This article originally appeared in The News Virginian on December 12, 2018.
STAUNTON — The Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce (GARCC) 2018 Legislative Breakfast was held on Wednesday, filling the ballroom of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center. Carolyn Bragg, vice chair of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, and Jay Langston, the new executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, were among members of the audience.
“I always like to come and get updates on what’s important to Augusta County,” said Bragg, who is the South River Magisterial District supervisor. “It’s just good to hear their views and see what’s going to happen in the upcoming session.”
While Bragg stressed that everything talked about at the breakfast is important, some of the issues that stood out to her were the work to improve Interstate-81, as well as career and technical education.
“You have to have the support to improve the interstate,” she said. “Many know it’s a safety issue, it’s an economic issue. It’s very important to the state of Virginia from top to bottom.”
Langston started in his new role in November, which is why he was so interested in the legislative breakfast. Shenandoah Valley Partnership is a local economic development group.
“The very reason I’m here is so that I can better understand what’s going on from the legislative end,” said Langston. “But also meet some of the people that are engaged in business and government in the region.”
Before accepting his current position, he worked for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, so he already knew several of the people he met at the event.
“I also was very pleased to sit with a couple superintendents of the school systems, Augusta and Waynesboro,” Langston said. “They’re a very important part of our ecosystem.”
Upcoming for the GARCC is their monthly “Chamber 101” meeting on Dec. 20 for new members of the organization, as well as their “Morning Brew” networking event at the Fishburne Military School on Dec. 21. More information about these and other events can be found on the group’s website: augustava.com.