Regional Airport Receives Grant Funding to Enlarge its Aircraft Ramp

Pulaski County, VA – The New River Valley Regional Airport continues to expand.

The New River Valley (NRV) Airport in Pulaski County, Virginia has been awarded $743,425.00 in grant funds to strategically expand its aircraft parking ramp. The funding comes in the form of two grants. The first grant issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) covers 90% of the project cost and is for $682,738.00; the second grant issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Aviation covers 8% of the project cost and is for $60,687.00. The grant funds will be matched with $15,173.00 of NRV Airport funds to make up the total $758,598.00 construction cost for the 21,675 square foot ramp expansion.

The expansion at the airport is something the Airport Commission and local government leaders feel is critical to the short and long-term growth of the region.

“The NRV Airport has always been a vital asset and a differentiator in our economic development toolbox, and expanding its capabilities is important to supporting the New River Valley and serving specifically the significant business growth we are experiencing here in Pulaski County. The airport’s ability to leverage federal and state grants to cover 98% of the cost makes the project viable, allows for a much quicker return on investment back to the Commission and gives our business and industrial community a greater competitive advantage in the marketplace.” – Jonathan D. Sweet, County Administrator, Pulaski County

The federal grant funding was made available with Congress’s passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which Virginia 9th District Congressman H. Morgan Griffith was a cosponsor. The legislation, which provided $3.35 billion for the FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) received support in the U.S. Senate from Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Timothy Kaine, and was signed into law in October 2018. Funding for the AIP program comes from federal taxes assessed on aviation fuels and does not use general fund money. Similarly, the Virginia Department of Aviation’s grant utilizes funding derived from the 5-cent state tax on aviation fuels sold in the Commonwealth. “These are aviation taxes being reinvested to fund aviation projects that ultimately generates more taxes and better serves the assorted needs of our diverse customers,” said Keith Holt, manager of the New River Valley Airport. “We have seen a tremendous increase in air freight traffic and overall airport usage which can be directly tied to the growth and strength of our local economy.”

The expansion will allow the airport greater space to park aircraft and transport air cargo. So far, in 2019, the airport has moved over 294,000 pounds of air freight, an increase of nearly 215% over 2018 figures. The project, awarded through a competitive bid process, will be constructed by W-L Construction and Paving Inc., from Chilhowie, Virginia. Eden and Associates with offices in Blacksburg, Virginia, will provide on-site engineering and construction management services.

The New River Valley Airport is a 469-acre general aviation airport located two miles north of the town of Dublin on State Route 100, directly adjacent to the New River Valley Commerce Park. The airport’s 6,201-foot-long runway can handle a wide array of corporate jets and has all-weather instrument landing capabilities. Operated by the New River Valley Airport Commission, with representatives from seven local jurisdictions, the airport is focused on the air service needs, demands and growth of regional businesses and economic development.

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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.

BimmerWorld to Invest $1 Million Expansion

<>Richmond, VA

— Governor Ralph Northam today announced that BimmerWorld, a leading BMW parts supplier, will invest $1 million to expand its operation in Pulaski County. The company will increase warehouse space to accommodate its customer service center and growing demand for parts. The project will retain 25 jobs and create 15 new jobs.

“BimmerWorld is a great example of what a homegrown Virginia startup can achieve in the New River Valley,” said Governor Northam. “This innovative company has built a solid reputation in a niche market, and the continued investment in its operation is a strong testament to the region’s skilled workforce and flourishing automotive sector. We congratulate BimmerWorld on its next phase of growth and look forward to the company’s continued success in Pulaski County.”

Founded in 1997 by James Clay, BimmerWorld began as a supplier of used BMW parts and quickly grew to offer replacement parts, performance parts, and race parts for all BMW enthusiasts. Located in Southwest Virginia, BimmerWorld is a leading BMW parts supplier with customers spanning the globe.

“BimmerWorld has thrived in Pulaski County for more than two decades, and Virginia is proud to have this unique company on its corporate roster. The region’s pro-business environment, robust workforce, and training programs promote the success of companies of all sizes, and we thank BimmerWorld for continuing to invest and create valuable, 21st-century jobs in the New River Valley.” – Brain Ball, Secretary of Commerce and Trade

“We have built the leading independent BMW performance tuning and parts retailer in North America, and I am proud that it is rooted in Pulaski County where I grew up,” said company founder James Clay. “This newest expansion is a further investment in the local economy and workforce, which are critical to us as we continue to move forward with the growth of our business.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Pulaski County and Onward New River Valley to secure the project for Virginia.

“We are so proud of BimmerWorld’s continued success here in Pulaski County and what their steady growth means for quality new job opportunities for the citizens of Pulaski County and the New River Valley,” said Chair of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Andy McCready. “BimmerWorld, like most of our business community, is buoyed by its world-class workforce that ultimately allows them to be industry leaders and effectively compete in the global market.”

“Congratulations to James Clay and BimmerWorld on this very exciting news,” said Delegate Nick Rush. “As a successful family-owned local business that I’ve proudly watched grow since its inception, BimmerWorld is an exemplary model of employee talent and commitment in a continuously expanding, competitive industry. Pulaski County, Southwest Virginia, and the Commonwealth are certain to benefit greatly from their continued growth, production potential, and workforce investment.”

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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.

Calfee Park

Motor Mile Field Voted Best Rookie-Level Ballpark

Pulaski County, VA Motor Mile Field at Calfee Park was chosen by the Ballpark Digest Best of the Ballparks annual fan voting competition as the best rookie-level ballpark in America.

Calfee Park beat out two-time champion TVA Credit Union Ballpark, home to the Johnson City Cardinals in the semi-final rounds of voting. The ballpark has received numerous updates since the Shelor Automotive Group purchased Calfee Park in 2015. Some of these updates include:

  • A new visiting team clubhouse
  • Concession stand
  • Press box
  • Souvenir store
  • Two VIP towers
  • JumboTron
  • The most recent update completed right before the 2019 season included a three-tiered party deck and new boxes, increasing the park’s capacity to 3,200.

    “This is the result of five years of continued improvements and support of the community. We’re proud of this ballpark and the upgrades over past years that have helped Calfee Park meet the standards of the New York Yankees and Minor League Baseball.”
      – David Hagan, Calfee Park owner

    The Pulaski Yankees are midway through their season with a winning record, putting them at the top of the Appalachian League division. Tickets are available at pulaskiyankees.net, at the Calfee Park box offices, or by calling (540) 980-1070.

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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.

    MOVA

    MOVA Technologies Partners with VT to Collect and Recycle Pollutants

    Pulaski County, VA – MOVA Technologies is partnering with Virginia Tech to to test a filtration system that could have major implications for fossil fuel-burning plants.

    MOVA Technologies recently received $50,000 from Governor Ralph Northam as part of the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund Awards to test out prototypes of panel-bed filters. The company is currently in their final stage of testing, which is taking place at VT’s Advanced Power and Propulsion Laboratory. If all goes well, the filters will collect coal fly ash, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide and will be contained in a solid sorbent material for safe transport. These chemicals will then be resold to companies who need them for production.

    Joseph Meadows, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at VT, will be analyzing the filters at his test cell lab over the next 6 months. The filters will be tested in variety of operating conditions with various containments to test its efficacy and identify which gases are going through the filter. Additionally, Stephen Martin, VT associate professor of chemical engineering, will play a supporting role as the expert in solid sorbents. Martin will be on hand to modify the solid sorbents as needed during the testing phase.

    “We’re pleased to keep development of the panel-bed in Southwest Virginia. The majority of our capital investors are from this region, and the technology is designed for applications that could benefit Virginia’s economy, with a specific emphasis on Southwest Virginia.”
      – James Compton, Operations Officer at MOVA Technologies

    According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this type of carbon filtration technology was not expected to be available until 2030. However, MOVA intends on bringing it to market next year. This system will take up less space as well as reduce costs compared to existing technology. Studies have indicated that the panel-bed could potentially reduce capital and operating costs by 15% and 25%, respectively.

    Virginia Tech Knowledge Works conducted a market study that determined this filtration system has the ability to generate annual revenues of between $500 million and $1 billion. The proof-of-concept testing is expected to be complete by March 2020 and from there the company hopes to begin production. Steve Critchfield, MOVA’s president and CEO, wants to bring jobs to Southwest Virginia.

    MOVA
    “One thing I’m excited about is these fabrication jobs will pay enough to entice people from Southwest Virginia back who are now on oil rigs and pipelines. I’m hoping this will be a major step toward stopping the exodus of people from Southwest Virginia.” – Steve Critchfield

    While there is still quite a bit of testing to be done on these panel-beds, MOVA is already researching ways to expand this technology to the agriculture industry helping to removing hazardous emissions and odorous smells.

    Check out MOVA Technologies to learn more about the filtration system process and why this project is so important.

    Photo Credits: MOVA Technologies

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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.

    Volvo Trucks

    Volvo Group to Create 777 New Jobs in Pulaski County Expansion

    Company to invest nearly $400 million to expand heavy-duty truck manufacturing operation

    Dublin, VA — Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Volvo Group will invest nearly $400 million to expand its Volvo Trucks North America New River Valley (NRV) assembly operation in Pulaski County. Major components of the investment include a new 350,000-square-foot building that will ultimately house truck cab welding operations; an expansion of the existing plant to allow for further improvements to the facility’s paint operations and overall material/production flow; and a variety of equipment upgrades, including installation of several state-of-the-art dynamometers for vehicle testing. Volvo considered sites in multiple other states for the expansion project, which will create 777 new jobs within approximately six years.

    “As the leading private employer in the New River Valley, Volvo Trucks has been a bedrock of this community for more than forty years and has fueled the regional economy. The company’s decision to grow its footprint in the Commonwealth not only recognizes the strength of our manufacturing sector, but also reflects the skill of our workers, the quality of life in rural Virginia, and the competitiveness of our business climate.”
      – Governor Ralph Northam

    This announcement represents one of the largest capital investments in the history of Southwestern Virginia, and I am confident that this expansion will both prepare the NRV plant for continued success and solidify Volvo’s presence in Pulaski County for decades to come.”

    Volvo Trucks provides complete transport solutions for customers, offering a full range of medium to heavy duty trucks. Customer support is secured via a global network of 2,100 dealers and workshops in more than 130 countries. Volvo trucks are assembled in 15 countries across the globe. In 2018, more than 127,000 Volvo trucks were delivered worldwide. Volvo Trucks is part of Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment, and marine and industrial engines. The Group also provides solutions for financing and service. Volvo Trucks’ work is based on the core values of quality, safety, and environmental care. The Volvo Trucks facility in Pulaski County is its largest in the world, with 1.6 million square feet on nearly 300 acres and 3,500 employees.

    “Volvo’s historic investment in an additional facility and upgraded, state-of-the-art equipment at its Pulaski County operation signifies the plant’s future growth, and we are honored to further strengthen Virginia’s corporate partnership with Volvo Trucks North America,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “With its access to markets, robust workforce, and pro-business climate, the New River Valley is a hub for manufacturers from around the world. This investment will position Volvo’s NRV plant for long-term growth and is a testament to the Commonwealth’s competitive advantage.”

    “This investment will give our employees the tools they need to continue providing our customers the highest quality products,” said Franky Marchand, Vice President and General Manager of the NRV plant. “We’re very grateful to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Pulaski County, and the citizens in this community for their continued support of our business and our people. Creating more value-added processes through these investments is good for our employees, our plant, and our region.”

    The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Pulaski County, the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission, and Onward New River Valley to secure the expansion for Virginia. The Volvo Group will be eligible to receive post-performance MEI custom grant payments totaling up to $16.5 million over 10 years, based upon achieving its pledged net new job creation and investment commitments. New job creation will be on top of the baseline employment level of 3,219 in place when project negotiations began in 2018. The company is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

    “The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors and the Economic Development Authority are most excited to partner with the state to comprehensively support Volvo Trucks and the exceptional men and women who work there with this monumental expansion project, and we are ever confident that their investment and job growth will go a long way to ensuring this company continues to operate and prosper here in our community,” said Chair of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Andy McCready.

    “This announcement is one of the largest capital investments in the history of Southwestern Virginia and it says a tremendous amount about the confidence and trust the Volvo Group has in the Commonwealth, in Pulaski County, in their dedicated workforce, and in the economic development professionals that helped make this project possible.” – Andy McCready

    “Volvo Trucks represents the largest private employer in the New River Valley, and I am proud that the Commission could support the company’s continued growth in Virginia,” said Senator Frank Ruff, Chairman of the MEI Project Approval Commission. “This monumental project will enable the company to add nearly 800 new jobs to its existing workforce, creating opportunities for citizens of Pulaski County and the region and further strengthening the Commonwealth’s position as a leader in automotive manufacturing. We thank Volvo for its commitment to Virginia and for being a key source of job creation and investment in our economy.”

    “The NRV assembly plant is Volvo Trucks’ largest manufacturing facility in the world, and the company’s decision to reinvest in this operation is a significant win for the region and for the Commonwealth,” said Delegate Nick Rush, Vice Chair of the MEI Project Approval Commission. “With support from our local, regional, and state economic development partners, the company has been able to grow in Pulaski County for decades, and we are confident that this major investment will ensure that Volvo Trucks remains a critical employer in the New River Valley for years to come.”

    “Volvo Trucks’ continued investment and creation of new jobs is a huge opportunity for the hard working people of Southwest Virginia and the New River Valley,” said Senator Benton Chafin. “I want to thank Volvo Trucks for their commitment to the region and seeing the value of reinvesting in the regional workforce and economy. Volvo Trucks is a critical community partner and with the creation of nearly 800 manufacturing jobs, their investment is another step forward in creating a more thriving and diverse regional economy.”

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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.”

    RIDE Solutions

    RIDE Solutions Launch in New River Valley

    New River Valley – RIDE Solutions, a grant-funded program, provides alternate transportation options to those living in the greater New River Valley area.

    RIDE Solutions is a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Agency “dedicated to expanding the efficiency and life of the roadway network and reducing the environmental impacts – air pollution – of vehicle emissions”. The ultimate goal is to connect individuals and businesses in order to reduce traffic, improve air quality, and support safer roadways. However there are many added benefits to those who participate such as social interaction, better quality of life, and increased job access.

    RIDE Solutions

    RIDE Solutions provides carpool matching, links to cycling/walking resources, and bus trip planners. Recently they launched a new mobile app which not only helps users better find and communicate with their ride shares but also allows them to receive points for logging their commutes. These points can be cashed in for over 2,000 different rewards at local and national retailers and restaurants. The new app even allows commuters to participate in long-distance, event, and one-time ridematching.

    Not only is RIDE Solutions great for the environment, but it also helps you save money. For example, a commuter living in Blacksburg and working in Radford can easily save almost $2,000 each year by carpooling every day. Check out their map HERE to find out who is commuting near you. Plus if you use the app for events, like the upcoming Floyd Fest, you can save on gas and parking making your experience even better.

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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.

    New River Valley Commerce Park

    NRV Commerce Park Mentioned in Japan Times

    The Japan Times recently mentioned the New River Valley Commerce Park in Dublin, VA.

    Pulaski County is home to many international manufacturers, and the New River Valley Commerce park is ready to help locate even more. The Japan Times noted that Virginia is eager for Japanese partnerships.

    FROM THE JAPAN TIMES:

    While Virginia is home to many companies from around the world, the southwest region of the state wants to form stronger ties especially with Japan, according to Virginia’s First Regional Industrial Facility Authority, which is promoting its New River Valley Commerce Park.

    Board Chair Mary Biggs explained: “Relationship-building with Japanese companies takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s very rewarding. It gives us time to understand how their companies do business, so we are better prepared to provide assistance when they locate here.”

    View or download information about the New River Valley Commerce Park.

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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.”

    Pulaski County New Development

    $100 Million Housing Development Coming to Pulaski County

    PULASKI COUNTY, VAWSLS Channel 10 reports that Pulaski County’s new $100 million housing development plans to bring homes for 1,200 residents. It is the largest planning and development project in county history.

    WSLS Channel 10

    The new development is planned for behind the new Pulaski County Middle School, which is now under construction. Utilities are being put in place now and then whole project could take up to ten years to be fully complete.

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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.”

    Nest Realty Publishes 2018 NRV Annual Report

    VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEYNest Realty has officially published their 2018 annual report for Virginia’s New River Valley, which may indicate the start of a re-balanced housing market in the region.

    There is nothing to suggest that the real estate market will crash, as it did in 2008, but buyers might be re-gaining some leverage. Overall, the median housing price went up, and the number of sales went down.

    Nest Realty says the NRV housing market is “slow and steady,” which can help both buyers and sellers avoid mistakes. Read more about why Nest says the real estate market in Virginia’s New River Valley remains strong: https://www.nestrealty.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2018AnnualReport_NRV-web.pdf

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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.”

    WFXR: Pulaski County Looks Abroad for Economic Development

    (FROM WFXR NEWS) PULASKI COUNTY, VA – Turkish dignitaries concluded a three-stop tour of the New River Valley Tuesday at New River Community College, which showed off machinery and a future workforce they hope are worthy of investment.

    It’s all part of an ongoing economic relationship between Turkey and Pulaski County, which leaders hope will pay off down the road.

    “Sometimes, the most unlikely of relationships are the most fruitful,” said Jonathan Sweet, county administrator for Pulaski County.

    His signature is on the bottom of a proclamation to make January 29th, 2019 “Republic of Turkey Day.”

    “Their visit here demonstrates that we’ve got something to showcase, and there’s something special here,” he said.

    He helped host two Turkish dignitaries Tuesday for a tour around New River Community College, a day after the pair made stops at Virginia Tech and Radford.

    He’s not the only one thinking in dollar signs.

    “Actually, we are trying to increase our trade volume, we are trying to increase our investment both ways,” said Mustafa Koca, the Chief Commercial Counselor of the Turkish Embassy.

    Koca represents a country ranked 20th in GDP, with growing automotive, petrochemical, and electronics industries; according to the the IMF and CIA, respectively.

    In a 2018 release on NewRiverValley.org, Sweet writes in part, “More than 1,000 new jobs having come from (international) companies in the last 18 months.”

    “And that they’re not going to find a better workforce anywhere in Virginia, anywhere in the U.S., than right here in Pulaski County,” he said.

    Koca says he’s impressed with what he saw, but only time will tell how that translates economically.

    Sweet hopes to leave the pair with a central message.

    “That we are a welcoming community. That we are the center for international business is southwestern Virginia. And there is a place for foreign direct investment to be made here in Pulaski County, here in the New River Valley,” he said.

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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.”