Lego prepared for questions about Youngkin, critical race theory in Va.

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RICHMOND – Lego Group delivered a major gift to Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) this week with plans to open a $ 1 billion plant in Chesterfield County, but it briefly released a document with frequently asked questions that seemed to distance the company from Youngkin’s conservative attitude towards race and the environment.

Frequently asked questions are no longer available online, but were seen by several news reporters – at least one of whom has posted pictures of it on Twitter. At a time when Walt Disney Co. is in conflict with the state of Florida due to LGBTQ policies, and large corporations often make business decisions based on social issues, the document highlights questions about whether Youngkins’ right-wing tilt will affect Virginia’s reputation in the country. the business world.

Noting that Youngkin “has made banning ‘critical race theory’ in the K-12 classroom a key pillar of his policy,” the FAQ asked if Lego supports this position.

“We stand against racism and inequality,” the company said in response to its own question, adding that Lego has “donated to organizations that support black children and educate all children about racial equality.”

Another question asked why the company would locate “in a state where the governor supports non-renewable energy, such as coal, and is critical of investment in renewable energy?”

Lego replied to itself that they had done a lot of research on the state and were convinced that it could implement an “ambitious sustainability agenda.” The new plant, which will employ more than 1,700 people, is designed to be carbon neutral and has a solar power plant.

“Virginia is one of fewer than a dozen states that have a 100 percent carbon neutrality commitment, and we are excited to do our part by investing in the on-site photovoltaic system to provide the energy we need to run our factory,” the frequently asked questions continued .

Youngkin has criticized the ambitious renewable energy agenda adopted last year when Democrats controlled the General Assembly and the governor’s mansion, and has promised to pull the state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – a multi-state pact that sets up a cap-and-trade market for carbon emissions credits.

Frequently asked questions were briefly included on Wednesday among the fact sheets and videos that Lego’s external PR company posted around the announcement.

“The document was intended for internal use only and was shared by mistake,” Lego Group said in a written statement Thursday night, adding that the company “looks forward to starting work” at the factory “and contributing to the local economy and community. ” The facility is scheduled to open in the second half of 2025.

Youngkins spokeswoman Macaulay Porter declined to comment, though she said she was not aware the FAQ had been removed.

Virginia has won CNBC’s award as the supreme state for business for a unique two years in a row, both times under Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. The award singled out Virginia for inclusive guidelines such as diversity requirements for government agencies, expanded access to voting, and anti-discrimination protection for LGBTQ workers.

Youngkin was recognized for his diversity practices when he was CEO of Carlyle Group’s private equity firm, but has taken a far harder line since running for office last year.

He courted the GOP’s red base with serious warnings about critical race theory, an academic framework for the study of systemic racism that was not on Virginia’s K-12 curriculum, and made a ban on the subject his first act as governor. He also launched an effort to remove racial equality programs from schools and established a “tip line” for parents to accuse teachers or administrators of exposing children to topics they find objectionable.

The state continues to land new businesses under Youngkin, who has called economic development a priority. In addition to promoting the Lego announcement, Youngkin has claimed recent decisions by Boeing and Raytheon to move its headquarters to Arlington.

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