Wonder Universe Children’s Museum Opens in NRV Mall

October 29, 2019. The New River Valley is about to redefine child-like wonder as Wonder Universe: A Children’s Museum held its Grand Opening at the New River Valley Mall on Thursday, November 7

Our museum’s Grand Opening marks the beginning of a thrilling new chapter for the kids and families in our region,” said Sarah Nucci, the museum’s new executive director. “Not only are the current exhibit areas fun and new but we will soon have engaging programs to complement them.”

Museum guests of all ages enjoyed ten new hands-on exhibit areas including: farm to table, veterinary clinic, dental office, a builder’s toolbox, and a 16 ft fire truck – Engine #3 among others. Additional interactive play spaces include an infant/toddler area, art and maker space and Amazing AirPlay, a pneumatic airway exhibit that allows guests to study the power of air.

The museum’s new exhibits were designed with kids in mind as Wonder Universe seeks to educate, amuse and inspire kids and families through play. Nucci, who began work with the museum in September, looks forward to the opportunity to promote the power of playful learning in the New River Valley. “Play is how children learn, and Wonder Universe is here to help inspire kids and families to discover and learn, side by side,” she added.

Kristin Kirk, chair of the museum’s board of directors, cites the support of the community and months of thoughtful planning as being keys to bringing the new museum to life. “It’s been amazing to see so many area businesses, civic groups and volunteers support this endeavor,” she said.

Exhibit sponsors include NRV Pediatrics, Shelor Motor Mile, Real Life Dental, and Stateson Homes, among others. Kirk added, “The volunteers from Blacksburg Breakfast Lions Club and the area Rotary Clubs have been incredibly helpful in getting our new space ready for play, and we could not have opened our doors without the great support and help of the New River Valley Mall and Snyder & Associates!”

The museum’s board of directors and community volunteers have logged over 2500 hours of work in recent months to get Wonder Universe ready to greet its guests. “We can’t wait to see all of the smiling, wide-eyed kids and families as they enter our doors for the very first time,” says Nucci.

Wonder Universe: A Children’s Museum is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization located at the New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg, VA. Hours of Operations are Tuesday through Saturday 9:30a – 6:00p; Sunday 12:00p – 6:00p. General admission is $8 per person. Special events, field trips, and birthdays can be scheduled through the Wonder Universe website located at http://Wonderuniverse.org. All inquiries can be sent to Sarah Nucci, Executive Director at sarahn@wonderuniverse.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.

Bisset Park in the City of Radford, VA overlooks the New River and is home to soccer fields, tennis courts, and more

Bisset Park Selected in ‘Virginia You Love’ Contest

Radford, VABisset Park was selected as the “Staff Pick” for the Virginia Municipal League (VML) ‘Virginia You Love’ contest.

The three winners of the VML ‘Virginia You Love’ contest were featured in the July/August edition of Virginia Town & City. Bisset Park was selected as the “Staff Pick”. Below is the excerpt from the 2019 VML ‘Virginia You Love’ survey contest winners article.

“After carefully considering all the submissions (including the respondent who enthusiastically voted for his backyard as the best spot in his locality), we have chosen Bisset Park as this year’s staff pick! Bisset Park, located in Radford along the New River, is full of life, wonder, and adventure. Moreover, Bisset Park earned numerous votes within each category, making it apparent that we are not alone in loving this location. Bissett Park – the largest city park in Radford – is located along a 57 acre stretch of riverfront with easy access to canoeing, kayaking, and tubing. Besides water activities, Bisset Park also has a gazebo, picnic areas, a football field, soccer fields, and tennis courts. Visitors also enjoy hiking or biking the 3.5-mile long riverway trail with beautiful views of the New River and opportunities to observe wildlife such as birds and dragon flies. Those who enjoy a bit of history in their outdoor adventures visit the Civil War trail at the far end of the park. A marker on this trail indicates where the original foundation of a bridge was burned during the Battle of New River Bridge. This historic bridge is still visible today from the riverbank.”

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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.

radford university hotel; live here, nrv

Radford University Announces Plans for Hotel Near Campus

Radford, VARadford University, in collaboration with the Radford University Foundation and the City of Radford, has announced plans to build a hotel in close proximity to campus. The hotel, which will be located at the intersection of Tyler Avenue and Calhoun Street, will be constructed on land owned by the Radford University Foundation. Four existing structures will be demolished to make way for the hotel, which will include 125 rooms, a conference center, a rooftop restaurant, and on-site parking.

Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. said, “The hotel will provide amenities not available at current area hotels and a proximity to campus that cannot be matched. I am confident that our campus will serve as a wonderful backdrop for area visitors and University guests. Imagine standing on the top floor of the hotel in the rooftop restaurant and seeing the beauty and excitement of our campus.”

City of Radford Mayor David Horton said, “We are excited to welcome a new world-class hotel to the City of Radford on Tyler Avenue. This facility will serve as a great complement to the hotels and restaurants in Radford and will provide options currently unavailable to guests and citizens alike. The rooftop restaurant will offer unmatched views of not only the campus, but the beautiful vistas of the City of Radford and the New River Valley. The economic impact of bringing this new business to Radford will be tremendous, and we will benefit as a community not only from the outstanding amenities that this new hotel and conference center will provide, but also in the jobs and revenue that will be generated. Businesses across Radford will benefit from the guests joining us who presently stay outside the city and with the special events and conferences that will come to our community once the facility opens. This is a big win for our fair city and another great step as we revitalize and support the business community in Radford.”

The University is collaborating with JLL, a commercial real estate services firm and the second-largest company of its kind in the world. As a Fortune 500 company, JLL will provide professional services and needed assistance with project definition and implementation as the University works closely with the Radford University Foundation Board of Directors and Foundation staff, as well as the Radford University Real Estate Management LLC Board of Directors and officials from the City of Radford.

Radford University Foundation Chief Executive Officer John F. Cox, Jr. said, “Like many people in the Radford University community, I am personally excited about the hotel project on Tyler Avenue. Feedback from the Foundation Board and the Real Estate Management LLC Board has been very positive. The Foundation has engaged JLL to assist both the Foundation and the University during this process, and we have been very pleased with this partnership. Our goal is to bring a top-quality hotel to Radford by 2023, as expressed by President Hemphill during his State of the University Address on October 25, 2019. Our goal is to turn the President’s vision into a wonderful reality for the benefit of the entire Radford University community.”

The hotel will be included in the University’s 2020-2030 Master Plan, which is in the final development stages as review and approval by the Board of Visitors is expected in early December. The hotel brand will be announced in the near future. The estimated cost is between $20 million and $25 million.

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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.

cascade falls; giles county; outdoor recreation; new river valley; nrv

Giles County to Receive Technical Assistance to Grow Outdoor Recreation Economy

Giles County, VA — Recently, in support of the Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service and the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) are announcing that they have selected 10 communities under the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities assistance program to help revitalize their Main Streets through outdoor recreation.

Several of the selected communities are in or adjacent to Opportunity Zones, economically-distressed areas that can be designated for preferential tax treatment under the president’s historic tax reform package. The 10 communities selected for assistance include: Cambridge, New York; Fryeburg, Maine; Giles County, Virginia; Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Gorham, New Hampshire; Grants, New Mexico; Jasper, Alabama; John Day, Oregon; Poultney, Vermont; and Thompson Falls, Montana.

“We are pleased to work with our federal partners to promote healthy outdoor activities and deliver on President Trump’s commitment to support and revitalize rural communities,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Together, we will develop strategies that rural communities can use to grow their economies and make wise use of their natural resources.”

“What better way to sustain our nation’s forests, grasslands and watersheds than through partnerships that engage people directly in stewardship and foster community-driven economic opportunities,” said USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen.

An outdoor recreation trade association representative welcomed the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities planning assistance program. “We applaud this effort,” said Jessica Wahl, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) Executive Director. “ORR looks forward to working with the EPA, USDA and the Northern Border Regional Commission to help more communities invest in the recreation economy and time spent outside.”

Through Recreation Economy for Rural Communities assistance, a planning team appointed by the EPA and its federal counterparts will help the partner communities create an action plan to grow the local outdoor recreation economy in ways that promote sustainable resource management and environmentally friendly community development.

The selected communities are planning to revitalize their communities in a variety of ways, including building new trail connections, boosting downtown amenities, connecting nearby hiking-biking trails to downtown, and working to attract recreation-related economic opportunities.

Giles County, Virginia, will work with the USDA Forest Service to manage and use Cascades Falls and other natural assets to attract residents and visitors to downtown Pembroke and other communities.

The planning process will take place over four to six months, with a two-day facilitated community workshop as the focal point. Participants will work together to identify a vision, goals, and specific actions to realize the locally set goals. Recreation Economy for Rural Communities is sponsored by the USDA-Forest Service, the Northern Border Regional Commission, and EPA.

Background According to the Outdoor Industry Association’s 2017 report on The National Outdoor Recreation Economy, outdoor activities – including hiking, biking, boating, fishing, hunting, birdwatching, off-road vehicle riding, skiing, snowmobiling, and viewing historic places – generated $887 billion in annual spending and created more than 7 million jobs. These activities can bring new investment to local economies, heighten interest in conservation of forests and other natural resources, and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors.

The EPA Office of Community Revitalization supports locally led, community-driven efforts to expand economic opportunity, protect human health and the environment, and create and enhance the places that people love. Through technical assistance, publications, research, tools, and grants, EPA is helping America’s communities turn their visions of the future into reality.

The USDA Forest Service develops and implements place-based recreation planning using collaborative processes with communities and outdoor recreation and tourism providers within regional destination areas. Forest Service recreation programs support over 205,000 jobs, the majority of which are in rural gateway communities near national forests. The agency partners with states, tribes, local communities, and landowners to promote shared stewardship of public and privately owned forests and grasslands.

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Giles County, Virginia is located in Southwest Virginia approximately 40 minutes south of Roanoke and just west of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. With easy access to the New River, world class dining and lodging properties, and historical attractions for the entire family, Giles offers adventure in Virginia’s Mountain Playground™. Come find your playground at our Visitors Center located at 203 N Main Street, Pearisburg, VA 24134 or find us online at gilescounty.org or by calling 540-921-2079.

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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.

Beliveau Estate; winery; blacksburg; nrv; montgomery county

Southern Living Features 5 Things to Do in Blacksburg

Blacksburg, VASouthern Living showcases five things to do in Blacksburg and describes it as “the perfect playground for those in search of outdoor adventure.”

While calling attention to the fact that Blacksburg is a college town, Southern Living also highlights that is so much more than that. They feature some of the top places to wine and dine, experience arts and culture, adventure outdoors, explore campus, and spend your afternoon.

“This relaxed small town promises abundant bursts of fall foliage, as the Blue Ridge Mountains serve as Blacksburg’s picturesque backdrop.”

Discover which spots around town were featured.

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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.

The Palisades Wins Restaurateur of the Year Award

Giles County, VA – Shaena Muldoon, owner and manager of The Palisades, received the Jim Wordsworth Award for Restaurateur of the Year from the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association (VRLTA).

This award recognizes an “Owner, GM, Manager, etc. for his/her extraordinary contributions to Virginia’s restaurant industry and his/her restaurant–and its patrons”. It is named for Jim Wordsworth who continues to set high standards for commitment to Virginia’s Restaurant and Tourism Industry. Shaena received this award for her creative and innovative work in the restaurant industry as well as her contributions to the community at the VRLTA Annual Dinner on October 10th in Richmond, VA. Every year the VRLTA selects winners for the Ordinary Awards to celebrate and honor all of Virginia’s restaurants, lodging establishments and hotels, DMOs, attractions, and more. A full list of all the winners can be found on their website.

Originally Pyne’s General Store, the Palisades Restaurant retains the unique features of its Historic Landmark building, including exposed brick walls, pressed tin ceilings and hardwood floors, in addition to displaying memorabilia from the Eggleston’s lively past.

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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.

fall in the nrv

Fall Things to Do in the NRV

New River Valley, VA – Now that the weather outside feels like fall, here’s a list of fun things to do across the New River Valley to embrace the season of Fall. Adventure around the NRV with your friends or family and enjoy everything it has to offer.

Pumpkin Patches & Apple Picking

Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Festival
Thornspring Pastures Farm Fest
Crows Nest Greenhouse
Apple picking at Doe Creek Farm

Fall Festivals

Pearisburg Scarecrow Festival
Newbern Fall Festival
Draper Village’s Fall Festival
Narrows Annual Fall Festival
Randolph Park Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular
Radford Highlanders Festival
Smithfield Halloween 2019

Oktoberfest

OktoberFest in Floyd takes place on October 12th at Chantilly Farm. This Oktoberfest Dinner Show provides an evening filled with traditional German music, great food, and brews! Family-friendly fun for all ages.

Halloween-Themed

Haunted House: Slayhouse
Halloween Spooktacular: 3-D Drive-In Movie
Backwoods of Terror
Hexed Haunted Attraction

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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.

Blacksburg is 13th Best College Town to Start a Career

Blacksburg, VA – According to Business Insider, Blacksburg is the 13th best college town in America to start your career in 2019.

Grand Canyon University conducted a study to identify the best college towns for starting a career. They collected data from the US Census, Yelp, Indeed, official government climate data, and more for all the cities included in the study. Six categories were used to compare the cities and included, similar state of life population, job market, climate, culture, city infrastructure, and financial. Cities were ranked on a scale of 1 – 10 in each category and then added together for a final score between 1 and 60; the higher the better.

In the 13th spot, Blacksburg scored an overall 36.05, falling just short of the 11th spot which Auburn, Alabama and Oxford, Mississippi tied for at 36.15. Notre Dame, Indiana, the top college town to start a career came in at 42.5.

Check out the full list of the top 20 schools here.

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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.

Christiansburg is 2nd Best City to Live in Virginia

Christiansburg, VA – Christiansburg is ranked as the second best city to live in Virginia by creditdonkey.com.

CreditDonkey scored the cities in Virginia based on:
  • Odds of being a victim of a violent crime
  • Commute time
  • Income
  • Residents who attended some college
  • Restaurants per capita
  • Only cities with an average commute of 30 minutes or less were included.

    Christiansburg’s scores were:
  • Odds of being a victim of a violent crime: 1 in 709
  • Commute time: 19.1 minutes
  • Income: $50,276
  • Residents who attended some college: Bachelor’s Degree or higher 33.6%
  • Restaurants per capita: 1 per 316 inhabitants
  • The atmosphere of Christiansburg was described as “progressive small town living at its best”.

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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 Has 8th Lowest Cost of Living in Virginia

    Pulaski County, VA – Pulaski comes in with the 8th lowest Cost of Living Index (COLI) at 86 in the state of Virginia.

    The index includes cost of retail goods and services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), cost of private/public transportation (9%), and utilities (10%). Overall, the state of Virginia ranks at 108 with the national average being 100. With a variety of affordable housing options, the housing index for Pulaski is 55 which has a significant impact on the overall score.

    Read more about the breakdown of the COLI here.

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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.