Last week, Orbital Sciences completed the first launch of its Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
This first launch is a positive outcome of the public-private partnership between Orbital Sciences and the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA). The two have partnered since 2008 to develop and improve Pad 0A, the liquid-fuel-capable launch facility at MARS.
As a test flight, the purpose of this mission was to launch the Antares rocket and deliver a payload similar in mass to the Cygnus spacecraft into the Earth’s orbit. In addition, the mission also launched three smartphones into orbit to test them for use as satellites.
The test flight is the first of 10 Antares missions scheduled from MARS. Orbital Sciences will next perform a demonstration mission, followed by eight resupply missions, delivering cargo to the International Space Station.
As part of the new era of space exploration in the U.S., NASA is increasingly relying on corporate partners through its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program. In December 2008, NASA awarded Orbital Sciences a $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract to complete the eight resupply missions.
Through MARS, Virginia offers one of only four commercial sites authorized by the FAA for orbital space launches. MARS provides safer and lower cost access to space with an ideal trajectory for earth orbit insertion.
Virginia’s strategic location, high-tech workforce, and strong business environment continue to attract the aerospace industry. To learn why more than 230 aerospace companies call Virginia home, click here.
A view of the first Antares rocket launch from MARS at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, courtesy of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority.
Virginia received an “A” for the second year in a row from Thumbtack.com’s Small Business Friendliness Survey.
The Commonwealth also improved its rank to No. 6 in the annual study. The Kauffman Foundation and Thumbtack.com surveyed more than 7,700 small business owners nationwide to obtain the results.
Virginia outshined its competition in the mid-Atlantic. In the category of overall friendliness, Virginia received an “A” while Maryland received a “C,” North Carolina received a “B+” and Tennessee received a “B+.”
Virginia also received “A’s” for its ease in starting a business, regulations, and training and networking programs.
“For the second year, Virginia set an outstanding example of providing a supportive environment for small business,” said Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com. “Our research with thousands of small businesses points to the importance of clear and consistent regulations and relevant training programs, and these are exactly the areas where Virginia excels.”
Another bright spot for the Commonwealth is Virginia Beach, which received an “A+” and was ranked the No. 2 city for overall friendliness and No. 1 city for ease in starting a business.
Entrepreneurs continue to start their businesses in the Commonwealth because Virginia offers an innovative environment combined with the right resources. To learn more about starting a business in Virginia click here.
On Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling attended a ceremony in Rockingham County to announce the expansion of The WhiteWave Foods Company’s Mount Crawford plant. The company plans to add a warehouse facility and machinery through a $69.8 million investment, creating 36 new jobs.
WhiteWave Foods is a leading producer of premium food and beverage products. This expansion will allow the company to meet growing demand for its Silk®, Horizon Organic®, International Delight® and LAND O LAKES® products, as well as improve plant efficiency.
The Mount Crawford plant has successfully operated in Virginia for 25 years and currently employs more than 400 skilled workers.
Virginia successfully competed against Texas for this project and was chosen for its strategic East Coast location and world-class workforce.
The company has invested more than $190 million in the Mount Crawford plant since the year 2000.
This expansion adds to the thriving food and beverage industry across the Shenandoah Valley region, which includes McKee Foods, Hershey Foods, Perdue, MillerCoors, and recently announced Shamrock Farms.
Food and beverage companies have invested more than $285 million and created 608 jobs in Virginia so far in 2013. These companies continue to choose the Commonwealth due to its premier location, transportation network, workforce, and low-cost operating environment.
To learn why more than 550 food and beverage companies have established operations in the Commonwealth, click here.
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling (center right) joins company and government officials at the WhiteWave Foods ribbon-cutting ceremony in Rockingham County, Va.
From an event at Greencore Groups’ facility in Stafford County, Governor McDonnell announced the company’s plans to invest $5.75 million and create 350 new jobs in the Fredericksburg region. This is the company’s first Virginia facility following its April 2012 acquisition of the former Marketfare Foods, LLC.
Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Greencore Group is a leading producer of convenience food and prepared meals, including fresh sandwiches, salads and pastas. Governor McDonnell met with company officials in Ireland during his July 2012 European Marketing Mission.
The expansion will allow Greencore to better serve Mid-Atlantic customers, as well as expand its footprint along the East Coast.
One reason Virginia was selected for this expansion was because of the company’s positive experience with its current workforce, as well as the ability to recruit from the talented labor pool in the region.
Another benefit Virginia provided to the company was access to high-quality produce through the Commonwealth’s rich agricultural supply. The Governor recently announced that Virginia’s agricultural exports reached an all-time high of $2.61 billion in 2012.
This announcement is part of a banner two-week period for Virginia’s food and beverage industry—the Commonwealth saw the creation of 615 new jobs and more than $181 million in capital investment from four projects in this thriving sector.
Food and beverage manufacturing companies continue to choose the Commonwealth due to its skilled workforce, competitive operating environment, strategic location, premier logistics infrastructure, and access to quality ingredients. To learn more, click here.
Governor McDonnell presents a grant from the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund to Bob Thomas, Vice Chairman, Stafford County Board of Supervisors, during Greencore Group’s expansion announcement in Stafford County, Va.
On Monday, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) celebrated the grand opening of its 62,000-square-foot facility during a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Governor McDonnell. The facility is located adjacent to the 1,000-acre Rolls-Royce Crosspointe Campus in Prince George County, Va.
CCAM brings together Virginia’s leading manufacturing companies and top educational institutions in order to expedite research and turn ideas into real-world technologies and solutions. The research center focuses on two areas—surface engineering and manufacturing systems.
The facility received its full certificate of occupancy in September 2012 and has grown to include 15 manufacturing companies—Canon Virginia Inc., Chromalloy, Newport News Shipbuilding, Rolls-Royce, Sandvik Coromant, Siemens, Sulzer Metco, Aerojet, Hermle Machine Company, Mitutoyo, TurboCombustor Technology Inc., Buehler, Cool Clean Technologies, GF AgieCharmilles, and Blaser Swisslube.
In addition, the three founding universities are Virginia State University, Virginia Tech, and University of Virginia, which collectively have 50 students completing internships at CCAM.
The applied research center includes a 16,000-square-foot high bay area, five machining labs, five computational labs, a 3-D visualization lab, conference rooms, and open and modular workstations. CCAM is currently hiring and expects to have more than 100 employees made up of engineers, scientists and analysts.
According to Governor McDonnell, CCAM is a “one-of-a-kind asset.” The collaborative nature of the facility and its ability to bridge the gap between research and commercialization is expected to advance Virginia as a hub of advanced manufacturing.
To learn more about CCAM, visit www.ccam-va.com, and to find out more about Virginia’s advanced manufacturing capabilities across the Commonwealth, click here.
Governor McDonnell is joined (left to right) by Dr. Mike Beffel, CCAM Interim President & Executive Director, and Armand Lauzon, CCAM Board Chair, at the CCAM Grand Opening event in Prince George County, Va.
From New River Community College last week, Governor McDonnell announced that Red Sun Farms will establish its first U.S. location in Pulaski County, Va., to produce organic, greenhouse grown tomatoes. The $30 million investment will create 205 new jobs over the next five years.
Part of the Agricola El Rosal group based in Mexico, Red Sun Farms produces tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers using greenhouse hydroponics. The company’s high technology includes the use of hot water heating, carbon dioxide injection, climate control and fully-automated irrigation.
With plans to build a 45-acre greenhouse operation, Red Suns Farms will be the first tenant in the New River Valley Commerce Park, a 1,000-acre industrial site located four miles from I-81 and 30 minutes from Virginia Tech.
Virginia was able to successfully compete against Tennessee because Pulaski County offered the right mix of resources, including ideal climate conditions, a ready workforce, and a central location providing prime access to East Coast markets.
In addition, Pulaski County offers excess water capacity combined with very competitive electric rates. The region maintains its skilled workforce through access to 12 colleges and universities within a 60-mile radius, and provides a strong quality of life through two state parks, the Jefferson National Forest, and close proximity to the Appalachian Trial and Blue Ridge Parkway.
Virginia’s food and beverage industry continues to build momentum—just last week the Governor announced more than $176 million in capital investment and 265 new jobs in this growing sector.
To learn why food and beverage companies continue to choose the Commonwealth, investing more than $1.9 billion over the last decade, click here.
Governor McDonnell presents a Virginia flag to Thierry Legros, Red Sun Farms Managing Director, during the company’s announcement event in Pulaski County, Va.
On Friday, Governor McDonnell attended a ground-breaking ceremony to announce Shamrock Farms’ plans to build a dairy manufacturing facility in Augusta County, Va., which will bring a $50 million investment and 60 new jobs to the region.
Since its founding in 1922, Shamrock Farms has grown to become one of the largest family-owned-and-operated dairies in the U.S. This is the company’s first operation in Virginia.
During the ceremony, officials broke ground on Shamrock Farms’ state-of-the-art, 130,000-square-foot facility which will be located at Mill Place Commerce Park. This investment will allow the company to better serve the East Coast market and meet growing demand for its On-the-Go mmmmilk and Rockin’ Refuel brands.
Through its ultra-pasteurization process and airtight safety seal, Shamrock Farms’ extended shelf life products stay fresher on store shelves for longer.
Virginia successfully competed against Maryland and West Virginia because Augusta County offered the right infrastructure mix—a strong, local milk supply chain, an advanced manufacturing workforce, and a strategic location with easy access to Virginia’s premier transportation network through I-81.
Shamrock Farms is not the only food and beverage company to find success in Augusta County—McKee Foods, maker of Little Debbie® snack cakes, has operated a manufacturing plant there for more than 22 years, and credits the region’s skilled workforce with achieving significant productivity gains.
Last week alone, the Governor announced more than $176 million in capital investment and 265 new jobs in Virginia—all from the Commonwealth’s food and beverage industry.
To learn why more than 550 food and beverage manufacturing companies have established operations in the Commonwealth, including household names like Hershey Foods, Nestlé Prepared Foods, Kraft Foods, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, click here.
Governor McDonnell (third from left) is joined by company, state and local officials, as well as Roxie, the Shamrock Farms’ mascot, at the company’s ground-breaking ceremony in Augusta County, Va.
Earlier this month, VEDP Senior Economist Brian Kroll testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. The subject of the oversight hearing was “America’s Offshore Energy Resources: Creating Jobs, Securing America, and Lowering Prices.”
The subcommittee, led by Congressman Doug Lamborn, heard testimony from four experts on how offshore energy can be a catalyst for job creation and economic development, particularly in regions off the Outer Continental Shelf.
VEDP Senior Economist Brian Kroll focused on the positive impact of Virginia’s growing offshore wind industry.
Using an economic impact analysis that assumed 2,000 MW of offshore wind capacity were built over a 10-year period and only half of the supply chain located in the Commonwealth, Kroll concluded that 2,125 direct jobs and 2,710 indirect jobs could be created in Virginia over the first five years, and an additional 1,635 direct jobs and 1,960 indirect jobs could be created over the last five years, for a grand total of 8,430 new jobs in Virginia.
These jobs would primarily come from sectors such as operations and maintenance, construction, and the manufacturing of nacelles, turbine blades and generators.
In addition, Kroll concluded these jobs would benefit Virginia through an additional $9 billion in GDP and $119 million in state-level tax revenue over the 10-year period.
With yesterday’s announcement that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is on track to issue the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy a wind energy research lease on the Outer Continental Shelf, Virginia’s wind industry continues to build momentum.
In December, we blogged about the positive announcements from the BOEM, advertising the first-ever wind energy lease sale on the Outer Continental Shelf, and from the Department of Energy, reporting that a Virginia team was one of seven projects awarded a grant for the engineering, design and installation of an offshore wind turbine demonstration facility.
Virginia is primed to be a leader in the offshore wind industry, providing the ideal combination of strong Class 6 winds, shallow waters off the coast, an experienced maritime workforce, a robust transportation network, and access to a fully operational high voltage transmission grid close to shore.
To watch a webcast of Brian Kroll’s presentation, click here and to learn why more than 380 energy companies call Virginia home, click here.
VEDP Senior Economist Brian Kroll testifies before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources about the economic benefits of developing Virginia’s offshore wind industry.
The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing recently celebrated the graduation of its first class from the Transitioning Military and Veteran Training Program. This initiative provides advanced manufacturing and precision machining training for active duty and veteran soldiers preparing to enter the civilian workforce.
The program was developed through a collaboration among CCAM, the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Southside Virginia Community College, the Crater Regional Workforce Investment Board, the Virginia Employment Commission, 180 Skills and the Fort Lee Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program.
Fort Lee’s Soldier for Life program identified a group of transitioning soldiers to participate in the inaugural class. This gave the soldiers the opportunity to receive training, free-of-charge, during the last few months of their enlistment to prepare them to quickly begin a civilian career.
Training took place at SVCC’s Emporia Center and included 162 modules of interactive, online learning and 300+ hours of hands-on training. Instructors were provided by SVCC and SVHEC.
The eight graduates received a Machining Skills Certificate from SVCC and five industry credentials, including OSHA 10 and 4 NIMS (National Institute of Metalworking Skills) certifications.
Employers in the region, including Enclos Inc., Jewett Machine Inc., Richmond Tooling Inc., Rolls-Royce, Coesia North America and Kosmo Machine Inc. actively supported the program by participating in the curriculum design and visiting and mentoring students along the way.
All eight graduates have received job offers.
“The motivation of the studeilding and ready workforce, Lynchburg offers a prime location that geographically aligns the company’s operations with its existing customer base.
Located near I-81, Lynchburg provides convenient access to Virginia’s premier transportation network, which includes six interstate highways, nine commercial airports, 14 railroads, including two Class I lines, and the international Port of Virginia.
Leading manufacturing companies continue to select the Commonwealth due to its competitive cost environment, strategic location and highly-skilled workforce. To learn why manufacturing companies have invested more than $13.7 billion in Virginia over the last decade, click here.
The Shenandoah Valley Partnership recently announced the launch of the new Shenandoah Valley Education and Training Database. The database will provide both employers and citizens with one convenient tool to learn about the wealth of training programs available throughout the region.
The database is located at http://www.svp-va.org/database.aspx and is searchable by keyword, field of study and degree level. It was created to solve the problem of employers not being aware of the broad offering of educational programs available, particularly in the region’s high growth areas, which include advanced manufacturing, agriculture, energy, life sciences and IT.
Located between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley Partnership includes the counties of Augusta, Bath, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham and Shenandoah, as well as the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton and Waynesboro.
The region is home to a number of prestigious higher education institutions, including James Madison University, Mary Baldwin College, Virginia Military Institute, and Washington and Lee University, as well as numerous community and technical colleges.
With 94 percent of the region’s 2012 corporate investment coming from expansion projects, the high quality of the local workforce is often cited as a compelling reason for a company’s decision to remain in the Shenandoah Valley.
Take McKee Foods, maker of Little Debbie® snack foods and one of the area’s major employers, as an example. President and CEO Mike McKee stated, “We have found our Virginia workforce to be some of the most loyal and highly-skilled employees in the industry—and about 85 members of our Virginia workforce have been at the plant since it opened. Our Virginia employees, now over 700 strong, are highly-motivated and have helped us boost plant productivity by 24 percent over the last two years.”
Jointly developed by the Shenandoah Valley Partnership and Blue Ridge Community College, the Shenandoah Valley Education and Training Database is another positive example of cooperation among the public, private and educational sectors in Virginia. To learn more about the Commonwealth’s highly-skilled workforce and premier educational programs, click here.
Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade Carrie Roth speaks about Virginia’s wind resources to a group of wind energy leaders at a dinner hosted by VEDP.
Chromalloy, one of seven Organizing Members of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), announced its sponsorship of an industrial casting seminar for Virginia State University students. Chromalloy is a leading supplier of repairs, replacements parts and maintenance for gas turbines used in the aviation industry.
This program is one of the first educational initiatives launched through CCAM, an applied research center that partners top Virginia universities with leading Virginia manufacturers.
The three-day seminar is designed to educate engineering students on the latest techniques used in the casting manufacturing process. VSU students will learn a variety of processes, including wax injection and the assembly of molds, investment, pouring, and final part finishing, as well as proprietary processes developed by Chromalloy.
Located on Rolls-Royce’s Crosspointe Campus in Prince George County, Va., CCAM represents a public-private collaboration offering faster commercialization of technologies for Virginia companies and enhanced educational opportunities for Virginia’s students. Research partners include Virginia State University, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, and manufacturing partners include Canon Virginia Inc., Newport News Shipbuilding, Rolls-Royce, Sandvik Coromant, Siemens, and Sulzer Metco.
CCAM is one example of Virginia’s commitment to innovation. Home to 11 Federally Funded R&D Centers and 19 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Laboratories, including DARPA and NASA Langley Research Center, click here to learn why companies continue to select the Commonwealth as a leader in technology.
AREVA, a leader in nuclear and sustainable energy, celebrated the ribbon cutting of the new AREVA U.S. Technical Center this September. The center, located in Campbell County, Va., opens just seven months after the company broke ground on the project which brings a $7 million capital investment.
The U.S. Technical Center will add to AREVA’s existing Solutions Complex, the largest collection of nuclear testing and service offerings in the U.S. The state-of-the-art U.S. Technical Center offers full-service nuclear safety testing, including a seismic analysis laboratory, environmental chambers, metallurgic and chemical labs, and industrial ovens.
AREVA provides customized solutions for efficient low-carbon power generation, which allow electric utilities to adapt quickly to new and changing regulations.
Home to a highly skilled and well educated workforce, Virginia has the personnel needed to fuel AREVA’s continued growth. In fact, Virginia companies employ the one of the highest concentration of doctoral scientist and engineers in the country.
Virginia’s ideal combination of abundant natural resources, excellent location for global access, and strong workforce draw energy leaders like AREVA and helps establish the Commonwealth as the Energy Capital of the East Coast.
To learn more about Virginia’s top workforce and leading role as Energy Capital of the East Coast click here.
This week, McKesson Corp. announced its third distribution center in the Commonwealth. The Frederick County project is expected to bring a $36.9 million investment and 205 new jobs to the region.
Ranked No. 14 on the Fortune 500, McKesson is the largest pharmaceutical wholesaler in North America, delivering one-third of the medicines used each day.
The company plans to establish a 450,000-square-foot, build-to-suit distribution center in Frederick County for its Medical-Surgical business unit. Henrico County is already home to McKesson’s Medical-Surgical divisional headquarters as well as a distribution center.
This announcement is a strong follow-up to a project completed earlier this year. In April, McKesson celebrated the grand opening of its state-of-the-art distribution center in Caroline County.
McKesson continues to choose Virginia for its strategic location and proximity to customers along the East Coast. With six major highways and the third largest state-maintained transportation network in the country, Virginia allows companies to improve their supply chain efficiency.
Over the last 10 years, global logistics companies have announced more than 360 projects in Virginia, totaling more than $1.6 billion in capital investment. To learn more about Virginia’s world-class logistics infrastructure, click here.
Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA) and Orbital Sciences Corporation recently signed a second Memorandum of Understanding, outlining their partnership to develop and improve the liquid-fuel-capable launch facility at Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS).
This public-private partnership indicates Virginia is at the forefront of the latest developments in aerospace—the growth of the commercial space sector. Virginia’s space industry is substantial, currently delivering $7.6 billion in economic output and supporting 28,110 jobs, according to a recent press release from Governor McDonnell.
Over the next few years, Orbital plans to utilize the MARS launch pad for eight cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station as part of its Antares rocket program. Orbital will also use the facility for test and demonstration flights.
Located at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, MARS currently operates two launch pads, one for liquid fuel vehicles and one for solid fuel vehicles. Its full service capabilities and designation as both an Enterprise Zone and Foreign Trade Zone provides commercial, government, scientific and academic customers with low-cost access to space.
MARS is one of only four commercial sites authorized by the FAA for orbital space launches. In addition, MARS offers a low-risk trajectory over the Atlantic Ocean and optimal access to the orbit of the International Space Station.
To learn more about MARS and other facilities that make up Virginia’s burgeoning aerospace industry, click here.
On Wednesday, Carded Graphics announced plans to expand its production capacity in Staunton, Va., bringing a $7 million investment and 34 new jobs to the Shenandoah Valley region.
A leading producer of custom folding cartons and paperboard packaging, the additional capacity will allow Carded Graphics to meet growing customer demand for its award-winning graphics, packaging design, printing, die-cutting, and state-of-the-art converting technology.
Originally founded in Virginia, the company has morphed and relocated through a number of acquisitions. Since returning to the Commonwealth in 2006, the company has doubled in size.
The City of Staunton offers a prime location for the company’s 120,000-square-foot facility, which houses Carded Graphics’ corporate offices and production plant. Located near the interchange of I-81 and I-64, the company can easily access Virginia’s premier transportation network with convenient reach to customers across the U.S.
In addition, Carded Graphics plays a key role in the Shenandoah Valley supply chain, providing packaging to nearby companies, including Hershey’s, Hollister, and ASR.
With its low-cost operating environment, highly-skilled workforce and robust transportation infrastructure, Virginia continues to be a prime location for advanced manufacturers, attracting more than $13.8 billion in capital investment over the last decade.
To find out what more than 6,000 Virginia manufacturing establishments already know, click here.
Heyo, formerly known as Lujure Media Inc., just announced plans to invest $100,000 and create 50 new jobs in Blacksburg, Va., located in Montgomery County.
Founded by students at Virginia Tech and Radford University in 2010, Heyo is a shining example of the innovation and creativity of Virginia’s entrepreneurs. The company provides an easy-to-use platform that allows users to drag and drop Facebook fan pages, mobile apps and websites.
Virginia’s universities thrive when it comes to cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit necessary to create next generation technologies. Heyo’s student entrepreneurs received guidance along the way through entrepreneurial programs at their respective universities.
CTO Brian Putt was a member of Radford University’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs club. CEO Nathan Latka and CFO Josh Gunter both attended Virginia Tech and the trio entered Heyo into the Virginia Tech Student Business Competition in 2011, winning the $5,000 grand prize. The competition was sponsored by the Virginia Tech KnowledgeWorks Third Annual Entrepreneurship Summit.
With easy access to tech-savvy grads, Heyo’s decision to remain in Blacksburg is certainly a positive reflection on the local talent pool. According to CEO Nathan Latka, “The close knit community makes it easy to build culture and hire top tier talent from top ranked local universities like Virginia Tech and Radford University.”
No stranger to top IT talent, Virginia boasts the highest concentration of high-tech workers according to Cyberstates 2011.
Governor McDonnell designated 2012 as “The Year of the Entrepreneur,” and Heyo’s rapid success is a great example of why Virginia is the best place for entrepreneurs.
To learn more about Virginia’s robust technology industry, click here.
CNN Money magazine named Reston, Va., No. 7 in the overall ranking in its Best Places to Live: America’s Best Small Cities report. Reston earned a top ten placement due to its unique combination of exceptional access to growing job markets and high quality of life.Reston’s strategic location between Washington, D.C., and Dulles International Airport continues to attract a growing number of national and international firms in the government, defense, and technology sectors. The community also offers residents access to a thriving downtown and some of the nation’s most highly-rated schools.In one important subcategory, Fastest Job Growth, three Virginia counties also won high honors.Loudoun County earned the No. 1 spot for Fastest Job Growth and experienced the highest percentage of job growth in the nation. A leader in the technology sector, more than 50 percent of all internet traffic flows through the county daily. Now home to more than 4.3 million square feet of data centers, it is easy to see why Loudoun has earned the nickname “Data Center Ally.”Another Northern Virginia location, Prince William County, received the No. 8 ranking for Fastest Job Growth. Prince William benefits from major military employers including Quantico Marine Corps Base. Excellent quality of life in Prince William County keeps these highly-skilled workers in the region even after they exit military service.Suffolk County, ranked No. 9 for Fastest Job Growth, offers many distribution and logistical advantages. Located in southeast Virginia, the county offers close proximity to the Port of Virginia and is serviced by two railroads and multiple interstates.With so many unique and diverse locations Virginia continues to be recognized as a top state for business. To learn more about these and other locations fostering growth in Virginia click here.
Homegrown Virginia company Aeroprobe Corporation just announced plans to relocate its headquarters and add a manufacturing operation in the Town of Christiansburg in Montgomery County’s Falling Branch Corporate Park. The project is expected to bring a $3 million investment and 40 new jobs to the area.
Aeroprobe will remain in the New River Valley region, relocating its headquarters from Blacksburg to Christiansburg and establishing a manufacturing operation in order to accommodate increased demand for its products. The company grew by 76 percent in 2011 and expects to increase by 103 percent in 2012.
The new facility at Falling Branch Corporate Park will include 20,000 square feet of space with room to expand to 40,000 square feet.
Aeroprobe Corporation also operates a satellite facility in Blacksburg Industrial Park which houses the company's high-speed wind tunnel.
The company elected to remain in Virginia due to the Commonwealth’s strong manufacturing workforce and the high quality of life Montgomery County offers. With its close proximity to Virginia Tech, ranked one of the best universities for aerospace employee recruitment by Aviation Week & Space Technology, the company has easy access to a steady supply of engineers and high-tech employees.
According to Aeroprobe CEO Nanci Hardwick, “We are delighted to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The availability of highly technical talent in a business friendly community made Montgomery County our first choice to house our international operations.”
A leading manufacturer of air data measurement equipment, Aeroprobe illustrates the diversity of Virginia’s aerospace industry. The company’s products have been used by Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Air Bus and NASA.
To learn more about Virginia’s aerospace industry and why aerospace companies have invested more than $1.5 billion in the Commonwealth over the last 10 years, click here.
On Friday, The Vitamin Shoppe announced plans to establish its first Virginia distribution facility in Hanover County. The operation will be located at the Virginia Transportation Park in Ashland, Va., and will bring a $39.4 million investment and 174 new jobs to the Central Virginia region.
The Vitamin Shoppe’s accelerated growth and desire to be closer to its mid-Atlantic customer base were primary reasons for building the warehouse and fulfillment center in Virginia. The company has grown from one store in 1977 to more than 550 company-owned retail stores today.
Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina due to the Commonwealth’s strategic location, competitive business costs, and premier workforce.
The Hanover County location offers visibility to I-95, allowing the company to easily access Virginia’s premier transportation network, which includes six major interstate highways, 14 railroads, nine commercial airports and the international Port of Virginia.
Virginia’s competitive operating environment includes a six percent corporate tax rate that remains unchanged since 1972, construction costs 16 percent below the national average, and a low unemployment tax rate 32 percent below the national average.
According to Ashland Mayor Faye Prichard, “The Town of Ashland and The Vitamin Shoppe share core values of community involvement and healthy living…. Their decision to locate in Ashland and Hanover builds upon the reputation of this region serving as a strategic location for supply chain centers in the mid-Atlantic.”
The Vitamin Shoppe joins the company of Ace Hardware, Amazon.com, Backcountry.com, Home Depot, McKesson Corp, QVC, Target and Wal-Mart, all of which have established fulfillment and distribution operations in the Commonwealth.
To learn why Virginia continues to be a leading location for distribution centers, attracting more than $1.6 billion in capital investment from global logistics companies over the last 10 years, click here.
The Institute of Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) recently announced its first commercial spin-off, Dan River Plants, LLC.
Dan River Plants uses micropropagation technology to create, clone and grow plants at a rapid rate. The technology was developed through collaboration between IALR’s Institute for Sustainable and Renewable Resources and Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Micropropagation utilizes plant tissue cultures to grow identical plants by an order of magnitude, yielding rapid and reliable results. The company is producing both decorative plants, such as lilies, roses and azaleas, as well as biofuel crops.
Dan River Plants plans to invest $1.3 million and create 27 new jobs to establish a facility at Ringgold East Industrial Park in Pittsylvania County, Va.
IALR was established in 2000 through partnerships among Virginia Tech, Averett University, Danville Community College, Pittsylvania County, City of Danville, Future of the Piedmont Foundation, Tobacco Indemnification Commission and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The center uniquely operates as a research and development facility, education leader, business incubator and conference center.
We have previously blogged on some of IALR’s programs, including its STEM Mobile Learning Lab and the Virginia Polymer Coalition.
IALR has strategically positioned itself to capitalize on the expertise found in Southern Virginia. The center focuses on four main areas of research, including sustainable and renewable resources, analytical chemistry, polymers and composites, and vehicle research.
IALR is yet another example of the innovative research and collaboration with universities that supports Virginia businesses, from start-up to late stage. To learn more about opportunities to co-locate with Virginia’s leading universities at R&D centers across the Commonwealth, click here.
Digital Realty just announced a $150 million expansion to its data center campus in Virginia’s Loudoun County. The project is expected to create 50 new jobs over the next three years.
Digital Realty is the largest data center operator in Loudoun County, with more than one million square feet of space. The company’s latest building is expected to be 400,000 square feet and house 22 data centers.
This project is a strong follow-up to the company’s announcement last May. It broke ground on its fourth building in Loudoun County, representing an $80 million investment and the anticipated creation of 12 full-time jobs and 180 temporary positions.
Often called “Data Center Alley,” Loudoun County has become one of the top data center locations in the country. It currently maintains five million square feet of existing data center space with another three million square feet in development.
Loudoun County also handles up to 70 percent of the world’s internet traffic each day.
Fueled by increased customer demand for cloud computing, mobile applications and social networking, the data center industry continues to grow at a rapid pace. For calendar year 2012, data center announced investment topped $1 billion in Virginia.
The Commonwealth remains a prime location for data centers due to its advanced fiber infrastructure, abundant power redundancy, affordable energy rates and top notch IT workforce. Virginia has the highest concentration of high-tech workers according to Cyberstates 2013.
In addition, Virginia’s Retail Sales and Use Tax Exemption on qualified computer equipment helps data center operators lower their overall cost structure.
Virginia is home to 700 data centers establishments and has seen $5.8 billion in announced data center investment over the last decade. To learn why leaders like Amazon, Capital One, Digital Realty, Facebook, Google and Microsoft have all chosen the Commonwealth, click here.
On Wednesday, Tempur Sealy International, Inc. announced plans to expand its manufacturing facility in Scott County through a $13.3 million investment. The project will create 42 new jobs and allow the company to upgrade equipment and grow its Southwest Virginia operation.
The 500,000-square-foot facility has successfully operated at Duffield Industrial Park for 12 years, producing mattresses and pillows for the company’s Tempur-Pedic brand.
Temper Sealy is the largest bedding provider in the world and changed its name in March to reflect Tempur-Pedic’s $1.3 billion acquisition of Sealy Corp., announced in the fall of 2012. The Company's portfolio of iconic brand names includes Tempur®, Tempur-Pedic®, Sealy®, Sealy Posturepedic®, Optimum™ and Stearns & Foster®.
Virginia was chosen over New Mexico for this project due to the high quality of Southwest Virginia’s manufacturing workforce, low cost of operations and strategic location, with prime access to I-77 and I-81.
As part of the Virginia’s e-Region, Southwest Virginia has a strong legacy of supporting leading manufacturing and technology companies through its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education and emerging manufacturing specialties.
To learn why manufacturing companies continue to select Virginia, investing more than $13.7 billion over the last decade, click here.
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The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), a state authority created by the Virginia General Assembly to better serve those seeking a prime business location and increased trade opportunities, provides confidential site selection and international trade services. VEDP's mission: To enhance the quality of life and raise the standard of living for all Virginians, in collaboration with Virginia communities, through aggressive business recruitment, expansion assistance, and trade development, thereby expanding the tax base and creating higher-income employment opportunities.
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