By Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Two local governments in northern Virginia are launching an exchange program with jurisdictions in southwest and Southside Virginia under a program initiated by Gov. Ralph Northam.

The governor announced Wednesday that his local government exchange program will began on a pilot basis with an exchange between Alexandria and the city of Norton and surrounding Wise County. Loudoun County in northern Virginia will partner with the city of Danville.

Northam says the exchange program will give local government firsthand experience with the state’s diversity.

Wise County and Norton, for instance, are closer geographically to Atlanta than they are to Alexandria, a suburb of the nation’s capital.

The exchange program is modeled on the Sister Cities International program, which has been in place since 1956.

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