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Virginia Named One of America's "Most Innovative States" by Consumer Technology Association

Arlington, VA – July 24, 2017 – 

The Commonwealth of Virginia is one of the most innovative states in the country according to the Consumer Technology Association's (CTA) 2017 Innovation Scorecard. Virginia joins Maryland, Washington, Colorado, New Hampshire, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota, and Utah on earning the "Innovation Champion" designation. These states are the best places in the country to create high-paying jobs and promote innovation-friendly policies.

“We can’t build a 21st century economy with a 20th century approach,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. “That’s why Virginia is leading the nation in workforce development, smart education reform and embracing new technologies like cybersecurity, clean energy and autonomous vehicles. Thanks to these efforts we’ve seen our unemployment rate fall from 5.4 percent when I took office to 3.8 percent today -- and we’re just getting started building the new Virginia economy our families deserve. I’m honored to receive this award on behalf of the Virginians in the public, private and non-profit sectors who work every day to keep our Commonwealth on the leading edge of progress and innovation.”

"States like Virginia are the leading laboratories of democracy - and right now we have 50 experiments happening across the country, with each state working to grow their economy and be home to the next big idea," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA. "States like Virginia with leaders like Gov. McAuliffe are at the forefront of our country's effort to drive growth and encourage homegrown entrepreneurs. State legislatures and Governors across the country should look to states like Virginia as examples of how to support the innovation-friendly policies and best practices outlined in this report that advance job creation, fuel local economies and drive a state's bottom line."

According to the report, job creation is bouncing back across the country, while American entrepreneurship is on the decline.

"While the economy is growing and adding jobs, the decline in entrepreneurship is alarming," cautioned Shapiro. "Now is the time for states to start modernizing their laws to ensure startups have access to capital, minimal red tape and other low barriers to entry. History has proven that young entrepreneurial companies are the driving force of the economy. Each state needs to develop an innovation agenda if they want to be home to the next big technological revolution that will improve lives and create jobs."

Virginia joins Colorado, Massachusetts, Virginia, Washington, Minnesota and Maryland as home to the largest number of tech workers per capita.

"The technology sector supports more than 15 million American jobs and accounts for more than 10 percent of U.S. GDP," noted Shapiro. "State policies that drive innovation are critical to our nation's economic growth. Each year, our Scorecard tracks and measures the state-level practices that support entrepreneurs and innovators, whether that's the strength of a state's tech workforce or how well a state educates the workers of tomorrow. More, for the first time this year, the Scorecard grades states on their support for self-driving cars - one of the emerging tech categories that will help expand access to mobility and save lives."

The 2017 Innovation Scorecard rankings are based on ten indicators comparing economic and educational data and the regulatory frameworks for workplace flexibility, ridesharing, homesharing, self-driving cars, drones and sustainable policies. To explore the full report and read state-by-state profiles, visit www.cta.tech/scorecard.

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