Delegate Watson has pushed for additional funding in 2012 for Jefferson Laboratory that would potentially add 1,200 to 1,400 new high paying jobs.

Watson has had meetings with Governor McDonnell and other delegates to discuss funding and the facilities current particle accelerator and free electron laser.

Jefferson Labs is requesting $16 million from the state or a combination to upgrade the facility and allow scientists more research time with the free electron laser.

City Manager Neil Morgan said that by upgrading the facility, Jefferson Labs would be able to compete with similar labs like Cal Berkeley for a $1.5 billion grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The grant would double the current size of Jefferson Labs and add a new accelerator and 10 free electron lasers.

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