flight Facility opportunity and transportation issues in Hampton Roads. Senator Wagner, received overwhelming support for Wallops Flight Facility being the permanent East Coast base for the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft from not only the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce but from our U.S. Senators and Congressmen. Not far from Wallops at NAS Patuxent River and Naval Air Systems Command, is where Triton was developed and tested, proposing another valid reason why Wallops would be the best resident for them. Wallops Island is also centrally located in the Mid-Atlantic, with uncrowded airspace and no encroachment issues. Senator Wagner also touched on the widening of 64, phase 1 of Jefferson and 199, the 264-64 interchange being awarded, and the contract for the high rise bridge has also been awarded.
Andrea Kilmer, President / CEO of The ESG Companies, briefed the Board and Trustees about the Virginia Beach Arena. Breaking ground by the end of 2016, the arena’s vision is to serve the Hampton Roads Region. This arena will be an economic catalyst to the Virginia Beach area, especially during the offseason. Creating jobs, attracting top tier events, bringing in big name performers, and creating memories for families and residents of Hampton Roads, are just a handful of beneficial qualities that this arena will bring to the region. “I want to thank the Chamber. You guys have been along the way, every step of the way, three years. I can’t tell you how many city council presentations, how many public hearings, town halls and you’ve [Chamber] been there supporting us every single step.”-Andrea Kilmer. Click here to view Andrea Kilmer's slides.
Phillip H. Hucles, Attorney with Willcox Savage, P.C. informed the board about the new Labor Law Changes that will take effect on December 1, 2016. The minimum salary requirements for white collar exemptions will more than double the current requirement. In order to exempt this new law, employees will have to make $47,476 per year/ $913 per week. The last time the minimum salary threshold was adjusted was in 2004 but will now be adjusted every three years. Hucles shared how to implement the changes, what industries, jobs, and earnings would be most affected, and what steps companies should take now to assure they abide by these guidelines starting December 1, 2016. Click here to read more about the new Overtime Changes and view Hucles’ slides.