Blacksburg Ranked Among Top 100 Small Cities/Towns in US

Blacksburg Ranked Among Top 100 Small Cities/Towns in US

Montgomery County, VA – BestCities.org recently ranked Blacksburg among the top 100 small cities/towns in the United States on their 2020 list of America’s Best Small Cities. Resonance Consultancy created the report by ranking cities/towns based on the following six categories: place, product, people, prosperity, programming, and promotion.

Blacksburg ranked 86th overall and 18th under the place category. The report defined place as, “The perceived quality of a city’s natural and built environment, including the sub-categories of Weather, Safety, Neighborhoods & Landmarks, and Outdoors.”

Here is what BestCities.org had to say about Blacksburg:

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (aka Virginia Tech) calls Blacksburg home, its roots reaching back to 1872 when it opened as Virginia’s white land-grant institution. Some 34,000 students attend annually, with the institution planning for an aggressive expansion: an additional 7 million gross square feet in facilities over the next three decades. Located in the Blue Ridge Highlands of Montgomery County, the city ranked #12 for Universities, helping it land a #50 spot for Product overall. In addition to having the youthful, lively feel of a college town, Blacksburg’s appeal stems from its sense of safety. Blacksburg Police Department has aid agreements in place with Virginia Tech Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, yielding one the lowest crime rates in the country (#2). The local police will have shiny new headquarters come 2021; The city is putting $25.5-million toward the new 35,000 square foot department as part of a $100-million development downtown that will see close to 100 new townhomes go up.

Blacksburg is one of the many communities that make up Virginia’s New River Valley. The NRV is a great place to live, work, and do business. Learn more about our region at www.theNRV.org.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Pulaski County Project Ranked 3rd Largest in VA for 2019

Pulaski County Project Ranked 3rd Largest in VA for 2019

Pulaski County, VA – Volvo Trucks North America’s expansion in Pulaski County was recognized by Area Development magazine as one of 2019’s top economic development projects in Virginia. It was ranked third in the state with 777 new jobs created and an investment of $400 million.

Here’s what Area Development had to say about Volvo and Virginia’s New River Valley:

“Virginia was a big winner in 2019, too, with 777 jobs being created by Volvo Trucks North America in Pulaski County. State leaders called the $400 million investment on of the largest ever in the southwest part of the state.”

The project helped Virginia win the 2020 Gold Shovel Award for states with a population of 8 – 12 million people. This annual award from Area Development “recognize[s] states for their achievement in attracting high-value investment projects that will create a significant number of new jobs in their communities.”

Virginia’s New River Valley is a hub for the advanced manufacturing industry. The region boasts over 100 manufacturing companies in sub-sectors such as chemicals, plastics and materials, automotive, and motion control systems.

Here is the list of the Top 5 projects in Virginia for 2019:

RankCompanyCity/CountyN/EJobsInvestmentIndustry
1AmazonArlington CountyN25,000$2.5 billionHeadquarters
2Incentive Technology GroupArlington CountyE1,000$5.1 millonIT
3Volvo Trucks North AmericaPulaski CountyE777$400 millionHeavy Trucks
4Morgan Olsen, LLCPittsylvania CountyN703$57.8 millionWalk-in Step Vans
5WegmansHanover CountyN700$206 millionDistribution
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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech

Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech Ranked 18th Best Golf Course in Virginia for 2020

Fairlawn, VA – The Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech was recently ranked #18 in the 2020 list of the Top 50 golf courses in Virginia.  The course was also rated #9 on the 2020 list of courses which do not require a membership to play.  Both lists were compiled by the Virginia Golf Ratings Panel and highlighted in Virginia Business Magazine’s April 2020 issue.

The River Course, home of the Virginia Tech men’s and women’s golf teams, is well known for its scenic views and 2.5 miles of frontage on the New River, which is the oldest river in North America.  It has won many accolades since being redesigned by famous golf course designer Pete Dye beginning in 2003.

Located in Pulaski County, this par 72 course is one of the many golf courses available to avid golfers living and working in Virginia’s New River Valley.  To learn more about the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech, visit www.petedyerivercourse.com.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Virginia Tech a top 10 college with alumni who will jump-start your career

Montgomery County, VA – The Princeton Review compiled a list of the 25 colleges with the best alumni networks in the country, featured in the book “Colleges That Pay You Back: 2016 Edition,” published in February, based on students’ ratings of how visible and active alumni are on their campuses.

Virginia Tech, whose main campus is located in Blacksburg, ranked No. 10 on the list, ahead of some marque colleges such as Stanford (No. 24), Cornell (No. 22), Ohio State (No. 15), and the University Virginia (No. 11).

Here is what the Princeton Review had to say about the Hokies:

Once a Hokie, always a Hokie. And through Virginia Tech’s Hokies4Hire program, students and alumni can apply for jobs, internships, and co-ops. Current students can even land on-campus interviews from the program. Post-grad, VT’s alumni association keeps Hokies in the loop through LinkedIn groups, webinars with career experts, and networking opportunities with fellow alums.

More and more Hokies are jump starting their career in Virginia’s New River Valley. Alumni are realizing that Blacksburg is more than a great place to go to college and are sticking around the NRV post graduation. The region offers meaningful career opportunities paired with a small town charm, urban amenities, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

Plugging into the New River Valley Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association. is a great way for Hokies to jump-start their career in the NRV.  

Blacksburg High School Ranked 30th in VA by U.S. News

Montgomery County, VA – U.S. News just came out with their 2020 Best High Schools Ranking by state and a NRV high school made the top 50! Among 386 public high schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Blacksburg High School ranked 30th. The ranking is based off of graduation rate, college readiness and enrollment. After taking this into consideration, U.S. News compiles a list of the top 100.

Here is the summary from U.S. News:

Blacksburg High is ranked 30th within Virginia. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Blacksburg High is 51%. The total minority enrollment is 21%, and 15% of students are economically disadvantaged. Blacksburg High is 1 of 4 high schools in the Montgomery Co Public Schools.

Of more than 24,000 public high schools in the U.S., Blacksburg High School ranked No. 1,328. The means that Blacksburg ranks among the top 10% of high schools in the country.

Pulaski County Led Virginia in Economic Development Performance in 2019

Pulaski County, VA – Pulaski County once again tops the state in economic development, finishing 1st in the Commonwealth for new job creation and 2nd in the Commonwealth for new capital investment per capita.

According to data compiled by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership on announcements of employment creation and capital investment for 2019, Pulaski County finished 1st overall in Job Creation, 2nd overall in New Capital Investment and 17th overall in the Number of Projects Announced per capita for the Calendar Year 2019, out of all 95 counties and 38 independent cities within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The ranking outcomes were the result of Pulaski County’s two (2) qualified projects in CY-2019, both of which were officially announced in concert with the Governor’s office. These two (2) basic industry sector projects will collectively create more than 790 new jobs and more than $401 million in new capital investment. The two projects referenced consisted of Volvo Trucks North America and BimmerWorld.

“The Board of Supervisors is very gratified to receive the number one spot in economic development for the second time in three years. This continuing success is certain to have significant long-term benefits to the people of our county and to the economy of the entire New River Valley. We have one of the best economic development teams in Virginia, and they have been working very effectively with the previous and current Board of Supervisor members and other local leaders to support our existing businesses and industries to create jobs and encourage investment here in Pulaski County.” – Joseph Guthrie, Chair of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors

Pulaski County also ranked number 1 in the Commonwealth in 2017 for Overall Economic Development Performance per capita having facilitated the creation of more than 600 new jobs and $57 million in new capital investment derived from five (5) qualified basic industry sector projects in CY-2017. Since January of 2017, Pulaski County has enjoyed seven (7) qualified announcements that have resulted in nearly $475 million in new capital investment and more than 1,460 new jobs created. One of the seven announcements recently occurred on January 21, 2020, when Patton Logistics, LLC was welcomed as the newest member of Pulaski County’s business community.

“We knew Pulaski County had another impressive year of announcements, but did not anticipate we would end up on top again out of all 133 jurisdictions considering Virginia’s #1 business ranking and how strong the economy was in 2019. We are thankful to have world-class companies such as Bimmerworld and Volvo who call Pulaski County home and are willing to invest millions and even hundreds of millions into their operations, their people and their future.” – Jon Wyatt, Chair of the Pulaski County Economic Development Authority

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pulaski County’s unemployment rate remained at the 20-year low of 2.8% in November of 2019, reaching the third lowest monthly rate in more than 30 years. “The availability of good jobs is foundational to the health of our local economy and achieving our goal of 40,000 people by 2030, and it takes leadership from our elected officials, a skilled workforce, a talented economic development team and trust, confidence and commitment from our businesses to make this possible,” stated Jonathan D. Sweet, County Administrator. “Our culminated successes in the past three years is not by accident, but rather the results of a lot of hard work, strategy, creativity and risk taking by our economic development team, the unwavering support of our Board of Supervisors and EDA, a deep talent pool and without a doubt, God’s favor.”

Pulaski County, located in the New River Valley of Virginia, is home to eight (8) international companies that represents more than 5,000 advanced manufacturing jobs. The County is considered to be Southwest Virginia’s Center for International Business and the New River Valley’s Advanced Manufacturing Hub.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

NRV is the Fourth Best Metro Area for Homeownership in Virginia

New River Valley, VA – The New River Valley was rated as the fourth best metro area for homeownership in Virginia by LendingTree.

To determine the best cities for homeownership in Virginia, LendingTree looked at data collected in 2013 and 2017 by the U.S. Census Bureau for both metropolitan and micropolitan areas with 10,000 to 50,000 residents. They compared 15 areas on measures that homeowners often use themselves, such as median home values, which are key to determining net worth, and home appreciation, which is key to assessing how well an housing investment has fared. They also looked at local unemployment rates and average commute times, which can help homeowners gauge an area’s overall well-being and livability.

The NRV ranked as number four. Our two large and prominent universities, Virginia Tech and Radford University, have helped attract homebuyers. From 2013 to 2017, the area enjoyed healthy home value appreciation of 5.41%. In the same period, housing costs went up 0.83%. At $181,300, the median home value in 2017 was relatively low for Virginia, but the unemployment rate was just 5.2%, and the average commute time was 21.1 minutes, the second-lowest of all cities surveyed.

Read more about who made the top ten, LendingTree’s methodology, and tips for home buying.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Virginia Tech Ranks Top 3 Best College Campuses in America

Blacksburg, VAVirginia Tech ranks third in 2020 Best College Campuses by Niche.com.

The rankings are based on on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Top-ranked colleges offer outstanding campus resources across classrooms, labs, performance venues, housing, food, and recreational facilities. These on campus areas were assessed through student surveys on campus quality, campus crime rate, campus food cost and quality, and housing cost, safety, and quality. Additionally, the surrounding community was evaluated. Niche.com included factors such as median rent, local crime rates, access to amenities, as well as student surveys regarding the local area around campus.

Virginia Tech’s main campus in Blacksburg has 2,600 acres, 213 buildings, an airport, Lane Stadium, Cassell Coliseum, the Moss Arts Center, and an adjacent research park. VT is a highly rated public college located in Blacksburg, Virginia. It is a big institution with an enrollment of 26,603 undergraduate students.

Photo credit: Virginia Tech Office of Undergraduate Admissions

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Red Rooster Coffee Ranked Top 50 Coffee Shops in the United States in 2020

Floyd, VA – Big Seven Travel ranks Red Rooster Coffee at number 46, among best coffee houses across the United States.

From super Instagrammable cafes to those catering to digital nomads and straight through to the coffee shops serving up some world-class affogatos and nitro brew, you’ll find that the best coffee shops in the United States are just as wonderfully eccentric and unique as each state you’ll find them in.

The best coffee shops in the United States in 2020 are the ones committed to not only just the perfect pour but also ensuring that their processes benefit farmers at the source. Red Rooster is a company dedicated to roasting exquisite coffee while making an impact at origin and at home. And, it truly shows in their cafe culture and the quality of the beans they produce. In other words, the cafe’s trendy, the staff is friendly, and the coffee’s top-notch.

Find out who else made the 50 Best Coffee Shops list.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

peppermint hot chocolate; new river valley; mountain lake lodge

HGTV Features Stony Creek Tavern at Mountain Lake Lodge

Giles County, VA – HGTV features Stony Creek Tavern at Mountain Lake Lodge in Boozy Hot Cocoa is What You Need for the Holidays article.

The article showcases hotels and restaurants across the country that are taking their hot chocolate drinks to the next level. Stony Creek Tavern’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate made the list! Their delicious drink is made with peppermint-infused vodka and topped with an old fashioned peppermint ribbon candy and sprinkles for “maximum nostalgic holiday spirit”. To try this holiday beverage and more, visit Mountain Lake Lodge!

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.