There’s only one constant in life and that is change.
Never in our history have these words been more true for us as business people, family members, and citizens.
Facing numerous crises simultaneously — a pandemic, social justice, and more — is challenging us like never before, but also offering us opportunities to grow and adapt. To change.
Our workplace has changed, but we can work together to adapt and operate safely. We must operate in different ways with precautions and a renewed focus on taking care of our employees so they can take care of our customers and our businesses. This is why I am proud of the work the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce has done in partnership with the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance in securing Go Virginia funding to build a “one-stop” website and information hub for businesses in the region.
I encourage you to visit novabacktowork.com where you will find information on business continuity, recovery, and workforce training.
It also demonstrates we are stronger together when we work together. And we are doing just that in partnering with Northern Virginia Community College; George Mason University; the Arlington/Alexandria and Fairfax/Loudoun/Prince William workforce boards; the Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Loudoun and Prince William economic development authorities; and the Alexandria, Arlington, Loudoun, Prince William, Dulles Regional and Reston chambers of commerce.
As we approach the season of giving, it's more important than ever to also focus on helping those in our communities most deeply affected by this crisis. Groups like the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia, Northern Virginia Family Services, Food For Others and many more are doing vital work to support our community. Please take time to help them. Thanks also to Cox Communications during this crisis for supporting our community with donations of 105,000 masks to Inova, large grants to food banks and to the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools Access Fund. Additionally, through Connect2Compete, Cox is offering low-cost Internet service to families in need with no deposits and no installation fees. The company is providing two months of free service, wifi modems, and is waiving late fees. Because we know that an Internet connection is needed for every family now more than ever.
In terms of social justice, we also must change. Northern Virginia’s enormous diversity is a tremendous strength and a proven magnet for the best companies and best workers. But we must continue to broaden opportunities for all, and so I am pleased to announce that our Executive Committee has approved a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategic plan. It will include opportunities for us to all work together to strengthen our region. It will also make it clear that systemic racism has no home in Northern Virginia. I am proud of the work my company, Cox Communications, is doing in this area. We've established a $1 million fund to help organizations that support social justice and civil and human rights, conducted town halls and forums in every department and at every level, and recently our CEO, Alex Taylor, led a conversation with The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah at an all-employee meeting. We are focused on empowering our employees and our communities to bring about positive change.
In Northern Virginia, let’s commit to taking this opportunity of unprecedented change to move our region forward and come out stronger. Northern Virginia is #BetterTogether.
2020-2021 Chair, Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Vice President Northern Virginia, Cox Communications