Business Leaders Acknowledge School Readiness as First Step in Workforce Development

Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William & Prince William Chamber host executive briefing on quality early learning

Manassas, VA (September 12, 2016) – In Greater Prince William, 15.8% of kindergarteners begin
school already behind; more than the state average of 12.7%. Smart Beginnings Greater
Prince William and the Prince William Chamber of Commerce have partnered to present Smart
Beginnings: Job One, a luncheon and briefing for business leaders that provides information on
the role of quality early learning as the foundation for workforce success. The luncheon is scheduled
for Friday, September 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center
in the Gregory Family Theatre, 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, VA 20109.

Dr. Dietra Trent, Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia, will be the featured
speaker at the luncheon. Secretary Trent will share insights regarding the impact of school readiness
on the state’s workforce development and economic prosperity. Job One is a program of the
Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) that sheds light on the direct link between a strong
start in the early years and a vibrant and productive workforce.

Also speaking at the event will be Paul D. Koonce, Executive Vice President of Dominion Resources,
parent company of Dominion Virginia Power, and CEO of Dominion Generation.
Koonce chaired the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Blueprint Virginia process, which identified
quality early childhood education as a key driver for workforce success.

Education and economic development are key areas of vision for both the Prince William Chamber
and Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William.

“No matter their industry sector, every one of our members is seeking skilled employees who are
well-qualified for 21st century jobs,” said Debbie Jones, President and CEO of the Prince
William Chamber of Commerce. “Virginia’s business community has long recognized that the
talent pool for the future workforce begins with young children who start school healthy and
ready to learn. We are pleased to partner with Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William to bring
this message home to Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park with
the objective of awakening our membership to possibilities for building into their future employees
from birth.”

Sponsors for the Job One Luncheon include:Apple Federal Credit Union and ImagiNation Learning
Center. Additional sponsorships are available. If interested, please call Suzanne Lewis at
571-765-7753. Tickets for the Job One Luncheon are $35 per person. To purchase tickets, visit or call 703-368-6600.

About the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation
VECF creates results-oriented partnerships to ensure that young children are healthy and prepared
for school, life and workforce success. To learn more about VECF and the Smart Beginnings
initiative, visit

About Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William
Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William is a partnership of public and private agencies, businesses,
and individuals serving Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas
Park, working to enhance the quality of early childhood care and learning for young children.
Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William is a program of SPARK, the Education Foundation for
Prince William County Schools. For more information, visit or contact
Kendra Kielbasa at 703-909-0086 or

About Prince William Chamber of Commerce
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce is the strongest voice for the business community in
the Washington, DC Metropolitan region. Together with our diverse membership, representing
nearly 70,000 employees we work to create an environment where business and people thrive. To
accomplish this, we focus our efforts in the key areas of business growth, economic development,
advocacy, education and community outreach. In this way, we are building a solid foundation
for the success of our business members and our community. For more information, visit our
website at or call the Prince William Chamber at 703-368-6600.