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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia's incoming secretary of commerce and trade is eying incentives and small business as the keys to the state's success.

When Bob Sledd takes office on Jan. 16., he will oversee commerce in a state experiencing an unemployment rate hovering around 6.5 percent, well below the U.S. average of 9.5 percent.

While Virginia's location, work environment and tax laws make it very business-friendly, the 57-year-old said more must be done to bring jobs to the state.

For example, Sledd said the Governor's Opportunity Fund meant to support industrial development projects is 'woefully underfunded' compared to other states. Incoming Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell vowed during his campaign to double the fund.

Sledd is the former chief executive of food distribution company Performance Food Group.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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