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Secretary of the Navy Gordon England will join Congressman J. Randy Forbes, Congresswoman Thelma Drake and Old Dominion University President Roseann Runte at a roundtable discussion of the state's modeling and simulation industry from 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, at ODU's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) in Suffolk.

The roundtable lunch will bring together local, state and national officials with key business and education leaders to discuss modeling and simulation in Hampton Roads. On the table will be aspects of area transportation, infrastructure, educational and technology issues that will affect the region's ability to attract additional modeling and simulation businesses in the years to come.

"Just last year the modeling and simulation industry contributed more than $413 million to Hampton Roads' economic output and it supported more than 4,000 jobs in our region," Forbes said. "This industry is bringing in average annual salaries of $59,000, nearly double the average salary of workers in Hampton Roads. This is an industry well-worth cultivating in our area."

While the industry is primarily a cutting-edge military initiative, the field stands on the brink of revolutionizing the medical, aerospace, homeland security, transportation, urban planning, environmental, and education industries.

Following brief remarks from congressional leaders and representatives from ODU, participants will take a walking tour of simulators and then engage in an informal roundtable discussion with representatives from large and small regional modeling and simulation companies. Officials invited to attend include the Mayors and Economic Development Directors from the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach as well as the Virginia's Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Virginia's Secretary of Technology and the Chairman of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

The Media is invited to attend, but are asked to contact Christy Boardman at Christy.Boardman@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-6365 due to space constraints.

This article was posted on: February 22, 2005

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