RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam  released the following statement celebrating CNBC’s upgraded ranking of Virginia as the fourth top state in the nation for doing business. CNBC ranked the Commonwealth as the seventh best state in 2017.

“We welcome CNBC’s recognition of our administration’s work to make Virginia work better for families and businesses in every corner of our Commonwealth,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “This upgraded ranking affirms our move to make 21st-century workforce development a cabinet-level priority and our bipartisan agreement to streamline regulatory requirements facing hard-working Virginians.

“The budget I signed weeks ago will continue the Commonwealth’s positive economic trajectory: creating jobs and strengthening our workforce by expanding health care access, deepening our investments in core economic priorities like education and career training, and strengthening the cash reserves we need for the next economic downturn. I look forward to building on this momentum and returning Virginia to its rightful place at the top of the list.”

CNBC scores all 50 states on their business competitiveness each year. The Top States methodology weights 10 major categories based on analysis of state’s economic development plans. The top three categories for 2018 were Workforce, Infrastructure and Cost of Doing Business.