Roanoke Times: NRV to Lure Robots to Town as Autonomous Industry Booms

BLACKSBURG, VA– The NRV begins training part of its focus on the Unmanned Systems industry with a tour of Virginia Tech’s new drone cage and the Smart Road at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute at the end of a conference hosted by the Ridge and Valley chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

Photos by Matt Gentry, Roanoke Times

Read more from regional leaders like John Provo, director of the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development; Charlie Jewell, executive director of Onward NRV; and Michael Fleming, CEO of TORC Robotics in the full Roanoke Times article.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for a beautiful place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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 #10 in High-Tech Employment Concentration

New River Valley, VA – The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA (commonly known as Virginia’s New River Valley) is the 10th most concentrated metro for number of jobs in high-tech industry, according to an analysis by Select USA. Of jobs in the NRV, 24.5% are in the high-tech industry. According to the analysis, high tech jobs are those that, “rely heavily on a skilled and educated workforce, act as innovative producers in our economy, and create and utilize advanced technologies.”


Because of the current base of technologically advanced jobs in the NRV and the region’s suitability for hosting this job market, Information Technology is one of the target industries of focus for the NRV. Our focus on Information Technology can be broken down into 4 sub-categories: Software Development, IT Support Services, Cybersecurity, and Digital Creatives. High-tech jobs also fall under other targeted industries in the NRV like Unmanned Systems and Advanced Manufacturing.


Virginia’s New River Valley has some of the best access to talent in tech industries. Considering it is a great place to live with a more affordable, down-to-earth culture, and exceptional access to research and innovation, the NRV is a natural fit for growing high-tech companies.


For more information about the Select USA high-tech industry study, click here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for a beautiful place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.