Oransi to Establish First Manufacturing Facility and Create 101 New Jobs in Radford

Oransi to Establish First Manufacturing Facility and Create 101 New Jobs in Radford

~ Oransi will invest $5.6 million to develop and manufacture new product line ~

RICHMOND — Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Oransi, a veteran-owned air purification company, will invest $5.6 million to establish its first manufacturing facility in the Plymouth Building at 113 Corporate Drive in the City of Radford. The operation will focus on developing and manufacturing the company’s best-in-class air purifiers for consumers, businesses, and professionals in the health, dental, and medical fields. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project, which will create 101 new jobs.

“Our focus on developing a well-trained, reliable workforce continues to yield new jobs and investment as innovative companies like Oransi choose to grow their companies in Virginia,” said Governor Northam. “The New River Valley boasts higher education institutions and training programs that will ensure a steady talent pipeline for Oransi now and into the future. We are thrilled to welcome this veteran-owned company to our Commonwealth and remain confident that we have the infrastructure and business environment to support their success here.”

“The New River Valley boasts higher education institutions and training programs that will ensure a steady talent pipeline for Oransi now and into the future. We are thrilled to welcome this veteran-owned company to our Commonwealth and remain confident that we have the infrastructure and business environment to support their success here.”
– Governor Ralph Northam

Founded in 2009 as an engineer’s quest to find a better indoor air quality solution for the founder’s young asthmatic son, Oransi has evolved to become a leading air purification company designing some of the most efficient and intuitive products on the market. Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, the business is managed by a team of executives and engineers with decades of experience in the air quality industry.

“We are excited that Oransi has decided to put down roots in the New River Valley,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The Plymouth Building provided an infrastructure-ready solution that will allow the company to be up and running quickly, and we are certain the region’s renowned workforce will meet Oransi’s needs from development to manufacturing.”

“Oransi is very pleased to establish its first manufacturing facility in the City of Radford to develop and manufacture our best-in-class air purifiers,” said Peter Mann, CEO and Founder of Oransi. “We selected the location because of the exceptional local engineering talent pool that will support our continued growth, while inspiring innovation, creativity, and collaboration. We hope to provide one of the best employee experiences in the New River Valley.”

“Oransi is very pleased to establish its first manufacturing facility in the City of Radford to develop and manufacture our best-in-class air purifiers. We selected the location because of the exceptional local engineering talent pool that will support our continued growth, while inspiring innovation, creativity, and collaboration. We hope to provide one of the best employee experiences in the New River Valley.”
– Peter Mann, CEO and Founder of Oransi

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Radford and Onward New River Valley to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $50,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Radford with the project. Oransi is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee recruitment and training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“We are pleased to welcome Oransi’s first manufacturing facility to the City of Radford,” said Kim Repass, Economic Development Director for the City of Radford. “We look forward to supporting the company’s growth as it provides quality jobs and significant investment. Radford continues to be a leader in the manufacturing industry for our region and the Commonwealth.”

“We are pleased to welcome Oransi’s first manufacturing facility to the City of Radford. We look forward to supporting the company’s growth as it provides quality jobs and significant investment. Radford continues to be a leader in the manufacturing industry for our region and the Commonwealth.”
– Kim Repass, Economic Development Director for the City of Radford

“This is great news for our region and the continued growth of its advanced manufacturing sector,” said Charlie Jewell, Executive Director of Onward New River Valley. “On behalf of our region, we congratulate Oransi on locating its first manufacturing facility in the City of Radford, and we look forward to supporting its long-term success here in Virginia’s New River Valley.”

“I am beyond thrilled that Oransi chose Radford to open its first manufacturing facility,” said Delegate Chris Hurst. “The veteran-owned manufacturing facility is exactly the type of business the New River Valley attracts. Offering a diverse range of resources, exceptional educational opportunities, and a qualified workforce, this not only a great place for businesses to thrive, but also for their employees to live.”

Office of the Governor
Contact: Alena Yarmosky
Email: Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Contact: Suzanne Clark
Email: sclark@vedp.org

RPR Public Relations, Inc.
Contact: Ria Romano
Email: rromano@romanopr.com
Phone: (786) 290-6413

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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.

Enjoy Craft Beer at These NRV Breweries

Enjoy Craft Beer at These NRV Breweries

New River Valley, VA – Virginia’s New River Valley has an ever-expanding assortment of breweries throughout the region.  Try these eleven breweries and explore everything the NRV’s craft beer scene has to offer!

Beliveau Farm Brewery – Blacksburg, VA

Just outside Blacksburg, Beliveau Farm Brewery is a truly unique experience because it is the only gluten-free brewery in Virginia.  Beliveau Farm also features a winery, bed and breakfast, and wedding/event space.

 

Buffalo Mountain Brewery – Floyd, VA

Buffalo Mountain Brewery and McDaniel’s Tavern is a small batch brewery in Floyd County. It opened in April 2018 and features tavern fare alongside pretzels, flatbread, and cookies from local Grateful Bread Bakery.

 

Bull & Bones – Christiansburg, VA

Bull & Bones Brewery Bull & Bones brews six craft beers on site in a ten-barrel brewhaus.  While the Blacksburg location is closed until further notice, the location in Uptown Christiansburg is still serving brews such as the ever-popular Lunch Pale Ale.

 

Eastern Divide Brewing Company – Blacksburg, VA

Eastern Divide Brewing Company Eastern Divide Brewing Company is located in the Blacksburg Industrial Park.  The building has a modern feel and features a tasting room, event space, and a large outdoor area.  Eastern Divide partners with Feast & Company to serve unique brews and delicious food.

 

Long Way Brewing – Radford, VA

Long Way Brewing

Photo courtesy of Long Way Brewing

Named after Mary Draper Ingles’ long journey home to the NRV in the 1700s, Long Way Brewing is the first brewery located within the city limits of Radford.  It opened in December 2020 in a preserved former church.

 

The Maroon Door / Off the Mall Brewing – Blacksburg, VA

The Maroon Door / Off the Mall Brewing

Photo courtesy of The Maroon Door / Off the Mall Brewing

The Maroon Door / Off the Mall Brewing is a gastropub and brewery located just across from Virginia Tech’s campus in Downtown Blacksburg.  It is one of the NRV’s newest breweries and opened to the public in October 2020.

 

Moon Hollow Brewing Company – Blacksburg, VA

Moon Hollow Brewing Company is located in the revitalized Old Prices Fork Elementary School.  In addition to beer, Moon Hollow also features a selection of non-alcoholic brews. Make sure to bring Fido with you since the patio is pet friendly!

 

Right Mind Brewing – Blacksburg, VA

Right Mind Brewing Located in Lefty’s Main Street Grille on South Main Street in Blacksburg, Right Mind Brewing is temporarily closed.  While you wait for Right Mind Brewing to reopen, the brewery’s creations can still be enjoyed while dining at Lefty’s.

 

Rising Silo Farm Brewery – Blacksburg, VA

Rising Silo Farm BreweryRising Silo Farm Brewery is located in a barn on the farm of Glade Road Growing.  The brewery uses green energy to help brew their beers and non-alcoholic drinks; the barn has 113 solar panels and a solar hot water system.

 

The River Company Restaurant & Brewery – Radford, VA

Located in Pulaski County just across the New River from the City of Radford, The River Company Restaurant & Brewery offers a selection of seasonal and year-round beers.  Enjoy a brew and a view while watching the beautiful sunsets from the balcony overlooking the river.

 

Iron Tree Brewing Company (Coming Soon!) – Christiansburg, VA

Iron Tree Brewing Company plans to open in Spring 2021 on Roanoke Street in Downtown Christiansburg.  Visit their website or Facebook page for more information about the opening!

 

Breweries like these are just some of the specialty beverage makers that contribute to the growing Food Processing & Agribusiness Industry in Virginia’s New River Valley.  Learn more 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.

Radford #9 Best Place to Raise a Family in VA

Radford #9 Best Place to Raise a Family in VA

Radford, VA – Radford was ranked the ninth best place to raise a family in Virginia for 2021 by HomeSnacks.com. According to the website, “to narrow down the most family friendly cities in Virginia, [HomeSnacks.com] looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities and percent of households that currently have children. The cities also had to have a population of at least 12,000.”

Radford’s data show that the city has a lower cost of living and lower crime rates than the national average. Since the city is affordable and safe, it is no wonder that it ranked as one of the most family-friendly places to live in Virginia!

Learn more about Radford, a community in Virginia’s New River Valley, 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.

NRV Companies Support Mars Rover Mission

NRV Companies Support Mars Rover Mission

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

New River Valley, VA – Four companies in Virginia’s New River Valley supported NASA’s recent Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover mission by manufacturing components used in various stages of the mission. The mission launched on July 30, 2020 and landed on Mars on February 18, 2021. It will spend at least one Mars year, which is 687 Earth days, “search[ing] for signs of ancient microbial life, which will explore the past habitability of Mars.”

Learn more about the specific components from each NRV company that helped with the mission:

Learn more about the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover mission.

Learn more about advanced manufacturing and unmanned systems 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.

NRV Communities Among Top 20 Safest Cities in VA

NRV Communities Among Top 20 Safest Cities in VA

New River Valley, VA – Three communities in the NRV are among the top 20 safest cities in Virginia for 2021. The National Council for Home Safety and Security found that Blacksburg, Radford, and Christiansburg are some of the safest places in the Commonwealth.

Here are the rankings for the three NRV communities who made the list:

#5: Blacksburg
#11: Radford
#20: Christiansburg

According to Alarms.org, the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA, better known as the New River Valley, is “one of the fastest growing metropolitan statistical areas in the country, with low crime being one of the main draws for many moving into the area.”

To compile the rankings, Alarms.org reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report Statistics for Virginia cities with populations over 10,000. Learn more about the methodology and see the full rankings list for the safest cities in Virginian for 2021 here.

Learn more about the safe communities and excellent quality of life in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

Explore more accolades won by NRV counties, city, towns, and universities 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.

Long Way Brewing Opens in Radford

Long Way Brewing Opens in Radford

Radford, VALong Way Brewing, the first brewery located within the City of Radford, opened in December 2020. The brewery is uniquely housed in a preserved former Seventh-day Adventist Church. The brewery shares the space with Radford Fairlawn Daily Bread, a non-profit organization that provides free meals to local people in need.

A recent article in The Roanoke Times, described the journey that the owners took to opening the brewery as well as the hopes that they have for the brewery. According to the article, “[Co-owner Keith] Weltens said he hopes the brewery adds to the revitalization of the city’s west end and can be a gathering place people in the neighborhood can walk to and enjoy a few brews.”

Read the full article about Long Way Brewing from The Roanoke Times here.

Learn more about Long Way Brewing here.

Learn more about the food processing and agribusiness industry in Virginia’s New River Valley 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.

New River Among Favorite Rivers in the Blue Ridge Mountains

New River Among Favorite Rivers in the Blue Ridge Mountains

New River Valley, VA – The New River was listed among 13 favorite rivers in the Blue Ridge Mountains by the editors of Blue Ridge Country magazine. The editors compared at least 50 rivers throughout the Blue Ridge region and created a list of their 13 favorites.

Here’s how the article describes the New River:

“Despite the name, this river is one of the oldest on the planet. It’s even thought to be more ancient than the Appalachian Mountains upon which it meanders. Unlike most rivers which plot their courses at lower elevations, this one runs on the crests and mountaintop basins. Its cuts and curves have exposed rocks dating back over one billion years, while the river itself is thought to be between 10 million and 360 million years old.”

The New River is an essential part of Virginia’s New River Valley. More than 89 miles of the New River run through the region, and it is one of the NRV’s major outdoor attractions. The river flows through most of the communities in the New River Valley and offers many unique experiences to both residents and visitors alike.

Learn more about Virginia’s New River Valley and the New River 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.

NRV Accolades and Awards in 2020

NRV Accolades and Awards in 2020

New River Valley, VA – Throughout 2020, the New River Valley was frequently recognized for its outstanding lifestyle amenities, business growth, and educational opportunities. The region is truly a premiere destination to live, work, and do business. Below is a list of just a few of the accolades won in 2020 by the counties, city, towns, and universities that comprise Virginia’s New River Valley.


Pulaski is 2nd Most Affordable Place to Buy a Home in VA

High Quality of Life


Floyd Voted Top Tiny Adventure Town 2020

Abundant Outdoor Amenities


Harmonia Recognized as one of Virginia's "Fantastic 50"

Expanding and Developing Businesses


Exelaration Ranked #3 Best Tech Internship by Vault

Educating Tomorrow’s Talent


RU Ranked #33 Southern Regional University by U.S. News & World Report

Top Tier Colleges & Universities

Explore more accolades won by NRV counties, city, towns, and universities 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.

Top Ten Posts of 2020

Top Ten Posts of 2020

New River Valley, VA – 2020 has been a year unlike any other, but there is still positive news happening around Virginia’s New River Valley. Recap this unique year with a list of the Top 10 Posts of 2020 on TheNRV.org. The following posts had the most pageviews online.

10. Torc Robotics to Invest $8.5 Million and Create 350 New Jobs in Blacksburg

In August it was announced that Torc Robotics will invest $8.5 million to expand its software development operations in Montgomery County. The company will establish an additional facility at the VT Corporate Research Center and create 350 new jobs.

9. NRV Commerce Park Welcomes Patton Logistics Group

In January it was announced that The Patton Logistics Group will invest $12 million to establish a new logistic and warehousing operation at NRV Commerce Park located in Pulaski County. The project will create 33 new jobs.

8. Pete Dye River Course Ranked 18th Best in VA for 2020

Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech

The Virginia Golf Ratings Panel ranked the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech as #18 in a list of the top 50 golf courses in the state. The golf course is well known for its scenic views and 2.5 miles of frontage on the New River.

7. Why Blacksburg, VA is a Best Place to Live

Originally published in 2018, this blog post shared an editorial that Melody Warnick published on Livability about “why she thinks Blacksburg is a special place to live.” Warnick is a freelance writer, author, and Blacksburg local.

6. Kollmorgen Motion Solutions Used in Fight Against COVID-19

Kollmorgen Motion Solutions COVID-19

Kollmorgen played a critical role in the fight against COVID-19. The company’s motion solutions are being used by manufacturers around the country to make “respirators and other personal protective equipment” as well as other essential items that help diagnose and treat the virus.

5. 10 Things to Do in the NRV This Summer

Blog readers were clearly looking for fun and safe things to do this summer around the New River Valley. Originally published in 2018, this blog post lists ten unique spots to visit throughout the region.

4. H&V Delivering Critical Materials in the Fight Against COVID-19

Hollingsworth & Vose COVID-19

Hollingsworth & Vose was busy throughout 2020 “making filtration material that is a critical component in Respiratory Protection Equipment being used to fight the virus.” They continued to increase their production throughout the year to help with the COVID-19 pandemic response.

3. Pulaski is the Most Affordable Place to Live in VA

The town of Pulaski was named the cheapest place to live in Virginia for the second year in a row by HomeSnacks.net. In particular, “housing in Pulaski is [very affordable] when taken as a proportion of income, whether you’re renting or buying.”

2. Virginia Tech Ranked 7th Most Loved College by The Princeton Review

Virginia Tech Ranked 7th Most Loved College by The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review ranked Virginia Tech the 7th most loved college for 2021. VT also ranked first for best counseling services, eighth for best campus food, and fifteenth for town-gown relations are great.

1. Virginia Tech Ranks Top 3 Best College Campuses in America

Niche.com ranked Virginia Tech third in their list of 2020 Best College Campuses. Rankings were “based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education.”

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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 Manufacturing Sector Outlook Positive

NRV Manufacturers Persevere Through Pandemic, Sector Outlook Positive

New River Valley, VA – In September 2020, Onward New River Valley conducted a survey of manufacturing companies in Virginia’s New River Valley. The goal of the Industry Competitiveness Survey was to better understand how local manufacturing companies were operating and adapting in the wake of COVID-19. The survey was intended to identify common challenges among local companies and expose best practices that would support the overall competitiveness and continued growth of the local manufacturing industry.

Survey responses were collected during a two-week period in September 2020. The survey was sent to 35 manufacturers in Virginia’s New River Valley (NRV) with 48% responding. The survey results, along with individual interviews, revealed several insights about the manufacturing industry in the region; these insights are described below.

Operating Status

Overall, manufacturers in the NRV have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic with varying impacts on their operations. The vast majority (76%) of respondents reported operating at or above pre-pandemic capacity, while 24% indicated operating at about half capacity. Roughly half of respondents indicated a decrease in their sales pipeline (43%) and overall revenue (52%).

Survey respondents seemed to signal that their supply chains had only been moderately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Less than one-third of respondents reported increased costs for either inputs/raw materials (29%) or freight (27%). Almost half of respondents reported experiencing an increase in supplier lead times (48%) and a reduction in the availability of inputs/raw materials (43%).

However, these changes in the supply chain do not seem to be affecting production levels for NRV manufacturers. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents reported stable or increasing production levels.

Employment

Employment through manufacturing companies in the NRV has remained mostly stable during the pandemic. The majority (62%) of respondents said their number of employees remained the same or increased since the beginning of the pandemic. Of the 38% of respondents that reported a reduction in employees (most indicating a slight reduction) since the beginning of the pandemic, the majority (63%) anticipated rehiring eliminated positions within a year of the survey date.

Over half (62%) of respondents reported having unfilled job openings. The types of unfilled positions varied among respondents, but a need for both production workers and engineers was a consistent theme. There is clearly a continuing need for talent recruitment and retention efforts across the manufacturing industry in NRV.

Health & Safety Concerns

In late September, over three-fourths of respondents indicated that at least 90% of their employees were physically working on-site. With most employees in the NRV manufacturing industry working in person amid the pandemic, it is no surprise that a large majority (81%) of respondents reported that health and safety was one of their current top three concerns for their business. Manufacturers have devoted significant attention to implementing new public health policies and technologies to keep their employees safe and their operations running during the pandemic.

NRV manufacturers have increased the number of employees that are working remotely to help mitigate these health and safety concerns. Pre-pandemic, only one respondent (5 ) reported having more than 5% of their employees working remotely, which increased to 62% of respondents by late September. This increase in remote work for some employees could be designed to offset the increased needs for physical space to comply with regulations and distancing requirements. One survey respondent stated that “physical distancing mandates are only feasible with a partial remote workforce.”

Overall Industry Outlook

Manufacturing leaders signaled an overall positive outlook for the coming year. Almost three-fourths (71%) of respondents anticipated that the remaining duration of COVID-19 impacts on their business would resolve within one year from the survey date.

Respondents were asked to give their overall outlook on the status of their company over the next 6-12 months. The vast majority (90%) of respondents reported that they had a steady or positive outlook for their company during that time period.

Leaders were also asked to forecast how many employees they anticipated having within six months to one year. Almost two-thirds (62%) of respondents expected a modest or significant increase in employment levels within a year, with no one anticipating a reduction in employees.

Learn more about the survey and read a final report of the results 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.