Reinvent Hampton Roads is an outgrowth of a community leadership initiative of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation launched in 2012 focusing on regional economic competitiveness and became a 501(c)(3) non-profit in January 2016. Our organization serves as a community frame for game-changing activity that will improve the economic performance and profile of the region over time. Our goal is to find an “aspirational strategy” that embraces the region’s traditional employment sectors while also attracting and nurturing new employers, entrepreneurs, and industries.
The strategic focus of Reinvent Hampton Roads is creating more and higher paying jobs, building a culture where entrepreneurship can thrive and diversifying the economy. What we do is based upon sound research, an understanding that this is a long-term commitment, and that we will only succeed if there is collaboration, communication and an alignment of many efforts and initiatives throughout the region.
Why We Exist
For centuries Hampton Roads’ economy was buffered by the military, port and tourism, which provided thousands of jobs and insulated the region from economic downturns. Recently these three bedrock industries accounted for 55% of the region’s nearly $93 billion economy (with 46% directly tied to defense-related jobs).
In recent years, cuts in military spending, increased port mechanization and a mature tourism industry have led to job losses in Hampton Roads. The region ranks low in percentage of high-tech firms and rapidly growing companies. Reinvent Hampton Roads is an effort to support existing industries while nurturing new businesses and opportunities.
The world’s economy is changing, and we want the Hampton Roads region of Virginia to excel in:
- creating great jobs
- helping businesses and entrepreneurs thrive
- diversifying our economy