HENRICO COUNTY, Virginia – Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin decorated an apron and cooked Indian dishes before meeting with small business owners in Henry’s West End.
The Republican traveled to India K’Raja on West Broad Street Thursday afternoon for a panel discussion with the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to the meeting, Youngkin baked Indian bread and chicken tikka masala with restaurant owner Tony Sappal.
“We really enjoyed our event listening to the leaders of the Asian Chamber of Commerce community,” Youngkin told CBS 6 following the discussion. “What we have heard over and over again are aspirations to grow their businesses and some of the challenges they face.”
Youngkin was joined by Del. Rodney Willet (D-Henrico) and State Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) as he called the meeting bipartisan.
He applauded the work of Sarah Bice, the first Chinese-American to own a real estate company in Glen Allen. She started her professional journey with only $ 121 in her pocket.
Youngkin said, like him, that these business owners have made the American dream come true and encouraged more people to take advantage of what America has to offer.
Still, he heard from other contractors like the owner of a construction company, Tinh Pham, who was disheartened by inconsistent rules and regulations implemented by OSHA and the Department of Labor.
Youngkin’s “Day One Game Plan” policies aimed to create 400,000 new jobs, foster 10,000 new startups and cut “job killing” regulations by 25%.
The governor-elect said the main concern he hears from business owners is the labor shortage.
“We need to recognize that training our workforce for the future will be at the heart of Virginia’s competitive profile,” Youngkin explained. “So our K-12 education needs are being reformed and that’s where charter schools and innovative curriculum come in. “
CBS 6’s Brendan King asked Youngkin if raising wages, like minimum wages, would help resolve work disparities.
“What I find over and over again is, ‘We’re already offering $ 15, $ 20 an hour plus signing bonuses to get people to come to work,” he said. is not about minimum wage, it is about getting people back to work and training them for the jobs we see. “
Youngkin will be sworn in on January 15.