Friday, September 14, 2012

Delegate Mike Watson - Newsletter Sept. 14, 2012






93rd District Citizens Jim and Carole Sheahan with Governor Walker

September Update


Friday Sept. 14th




Another summer has flown by.  Kids are back in school and we are well into election season for the 2012 presidential, congressional and many local races.  Now that Virginia is considered a swing state, we have seen an increase in political advertising and news coverage.  That's great for our economy and puts the national spotlight on the Commonwealth.  More importantly, it means that we will have a significant say in the direction of our nation - as it should be.  There will be an unprecedented effort on both sides to maximize voter turnout and it is critical that each of us does all we can to help.  If you've ever thought about getting involved in a campaign, this is the time to do it.  Whether you've ever contributed to a campaign or not, this is the time to do it.  Think of your grand kids sitting on your knee a few years down the road.  You can tell them, "I did all that I could, gave time and money, to see that you would be able to experience the American Dream".  We have an opportunity in just a few weeks to put the U.S. back on a path to strength and prosperity, but it will only happen if Virgina citizens stand up for the principles that this nation was founded upon. 


End of summer also means that we are just a few months away from the General Assembly's 2013 session.  Throughout the spring and summer I have been meeting with businesses, individuals, localities and organizations to develop legislative priorities.  I will begin submitting bills to Legislative Services for drafting in October once we get a few more details worked out.  I will also be meeting with the Business Development Caucus (more info in newsletter) on  Oct. 3rd to put together its legislative agenda for the coming session.  Once I've submitted bills and had a chance to review the draft language, I will decide which to carry.  As that happens, I'll provide updates and information on how you can track progress.  It can be an exciting process and I encourage you to watch and participate when there is an issue that matters to you.


On Saturday, I'll be joining Congressman Scott Rigell in the Denbigh Day Parade then spending time with the Kiwanis Club at the JCC Shrimp Feast in the afternoon.  On Sunday, I'll slip out of the Williamsburg Chapel just in time to fire the start pistol at the 35th Annual James River Swim for the American Cancer Society at Jamestown Beach.  I will be working from my GAB office on Monday and will speak in the Cemetery Work Study Committee meeting that afternoon.  Citizens of James City are very familiar with some of the issues that arose out of a 2012 bill, HB 316, that could have had a significant impact in the community and while I've not taken an official position on this local issue itself, I will stay on top of the committee's progress to assure its actions do not inadvertently decide this issue.


I'll be traveling back to Pulaski County on Tuesday in my role as a board member on a Community College Educational Foundation.  I was in Pulaski earlier this month meeting with executives of Volvo Trucking as they have selected the Pulaski site as their North American Headquarters.  While there, I also met representatives of an Ohio based metal stamping company that's establishing a VA manufacturing facility creating over 100 new Virginia jobs to support the Volvo Truck plant.  


As we ramp up the 2012 election season and prepare for the 2013 session I'll keep you informed of my legislative activities.  In the meantime, please contact my office if I can be of assistance.  Also, be sure to 'Like Me' if you're a Facebook user or just visit my website at  to get the most up to the minute information. 


Thank you for the opportunity to serve.


Respectfully yours,






Contact Me:


As always, whether in Richmond or in the district, we are here to serve you. Contact our district office at:  (757) 345-6319 or email:



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This Newsletter paid for by

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Business Development Caucus

Earlier this year, I wrote to you about the Business Development Caucus (“BDC”), a new bi-partisan endeavor that I, along with three House colleagues, founded to promote the growth and success of Virginia businesses and to increase employment.   Since May, we have held a series of business leader Town Hall type meetings across the Commonwealth to gain input directly from business owners and leaders about existing legislation that inhibits growth and new legislative ideas that would promote it.  I am pleased to report that the BDC is on the road to great success.  We have already met with over 100 companies in Roanoke, Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, and Richmond and have two more events planned in Danville and Culpepper.  By going directly to the source, we are learning about issues, some we did not know existed and others that we did not realize were a problem. We are hearing ideas that will help clear the path for these businesses to expand. We have already identified several potential legislative initiatives for the 2013 session. BDC Founders Delegates Head, Webert, Ramadan and I, as well as members of the Governor’s policy team, have attended. We’ve also been joined by many of the 23 charter members when in their region, including Hampton Roads Delegates Stolle and Yancey.  Our most recent Town Hall also included Speaker of the House of Delegates, William Howell.  By having so many participants present to learn first-hand the challenges these businesses are facing, we will have a strong team to promote any legislation that we put forth.  As the recent Op-Ed in the Daily Press stated, ”in the past, small businesses have too often been left out of legislative conversations. It's time Virginia afforded them a stronger voice”.  I’m grateful that the DP recognizes the importance of this new caucus and I look forward to seeing new jobs created through its success. If you would like to see the DP article search terms:  "Daily Press Let's Do Business"


Jefferson Lab

You’ll remember that one of the initiatives I successfully carried this year was support for the Free Electron Lab (“FEL”) upgrade at Jefferson Lab in Newport News. In my presentation to the House Appropriations Committee and members of the Senate Finance Committee, I was able to give examples in which JLab promoted economic development in the Commonwealth and acted as a catalyst for new companies.  So, I was pleased to read that another new company will be spawned from work at its FEL.  The new Nanotube company will produce a high-tech structure to be used for defense, industrial, and medical applications, among others.  This new manufacturer will initially create 20 high-tech jobs in Newport News and has great potential for growth.  I’m looking forward to watching developments at JLab and the opportunities for jobs and innovation that will result from the FEL upgrade.  You can see my speech on the House floor about Jefferson Labs and other topics at:


Election 2012

As this newsletter is published, there are only 53 days until Election Day.  Undoubtedly, there are stark philosophical contrasts between the two presidential candidates as well as between the Congressional and even local candidates, one offering a promise of economic growth and opportunity, the other promoting a dependence on government.  Most of us would expect the American people to overwhelmingly choose the former.  However, with so many citizens now relying on government subsidies, and with the perceived diminished hope of ever getting back on their own feet, it’s not surprising that each will be a very close race.  Because there is so much at stake and because many issues are complex, it is important that voters have as much information as possible prior to November 6th.  Fortunately, there are many opportunities to learn.  First, there are debates including:  Oct. 3rd on Domestic Policy, Oct. 11 on Foreign and Domestic, Oct. 16th again on Foreign and Domestic, and Oct. 22nd on Foreign Policy.  There is also a VP Debate on Oct. 11th that should prove to be informative, if not entertaining.  Information is available at GOP Headquarters in York and James City Counties and at the Victory Center in Newport News.  I encourage you to invite friends and family to join you as you learn.  Also, tonight I will be speaking to citizens in one JCC neighborhood about the impact of the election specifically on the Commonwealth as there are huge implications on issues such as Medicaid, Defense Spending, Energy, and Jobs among others.   If you are interested in hosting a similar event for your neighbors, whether decided or undecided, please let my office know and if available, I will come to your home or gathering place as well.  As a small business owner and believer that we can regain our nation’s footing and once again offer a promise of opportunity and success for all citizens, I am a supporter of the Romney/Allen/Wittman (and Wright in JCC) tickets in the 93rd district.  That said, I will be open and candid in these presentations recognizing that folks simply want to hear the facts.  You can reach my office by calling (757) 345-6310 or via email at Remember, the result of your efforts in the next 53 days may change your life and will certainly impact the opportunities and challenges that our children and grandchildren will face. 


Workforce Development and Job Opportunities

Since 1989, my company has employed a variety of craftsmen and technicians.  Among the employee trends that became apparent in the late 1990s was the increasing average age of qualified applicants.  Young people were simply not pursuing the trades as a career.  My company was forced to expand its recruiting reach, significantly increase its investment in training, and eventually merge with another company in 2006 due in part to the limited employee pool.  Since then, working alongside the Virginia Community College System, I have strived to introduce young adults to the opportunities available to skilled craftsmen and women.  In a recent meeting with Joe Johnson, Executive Director at New Horizons Regional Education Center, I learned that they have identified over 11,000 Hampton Roads jobs that will need to be filled in the next four years by workers skilled in electrical, mechanical, welding, and other trades, most with an emphasis on technology and high tech manufacturing.  Helping to train future employees for these high-paying and available jobs has been a major initiative for me prior to my election and now as a member of the General Assembly.  There are some state supported programs in place today to facilitate training for these jobs and I plan to introduce additional measures to further this effort.  New Horizons is also working to expand its ability to train for these jobs and I hope to have a role in accomplishing this important goal.  But, having the tools to train is only half the battle.  It is important to get this information to students and their parents so that they understand the career opportunities that exist.  If you are affiliated with the education system or are a parent, guardian, or grandparent of a middle or high school student, I urge you to encourage your school to introduce these “marketable skills” opportunities to students.   As I often state in my speeches on education, I’ve not seen Philosophy, Inc. advertising in the help wanted section in quite some time. 


National Governor’s Association

Back in July the Commonwealth of Virginia hosted the National Governor’s Association annual retreat conference right here in the 93rd district.  This was a great event drawing Governor’s, staff and others from around the nation and offered a wonderful opportunity to showcase our region.  I had the honor to join Governor McDonnell in welcoming our guests to the district at the Friday night Jamestown Settlement event.  While there, I had the opportunity to meet Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his family and can attest that he is as down to earth and personable as you might imagine.  After sharing with him that a couple outside the event waiving pro-Walker signs were neighbors and constituents, he offered to take time away from his busy Saturday schedule to meet them.  He did and they were thrilled.  Just this week Governor McDonnell announced that a $50,000 donation from private funds raised to support the NGA conference, was made to the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial, a project honoring public safety personnel killed in the line of duty.  Thank you Governor, on behalf of the 93rd district and the families of fallen heroes.







To keep up with Delegate Watson's activities, legislative initiatives and important updates from the General Assembly, be sure to "Like" his Facebook page by clicking here.


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Contact Delegate Watson

Phone: (757) 345-6310     Email:

Mail: PO Box 6598 Williamsburg, VA 23188

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