VTCRC Media Day Onward NRV

PharmExec: Southeast Biotech Rising Tall in the Valley

~ A look at the booming life sciences scene in southwest Virginia and Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem, North Carolina—and the region’s advantages in location, talent, and funding compared to the more glamour spots up north by Michelle Maskaly ~

What the [hell] are you guys doing in southwest Virginia?”

That’s the response Josep Bassaganya-Riera, chairman and CEO of Landos Biopharma, which produces first-in-class oral therapeutics for autoimmune disorders, says he typically gets when he pitches his Blacksburg, Va.-based biotech to investors in hot spots like San Francisco and New York.

But Bassaganya-Riera, who grew up in Europe and has lived in various places around the world, wouldn’t think about headquartering his company anywhere else.

“There are beautiful mountains and it’s a great place to raise a family,” he says.

Southeast Biotech VTCRC Blacksburg

The area, surrounded by lush green valleys and sky-high mountain peaks, is also home to what some might call the region’s secret weapon when it comes to many industries, especially biotech: Virginia Tech, where Bassaganya-Riera is the director of the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory at the school’s Biocomplexity Institute.

If you consider the university’s long history of standout engineering and science-related student programs in human and animal health, add in the abundance of resources being made available to professors and students to commercialize research, as well as the cultural collision of the data and science worlds, you have a breeding ground for biotech innovation.

To help foster that innovation, the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech was conceived in response to a major policy initiative that established biotechnology as a central area of economic growth for the state. Building on early successes in genomic sequencing, the institute quickly established itself as a leader in another emerging scientific field, the simulation of complex systems. According to its website, “today, the Biocomplexity Institute is answering challenges to human health, habitat, and well-being at a scale that would have been inconceivable only a decade ago.”

Fostering an ecosystem

Without the correct ecosystem, however, it could all be lost. That’s where the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) comes into play. The 230-acre park is located adjacent to the Virginia Tech campus and within close proximity to Route 81, a main thoroughfare that makes desirable healthcare-related cities in North Carolina, as well as the nation’s capital, just hours away.

Created in July of 1985, the first building was completed in 1988, and is now home to 33 single-and multi-tenant structures. An expansion on the northwest side of the park provides enough land to construct 16 additional buildings. VTCRC is a for-profit, wholly-owned, private subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation.

The center has the ability to work closely with the university’s teaching mission by identifying opportunities for classes to use VTCRC and its companies for projects, special studies, internships, cooperative education experiences, and on-site instruction.

VTCRC also assists with university research programs and initiatives that facilitate economic development activities throughout the university by matching the needs of VTCRC businesses, facilities, and programs with the research and professional capabilities of Virginia Tech, helping to increase the level of industry-sponsored research at the school.

Much of the credit for the research park’s success is given to Joe Meredith, president and CEO of VTCRC. He, and his staff, work closely with each of the businesses to provide as many resources as possible. In fact, one of the most touted attributes mentioned during a recent media day event was VTCRC’s flexibility, especially when it comes to space, whether it be wet lab or office space. Meredith is known to “tear up leases” and start from scratch to help companies adjust to their needs and keep them in the VTCRC, according to a number of entrepreneurs Pharm Exec spoke with.

Many of the businesses located in the park have roots that trace back to Virginia Tech, such as CELLINK, a 3D bioprinting company; CytoRecovery, a licensed technology that enables the recovery and testing of subpopulations of cancer cells in tumor biopsies; and TechLab, a full-service in vitrodiagnostic product manufacturer.

The fact these companies have been encouraged to stay local has had a direct impact on the economic development in the region by helping to keep talent in the area and also recruit new talent to the region. Rob Day, chief operations officer of Blacksburg-based TechLab, is a prime example. Day, who has been with the medical diagnostics company since 2000, grew up about an hour from VTCRC, and was faced with a tough choice when he first entered the workforce—leave the region for a job in his field or do something completely different.

“After graduating from Virginia Tech, I had limited opportunities in the area at the time,” Day told Pharm Exec. “I worked for about five years locally with a cosmetics factory and was able to then find employment at TechLab. It was quite unusual at the time to be employed in microbiology and immunology in southwest Virginia. However, over the last 20 years or so, we have seen an incredible morph of the area and the biotech industry. …I feel quite lucky to have found employment and been able to stay in this beautiful area.”

Location dollars

Southwest Virginia is visually about as far away from Kendall Square as you can get, and the people who live and work there are okay with that. In fact, area business development leaders are very transparent that the type of C-suite level executive you find in Blacksburg or the New River Valley would likely not be happy long-term in a San Francisco or Boston lifestyle.

The region gives those executives looking for a better quality of life access to world-class talent in a place they can do business without making a compromise. It’s why, no matter the pushback he may initially get from investors, Bassaganya-Riera has no plans of moving his biotech, especially in the early years. “When a company starts out they are usually in bootstrapping mode and budgets are lean,” he says, a consideration that also makes southwest Virginia an appealing location due to its much lower costs to rent and buy space compared to Boston, for example.

Bassaganya-Riera finds that fundraising and networking is not impeded by being outside of the major biotech hubs, and that current-day technology allows him to bring and supply the resources he needs virtually.

But not everyone shares his opinion. Ed Champion, president of Roanoke-based Altede, a biotech whose work centers around food allergy-testing technology that was developed at Virginia Tech, and others toldPharm Execthat raising capital is an issue for them, because it is the one missing piece of the biotech ecosystem puzzle.

Local economic leaders, such as Brian Hamilton, economic development director for the Montgomery County Economic Development, and Charlie Jewell, executive director of Onward New River Valley, both acknowledge that the southwest Virginia area doesn’t have the same financial ecosystem for biopharma companies as it does for technology companies, but that it can be looked at as a chicken and egg situation. As biotech companies become successful and are acquired, it will naturally create a financial ecosystem as the founders decide to invest in other local companies.

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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.

1901 Group Expansion

1901 Group Adds 580 Jobs in Blacksburg

RICHMOND — Governor Ralph Northam today announced that 1901 Group, a trusted provider of IT services for the public and private sectors, will invest $4 million to expand its Enterprise IT Operations Center headquartered in Montgomery County (Blacksburg, VA) and its corporate offices in Fairfax County. The company will receive funding for the project from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP), which will support the addition of 580 new jobs in Montgomery County and 225 new jobs in Fairfax County by 2021.

“The decision by 1901 Group to expand its operations in Montgomery and Fairfax Counties is a strong testament to Virginia’s ability to compete for major projects that will result in tremendous opportunity for citizens across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “With one of the largest technology talent pools in the nation, Virginia’s thriving IT industry promises high anticipated growth and upward mobility for employees. We thank 1901 Group for creating more than 800 new 21st-century jobs and for contributing to our efforts to ensure that all Virginians, no matter who they are or where they live, have access to a promising future.”

1901 Group is a market leader in innovative public sector IT services. The company delivers cloud, cyber security, and enterprise scale-managed services to transition customers from traditional on-premise IT infrastructure and support models to hybrid cloud solutions that improve performance and reduce costs. Named one of “Virginia’s Fantastic 50” by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, 1901 Group has experienced a substantial increase in the use of its services by the federal government, with anticipated high growth in the future. The company will expand its Enterprise IT Operations Center in Montgomery County to 40,000 square feet, augmenting its ability to hire, train, educate, and retain a cloud-centric engineering workforce to provide 24-7 support of end users, complex IT infrastructure environments, and mission critical systems.

“Both the New River Valley and Northern Virginia represent the very best of what Virginia has to offer, and we are proud that 1901 Group has experienced such extraordinary growth at its locations in Montgomery and Fairfax Counties,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The company will continue to benefit from an acclaimed business environment and premier higher education institutions training the next generation of IT professionals. 1901 Group is the ideal candidate for support from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which has provided a skilled talent pipeline to growing corporate partners for more than half a century.”

“1901 Group’s revenue in the federal market has increased by 30x in the last six years,” noted CEO of 1901 Group Sonu Singh. “Much of this growth can be attributed to operating in the Fairfax region, which has a strong technology focus and great access to talent. Our business model also leverages the talent, the quality of life, and the advantageous cost of living in Montgomery County. Our goal of creating high-quality IT jobs clustered in rural areas is the best way to improve quality and performance for the federal government especially as the pace of cloud adoption increases. Our revenue and headcount growth are proof that this is the next big trend in rural IT jobs.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) assisted Montgomery County and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority with their efforts to secure the project for Virginia. VEDP will support 1901 Group’s recruitment activities through VJIP, a program that provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change to support employee training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for its citizens.

“This is yet another example of how Montgomery County is not only a great place to live, but also a great place for desirable and expanding job opportunities in our software development cluster,” said Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Chris Tuck. “1901 Group joins a series of companies in our area that are growing, and we are glad they have chosen to expand their operations in Montgomery County.”

“1901 Group is a great example of a company leveraging new technologies in innovative ways, and I am delighted that the firm is taking advantage of our technology-focused workforce to expand its corporate operations here,” said Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

“The New River Valley has attracted many IT companies, and the announcement today of 1901 Group’s ongoing development in this region is one more testament to increased demand for IT services and cybersecurity management,” said Senator John Edwards. “As more industries migrate data to cloud-based platforms, Virginia must continue preparing a workforce to build and maintain the IT infrastructure of tomorrow.”

“1901 Group’s expansion in Fairfax County is an exciting growth move for them and a real benefit for our area,” stated Senator Janet Howell. “I commend the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority’s efforts to secure this expansion for Northern Virginia. Funding from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program will benefit both 1901 Group and the new employees who are hired for the data center expansion.”

“Having economic development partnerships with businesses such as 1901 Group remains a top priority for the Commonwealth,” said Delegate L. Nick Rush. “With funding from VJIP, the expansion of 1901 Group in Montgomery County will continue to help establish Virginia as a global IT leader while providing cost-effective services that are researched, developed, and maintained right here, in our local community. Future job opportunities that this expansion will provide are both welcome and encouraging for our region’s fast-paced and ever-growing technology sector.”

“I am pleased that this economic development partnership will benefit my region of the Commonwealth as well as another,” said Delegate Kenneth Plum. “It will provide job opportunities for Fairfax and Montgomery Counties. 1901 Group’s significant investment and job creation is truly a win for everyone.”

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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.

Murals in Blacksburg, VA

Exploring downtown: Understanding the murals of downtown Blacksburg

FROM THE COLLEGIATE TIMES – “The town of Blacksburg’s original 16 downtown squares have some amazing restaurants, cool shops and great people; however, one thing that may be unappreciated is the abundance of art. Coming from someone who lives 10 minutes away from another historic downtown area, Leesburg, I explored every corner of that town to see what was offered…”

Murals in Blacksburg, VA

“When I came here, seeing the art in Leesburg inspired me to see if Blacksburg had anything to offer as well. While taking a casual stroll through the downtown area, I was able to find some unique murals and sculptures that are definitely something to check out.”

Learn more about murals in Downtown Blacksburg from Justin Rocha at the Virginia Tech Collegiate Times.

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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.

Floyd C4 2018

Medina Mercantile Takes Top Prize at the Floyd C4 Business Development Series

FROM FLOYD COUNTY – The 4th annual Floyd C4 came to a dramatic conclusion on Monday night, as 8 of the participants in the 6-week business development series gave their best pitch to judges. Contestants had already submitted written business plans, which were confidentially scored by the 3 judges the week before. Each business had 10-minutes to pitch followed by 15 minutes of questions and answers with the judges.

Medina Mercantile was the top place winner, earning $5,000 to use toward expanding the business beyond imported hand-made baskets sold wholesale to include select locally-made items sold retail, predominantly online. Owner Cassie Wilson, who is also a designer, will use part of the money to work with local artisans on special pieces and the rest to do some much-needed work on the building, located on 8909 Deer Run Dr in Copper Hill.

Windy Creek Farm took 2nd place and a $3,000 prize. Owner Jake Bruton, a large animal veterinarian by training, emphasized the opportunity available to his farm business selling USDA beef, pork and lamb. He is also working with other local farms to meet demand. Windy Creek Farm is on Franklin Pike in Floyd.

ColdSpring Nurse Mares, LLC won third place and a $1,000 prize. Owner Bronwyn Watts explained that the new company “provides an innovative and vital service to the equine community” by providing nurse mares to foals who have lost their biological mothers. The farm, located on Kristi Lane in Floyd, serves the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic region, which includes many acclaimed horse farms.

“The quality of this year’s plans and pitches were excellent, “ according to Jon Beegle, the Chairman of the Floyd County Economic Development Authority and a stand-in for a judge who wasn’t able to make it. “Out of a possible 300 points, less than 15 points separated 5 contestants. They really showcased the innovation and entrepreneurship in Floyd County and showed promise in both start up and expansion opportunities.”

This year a “Best Pitch” award and $400 prize was given to Buffalo Mountain Adventures for their pitch which included a costumed skit and mini-rap about the business. Brittany Bonner explained that the company is already offering a shuttle service for groups in or visiting Floyd, and they are adding guided outdoors adventure services in the Spring to include hikes, river and caving trips and mountain biking.

The Floyd C4 Business Development Series, funded by the Floyd County Board of Supervisors, provides 6 weekly sessions on business start-up, marketing, finance, operating a business and how-to-pitch. C4 stands for Curriculum, Creators, Coaches and Challenge.

“The Small Business Development Center is an integral partner with us in putting this on as their staff members Tom Tanner and Amanda Forrester do some of the presentations as well as provide business counseling services to participants. The Floyd County EDA is fortunate to have great partners that make this possible—including the County, the Town, Virginia Community Capital, and the New River Valley Regional Commission,” Beegle added. “We look forward to continuing to work with all of the businesses who did the Floyd C4 and seeing them grow and succeed in Floyd.”

This was the 4th annual Floyd C4 series.

One-year follow up on the first two Floyd C4s showed that 22.5 full-time equivalent jobs were created by the new or growing businesses and more than $650,000 in private investment was generated.

Follow up with the cohort from the third year is currently underway.

For more information, contact Lydeana Martin at lmartin@floydcova.org or 540 745-9300 or by cell at 540 267-4083.

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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 Turkey

Pulaski County Expanding International Business Recruitment Efforts to the Republic of Turkey

~ Economic Development Team Visits Turkish Embassy to Begin Shaping New Business Relationships with Companies Looking to Make Foreign Direct Investment into U.S. ~

FROM PULASKI COUNTY, VA – October 29, 2018, the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors and the Pulaski County Economic Development Authority (EDA) expanded their business and industrial recruitment efforts to the Republic of Turkey. Pulaski County, hosting the title of Southwestern Virginia’s Center of International Business, is further extending its welcoming and supportive community for international companies to Turkey.

The County’s economic development team traveled to Washington D.C. to meet and discuss recruitment strategies with leading international business tacticians, as well as Turkey’s Office of the Commercial Counselor. While in D.C., County Administrator Jonathan D. Sweet and Economic Development Director Michael Solomon visited the Turkish Embassy and discussed business cultivation opportunities with top Turkish commercial attachés. The aim was to gain connectivity to Turkish companies looking to establish a U.S. presence.

“We would like Turkish companies to do business in Pulaski County, Virginia,” stated Mustafa Koca, Chief Commercial Counselor. “What we have learned of Pulaski County sounds most promising and we would like to try and set up a trip to come visit the county in hopes of developing meaningful partnerships.”

Turkey is defined as an emerging market economy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is among the world’s developed countries according to the CIA World Factbook. It is one of the world’s newly industrialized countries with the world’s 17th-largest nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and 13th-largest GDP by purchasing power parity. The country is among the world’s leading producers of agricultural products; textiles; motor vehicles, transportation equipment; construction materials; consumer electronics and home appliances.

“In looking at Turkey’s main industrial sectors, they are very similar to what Pulaski County has historically produced as well as where we have evolved to in the advanced manufacturing arena,” stated Jonathan D. Sweet, County Administrator. “We feel there are great opportunities for Turkish companies to utilize our international business-friendly environment and skilled workforce, as well as tap into our innovative research and leading edge cybersecurity programs at Virginia Tech and Radford University.”

Home to a diverse advanced manufacturing cluster and an existing concentration of international industries (nine (9) – Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Australian, Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Columbia and Poland), Pulaski County has honed its wrap-around business support services to provide specific resources and foreign direct investment expertise that are valuable to international businesses and the relocation of their management teams.

“The Board of Supervisors and the EDA are committed to further diversifying and growing our economy and feel international business development, specifically with Turkey, could play a large role in doing just that,” stated Andy McCready, Chair, Pulaski County Board of Supervisors. “We have done a good job of laying the ground work for our team to successfully recruit with the establishment of our Foreign Trade Zone (#238), the International Port of Entry, innovative workforce development programs, our variety of available product and our sincere desire to do business with foreign companies.”

International companies continue to locate and thrive in Pulaski County, with more than 1,000 new jobs having come from these companies in the last 18 months. It is deduced that the county’s skilled and resilient labor force, its low cost of doing business, its transportation infrastructure and an array of partnership opportunities has been the foundation to the robust growth patterns of companies that call Pulaski County home.

“The logistics of and connectivity to existing local and regional foreign-owned enterprises and OEM’s, along with their supply chains, makes Pulaski County one of the most commonsensical locations to locate new U.S. based operations,” stated John Wyatt, Chair, Economic Development Authority. “We are also quite fortunate to have distinct local and regional assets that are attractive to our foreign friends that include our storied heritage, an abundance of outdoor activities, a diverse expat community, cultural entertainment and a growing creative class that continues to enrich our region.”

Turkey is a transcontinental country in Eurasia and Middle East, located mainly in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. The country is encircled by seas on three sides, with the Aegean Sea to the west, the Black Sea to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, which together form the Turkish Straits, divide Thrace and Anatolia and separate Europe from Asia. Ankara is the capital while Istanbul is the country’s largest city and main cultural and commercial centre, classified as a leading global city. Turkey is a charter member of the UN, an early member of NATO, the IMF and the World Bank, and a founding member of the OECD, OSCE, BSEC, OIC and G-20.

Contact: Jonathan D. Sweet, ICMA-CM
County Administrator
Pulaski County, Virginia
(540) 980-7705
jsweet@pulaskicounty.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.

Energy Star Rankings

The NRV Ranked No. 8 Energy Star Small City

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA (commonly known as Virginia’s New River Valley) was ranked the number 8 Energy Star small city of 2018.

The NRV has a long history of being a good steward with natural resources and protecting the environment. The people of the NRV have a deep connection with nature and are committed to preserving the region, especially because the resources (like the New River) are so fun to use.

Energy Star Rankings

Top 10 Energy Star Cities of 2018 (Small MSAs)

1. Midland, TX
2. Odessa, TX
3. Greenville, NC
4. Jackson, MI
5. San Angelo, TX
6. Sioux City, IA
7. Junction City, KS
8. New River Valley, VA
9. Santa Fe, NM
10. Martinsville, VA

The top cities were determined by looking at how many Energy Star certified buildings were in each MSA (metropolitan statistical area).

Energy Star certified buildings are more energy efficient than most of other similar buildings in the U.S. Energy Star buildings have saved more than $4.5 billion since 1999.

For more information about the rankings, visit Energy Star.

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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 Top Posts of 2018

NRV Ranked No. 6 Top Job Market of 2018

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA (commonly known as Virginia’s New River Valley) keeps topping charts. The NRV was ranked the number 6 top job market of 2018 by Zippia.

The rankings were determined by looking at unemployment rate, unemployment rate change, and wage change.

Top 10 Job Markets of 2018:

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (Silicon Valley area)
2. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA
3. Odessa, TX
4. Midland, TX
5. Charleston-North Charleston, SC
6. New River Valley, VA
7. Florence, SC
8. Ann Arbor, MI
9. Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA
10. Roanoke, VA

The rankings considered 386 metro areas of varying sizes. For more information on the rankings, visit Zippia, “The Career Expert.”

This ranking was also used by USA Today.

Looking for work in the NRV? Start with the Job Opportunities tab under Live Here.

Header photo: Excella, agile tech firm, Blacksburg

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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.

Blue Ridge Fudge Lady

Blue Ridge Fudge Lady Featured on Fox Business

A Virginia’s New River Valley favorite, the Blue Ridge Fudge Lady (aka Robin Burdette), was featured on FoxBusiness last week.

Burdette went from Cybersecurity professional, to pursuing a practical passion project: opening her own chocolate shop.

Watch the video:

Read more from Emily DeCiccio from FoxBusiness.

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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.

Onward NRV Hosts VEDP Technologies & Services Team

Onward NRV, with the help of local partners, hosted the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) Technologies and Services Team to tour Virginia’s New River Valley on October 17th and 18th.

The visit was tailored to part of the team’s focus and one of the NRV targeted industries: Information Technology.

The tour kicked off with a dinner at Mountain Lake Lodge, which gave the opportunity to stop at a gorgeous scenic overlook in Giles County.

tour Virginia's New River Valley

Guests began the tour with a regional overview presentation and information about Virginia Tech from John Provo, Director of the VT Office of Economic Development, and the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center from CEO Joe Meredith, PhD. Both the university and the research park are significant assets for new or existing IT companies.

Next, the tour stopped at Rackspace to talk about talent recruitment and take a quick tour to see a prominent example of an IT company in the NRV.

tour Virginia's New River Valley

The first building tour was at the Coleman-Vaughan building in Pulaski. The vintage building is full of character and unique architecture. Walking to lunch at Al’s on First allowed for a brief walking tour of downtown Pulaski and an overview of some of the redevelopment projects in the area.

The group also had a chance to visit Radford University Corporate Park, a great location for an IT company, and visit with Matt Dunleavy, the director of the Vinod Chachra IMPACT lab.

Then, guests tour the Radford University ARTIS lab and heard from faculty and staff about the amazing offerings RU has for IT companies, such as customized coursework and connections to internships.

tour Virginia's New River Valley

The last stop on the tour was in Floyd at the Floyd Innovation Center. The local incubator is a great place for an IT company to set up. A newer tenant, Tendergrass Farms, was able to share their story of innovation and their process of meeting agriculture with technology.

tour Virginia's New River Valley

The short tour, which reached each county and city in less than one day, was a great opportunity to tell the story of Information Technology in Virginia’s New River Valley.

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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 engineering

Virginia Tech College of Engineering Moves Up to #13 in U.S.

BLACKSBURG, VA – The Virginia Tech College of Engineering rose one spot in the U.S. News & World Report Best College Rankings. The college is now number 13 among all national engineering programs.

virginia tech engineering

The college still holds the number 9 spot among public universities.

“We continue to be sought after by the best and brightest future engineers, seeing a 20 percent increase in applications this year,” said Julia M. Ross, the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean of Engineering. “The college is poised to fulfill our land-grant mission and responsibility to fuel the pipeline of a globally astute, diverse workforce and academic leaders. It all starts with shaping young minds.”

Virginia Tech continues to be a huge asset in the NRV, helping to produce a steady pipeline of talent for our area.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings are based on peer assessment, retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates, and alumni giving.

For more information about the ranking, visit the Virginia Tech News post.

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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.