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The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) announced earlier this month the acceptance of a Bedford County company, Sentry Equipment Erectors, Inc., into its two-year Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program. The VALET program assists companies in the Commonwealth that are committed to international exporting as a growth strategy. To participate, each business must meet both quantitative and qualitative selection criteria. Participating firms are chosen based on their dedication to growing export sales. Only 25 companies per year are accepted into the program. To date, 325 Virginia companies have been accepted to participate in the VALET program.

Benefits of the program include executive training, internationals sales plan development, educational events, and customized research. The VALET program generates an average increase in international sales of 54% for participating companies.

“VALET is a core component of VEDP’s efforts to help Virginia companies explore international markets and enhance the economic vitality of the Commonwealth,” said VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret. “This award-winning program has made it possible for more than 300 homegrown businesses to successfully navigate the changing global marketplace and increase international sales, creating valuable trade and trade-related jobs and contributing meaningful growth to Virginia’s economy.”

“Sentry is very honored to be accepted into the VALET program”, said Greg Goff, Vice President of Sales for Sentry Equipment. “We feel that international sales will benefit our growth moving forward.”

Including Sentry, Bedford County currently has three companies who are part of the VALET program—Blue Ridge Optics and Innerspec.

Currently, the VALET program has 49 companies as participants. The program provides participating companies with export planning services and assistance from a team of experienced international service providers to help meet their international goals. These private sector service providers contribute essential expertise to assist companies in executing export plans and include attorneys, web designers, bankers, translators, accountants, and freight forwarders.

Read the full release from the VEDP.