With the changing economic landscape, companies both large and small are increasingly relying on a skilled and educated workforce. Higher technological competencies and experience with service-oriented positions are just a few of the skills employers are looking for to ensure their business’ success.
Preparing students to enter this business environment is an important task and one that Frederick County and Winchester, Virginia are taking seriously. Check out the video below on how educators, employers, and government officials are equipping students to thrive in tomorrow’s workforce.
Today, Virginia’s Gateway Region opened The Gateway Center for Enterprise in Colonials Heights, Va., with the first of many third Thursday networking events.
Today’s event was geared towards new entrepreneurs, with a speaker panel that provided information on how to start and grow a small business. Future third Thursday topics include how to access capital and leadership skills for innovators.
The focus of The Gateway Center is to support local entrepreneurs through a variety of programs, including training, networking events, one-on-one counseling, mentorship programs, and access to the office, library and resource center of Virginia’s Gateway Region.
The Gateway Center was made possible through partnerships with The Center for Women's Enterprise at REDC Community Capital Group and the Crater Small Business Development Center at Longwood University.
The center is housed within the main office of Virginia’s Gateway Region, a regional economic development group that supports the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg, and the counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Surry and Sussex.
Located in Central Virginia, the Gateway Region offers companies easy access to U.S. and international markets through Virginia’s premier transportation network. Advanced manufacturing, global logistics and food processing companies have been drawn to the area’s skilled workforce and access to top education and research institutions.
The Gateway Center is another example of the innovative environment Virginia offers to entrepreneurs. To learn more about starting a business in the Commonwealth, click here.
Virginia's Gains, rivers and beaches, as well as 35 state parks, 22 national parks and more than 500 trails, providing an abundance of recreational opportunities for residents.
This top ranking from Forbes.com adds to the distinguished list of honors Virginia has received this year, including winning the 2011 Competitiveness Award from Site Selection magazine, a No. 2 ranking on Pollina Corporate Real Estate’s Top Pro-Business States for 2012, and No. 3 rankings on Business Facilities’ 2012 State Rankings Report and CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business list, to name a few.
To learn why Virginia continues to receive top recognition from the industry as the premier state for business, click here.
At an event overlooking the site for the company’s new headquarters building in Tysons Corner, Va., Governor McDonnell announced Intelsat will move its U.S. headquarters from Washington, D.C., to Fairfax County in 2014. The project will bring at least 430 jobs and an investment of more than $24 million in leasehold improvements to Northern Virginia.
With plans to lease 188,000 square feet, Intelsat will be the anchor tenant at Tysons Tower, a new, 20-story office building being developed by Macerich as part of a three tower, mixed-use project at Tysons Corner Center.
The state-of-the-art tower will be the tallest building in Tysons Corner, offering Intelsat employees panoramic views of Northern Virginia, a modern workspace, prime access to the amenities of Tysons Corner, and direct connection to the Capital Beltway and planned extension of the Metro Silver Line.
In addition, close proximity to Washington Dulles International Airport gives the Luxembourg-based company access to 80 percent of the world’s economies.
As the world’s leading provider of satellite services, Intelsat has delivered information to leading media companies, multinational corporations, Internet Service Providers and government agencies for more than 45 years.
Intelsat’s new headquarters location in Fairfax County is not only aligned with its growing customer base, but it also offers access to a strong pipeline of highly-skilled workers. According to Cyberstates 2011, Virginia has the highest concentration of high-tech workers.
To learn why global leaders continue to select Virginia as an environment that reflects their innovative culture, click here.
PRUFREX Innovative Power Products GmbH announced plans to establish its first U.S. location in Virginia Beach through a $7.33 million investment, which will create 60 new jobs. The project includes both a manufacturing facility as well as the company’s U.S. headquarters.
PRUFREX is a leading producer of digital ignition systems and electronic control systems for the small engine, marine and recreation, automotive, and electric and cordless power markets. The company’s global headquarters are in Cadolzburg, Germany.
The benefits of supply chain for economic development are apparent in this project—PRUFREX selected Virginia Beach over Georgia to be closer to two key customers, German-based BMZ Batteries and STIHL Inc.
STIHL opened its first U.S. plant in Virginia Beach in 1974, and has since grown to become the No. 1 brand of chain saws in the world. The company’s U.S. headquarters are now located in Virginia Beach, and since 1990 the company has announced investment of $335 million and 942 new jobs in the Commonwealth.
BMZ Batteries followed in April 2011, also establishing its U.S. headquarters in Virginia Beach to be close to STIHL and its other international customers.
Germany has been in the top three for international investment and job creation in the Commonwealth over the last four years.
PRUFREX, BMZ Batteries and STIHL have all made reference to the quality of Virginia’s workforce, particularly its engineering and advanced manufacturing capabilities, as well as the Commonwealth’s strategic East location and ability to easily reach U.S. customers through its premier logistics infrastructure.
Virginia’s transportation network includes access to the international Port of Virginia, the only U.S. East Coast location able to handle post-Panamax vessels as first port of call, as well as an integrated system of six interstate highways, nine commercial airports and 14 railroads, including two Class I lines.
To learn why Virginia is home to more than 700 internationally-owned companies, 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 somof advanced manufacturing innovation, with partnerships between leading research universities, government and businesses.
To date, the Crosspointe campus includes the company’s Rotatives facility, which opened in May 2011 as a center of excellence to manufacture the company’s engine discs. Also at Crosspointe, CCAM opened this fall as an applied research center, joining leading Virginia universities and manufacturing companies to bring real-world solutions to market more quickly.
With ample space and a robust, industrial-grade infrastructure for additional facilities, Rolls-Royce’s Crosspointe Campus is poised to attract suppliers and continue its growth as a leading center for advanced manufacturing.
To learn more about the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe Campus and Virginia’s capabilities in the advanced manufacturing space, click on the highlighted links.
A rendering of Rolls-Royce's Advanced Airfoil Machining Facility at its Crosspointe campus in Prince George County, Va.
HanesBrands recently announced plans to expand its Woolwine plant in Patrick County, Va., through a $1.6 million investment.
The company will upgrade the plant with high-speed manufacturing equipment that will double current capacity and allow the company to increase production of performance fabrics in the women’s sports market.
The investment will bring 50 new jobs and retain 215 jobs at the Patrick County operation. In addition, HanesBrands employs a workforce of 400 at its distribution center in nearby Martinsville, Va.
HanesBrands has a long history in the region and the company’s positive experience with Virginia’s pro-business climate and advanced manufacturing workforce helped ensure the Commonwealth was selected once again.
Southern Virginia maintains a rich heritage of textile operations, and this investment illustrates Virginia’s manufacturing prowess in the competitive worldwide apparel industry.
With more than 6,000 manufacturers located in Virginia, the Commonwealth has seen more than $13.8 billion in capital investment from manufacturing companies over the last 10 years. To learn more about Virginia’s advanced manufacturing industry, click here.
Exactly one year after opening its Henrico County Information Security Technology Center, GE has already hired 100 people.
Following the company’s announcement in April 2011, GE is ahead of schedule for the 200 new jobs it expects to create over the next few years.
With more than 300,000 employees operating in 100 countries, safeguarding GE and customer data is an enormous task. Utilizing the center’s state-of-the-art cyber forensics lab and cyber intelligence monitoring center, teams are focused on developing innovative solutions to keep company information secure.
Locating near a skilled, high-tech workforce was critical for GE. With the highest concentration of high-tech workers according to Cyberstates 2011, Virginia proved to be the right location.
Virginia also offers companies the ability to partner with leading universities at the forefront of research and development in the field of cyber security.
George Mason University’s International Cyber Center, The Hume Center for National Security and Technology at Virginia Tech, and James Madison University’s Institute for Infrastructure and Information Assurance are just a few of the leading programs preparing a solid pipeline of high-tech workers in Virginia.
To learn why companies consider Virginia a world-class center for technology, investing more than $7.9 billion in Virginia IT projects over the last ten years, click here.
On Friday, Backcountry.com celebrated the opening of its East Coast fulfillment center in Montgomery County, less than a year after the company announced it would invest $20 million and create 200 new jobs.
Secretary Cheng attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, congratulating the company on its swift progress preparing the facility at Falling Branch Corporate Park.
As the largest online specialty retailer of premium outdoor gear, Backcountry.com is known for its fast delivery times and selected the Commonwealth for its strategic East Coast location and world-class logistics network. With 14 railroads, six major interstate highways, 9 commercial airports and the international Port of Virginia, the Commonwealth offers easy access to customers on the East Coast and beyond.
To maintain its reputation for excellent customer service, locating near a skilled workforce was critical to Backcountry.com. With its close proximity to the Appalachian Trail and Washington-Jefferson National Forest, Montgomery County caters to outdoor enthusiasts, drawing a talented and passionate labor pool closely aligned with the company’s mission.
Virginia continues to be a leading location for fulfillment and distribution centers—Ace Hardware, Amazon.com, Home Depot, McKesson Corp, QVC, Target and Wal-Mart have all established operations in the Commonwealth.
Over the last ten years global logistics companies have announced more than 360 projects, totaling more than $1.6 billion in capital investment. To learn more about Virginia’s premier location and logistics infrastructure, click here.
Secretary Cheng (left) joins company and local officials as Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Jim Holland cuts the ribbon with one of Backcountry.com’s products.
Technology leader iGATE recently announced plans to invest more than $1 million to establish a new facility in Loudoun County, bringing 250 new jobs to the area over the next few years.
The location in Loudoun County will allow iGATE to further the expansion of its technology consulting services into the U.S. market, particularly with nearby Washington D.C. government agencies and businesses.
Close proximity to the Washington Dulles International Airport was a key advantage, giving a global company like iGATE access to 80 percent of the world’s economies.
The ability to draw upon a highly-skilled, tech-savvy workforce also factored into Virginia’s favor. Due to the consultative nature of the company’s custom technology products, human capital is a critical driver of the company’s success.
Fortunately the Commonwealth has the employee pool to match companies’ workforce needs, with the highest concentration of high-tech workers according to Cyberstates 2011. Companies are taking notice of Virginia’s world-class employee base. Professional, scientific and technical services—a category dependent on a quality workforce—was the top sector for job creation in Virginia last year, announcing almost 13,000 new jobs in 2011.
iGATE Chief Delivery Officer Sean Narayanan recognized the many attributes Virginia offers companies, stating, “We have been impressed with the business and government leaders in Virginia, the high caliber of the workforce, the excellent quality of life, and we look forward to positive, long-term growth and involvement in this area.”
To learn more about Virginia’s unique combination of assets and why companies have been prospering here for more than 400 years, click here.
Secretary Cheng visited Commonwealth Laminating & Coating’s (CLC) headquarters last week to announce the company’s second expansion in less than nine months.
The company plans to invest $5.45 million to establish a national distribution center in the same business park as its headquarters and manufacturing operation in Martinsville, Va. The project is expected to create 60 new jobs—welcome news as Henry County and Southern Virginia continue to make positive progress towards economic recovery.
This project is further testament to CLC’s success in Virginia, as just last November the company announced its plans to invest $16.5 million to expand its manufacturing facility, creating 40 new jobs.
With eight locations across five countries, CLC certainly has its pick of locations. Choosing to invest further in Virginia is a compelling endorsement of the Commonwealth’s excellent business environment. In addition, the Henry County location is the company’ sole manufacturing facility, illustrating how Virginia’s manufacturing capabilities can compete on a global level.
Virginia has successfully competed against China, Arizona and North Carolina for CLC’s projects over the last year.
The success of CLC’s solar control window film and high-performance coatings business adds to Virginia’s reputation as a leading location for polymer and film manufacturing companies.
Home to more than 200 plastics companies, over the last decade Virginia has seen more than $1 billion invested by plastics firms in new and expanding facilities.
Virginia offers the skilled workforce, competitive operating environment and world-class logistics network so important to plastics manufacturing companies. To learn why companies like DuPont, Honeywell, Phoenix Packaging, Rubbermaid, and O’Sullivan Films have all invested in Virginia, click here.
Secretary Cheng recently attended an event at McKee Foods’ Stuarts Draft facility in Augusta County, Va., to announce the company’s planned investment of $19 million to expand the plant, creating 78 new jobs.
Best known for its Little Debbie® line of snack cakes, McKee Foods produces a wide range of food products under the Sunbelt®, Heartland® and Fieldstone™ Bakery brands. Increased demand for the company’s line of Little Debbie® donuts is a major driver for the additional production capacity.
Successfully operating in Augusta County for 22 years, the high productivity of the local workforce helped Virginia win this project. The plant’s productivity, measured in cases produced per employee, has improved by 24 percent over the last two years, with the same number of employees and no additional automation.
According to Randy Smith, Vice President, McKee Foods Stuarts Draft operations, “McKee Foods initially recognized the strategic advantage of building a manufacturing facility in August County more than two decades ago. A major point in that decision was seeing that the Shenandoah Valley gave us access to a highly-skilled workforce. Today we’re pleased to be able to expand our production capabilities here.”
In addition to a highly-skilled manufacturing workforce, Virginia allows companies to improve their bottom lines. With a corporate income tax rate of 6 percent, an unemployment tax burden 32 percent lower than the national average, construction costs 16 percent lower than the national average, and favorably priced utility rates, more than 550 food and beverage companies call Virginia home.
To learn why food and beverage manufacturers have invested more than $1.9 billion in Virginia 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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