Virginia has been named Business Facilities magazine’s 2018 State of the Year.
“Virginia snared more than $5.5 billion in capital investment for its top two projects, and its top five job-creation efforts netted nearly 28,000 new jobs in a diverse and well-executed growth strategy that has made VA a high-tech force to be reckoned with,” said BF Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers.
Rogers noted that VA has been a perennial contender for BF’s top honor due to its proximity to Washington DC, making it an attractive location for major corporate headquarters. In recent years, the Commonwealth has invested in fiber-optic networks that have made Northern Virginia the nation’s leading data center hub.
“The 21st-century infrastructure that Virginia has meticulously installed will serve as a fertile root system that will nurture a lush forest of high-tech enterprises in the Commonwealth for years to come,” Rogers said. “Virginia not only is ready to compete in the emerging high-tech battleground—it shows every intention of dominating the field.”
Crystal City, VA emerged last fall as a winner of the most coveted economic development project of the young century when Amazon awarded the city half of its $5 billion, 50,000-job HQ2 project (Long Island City in Queens, NY got the other half of the HQ2 mega-project, which was bisected by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos shortly before the site selections were announced).
The ultra-high-profile HQ2 victory was the second volley in an impressive one-two punch that also saw Micron announce in August a $3-billion expansion of its semiconductor complex in Manassas, VA. Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra told Reuters the expansion would meet the burgeoning demand for more powerful computer chips that run collision-avoidance systems and other semi-autonomous automotive systems, a global market expected to reach $6 billion by 2021.
“Our State of the Year honorees usually have one thing in common,” Rogers said. “They can walk and chew gum at the same time—which in this case means they’re upgrading traditional industries while accelerating emerging growth sectors.”
New investments in traditional industries in VA in 2018 included paper and packaging leader WestRock’s decision to put $248 million into its paper mill and extrusion facilities in Alleghany County.
Virginia also excelled as a prime destination for foreign direct investment, including an announcement from Press Glass, the largest independent flat glass processing operation in Europe, to establish its first Virginia manufacturing facility in Henry County.
Virginia posted a strong showing in BF’s 2018 State Rankings Report, earning top-10 results in our Best Business Climate, Cybersecurity Employment Leaders, Drone Leaders, and Workforce Training Leaders categories, among others.
Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years.