Business Partners Newsletter
April 2018: Volume 18, No. 4
The E-newsletter of the Roanoke County Economic Development Department is designed to showcase the investments and achievements of our existing business partners. For additional information about doing business in Roanoke County, visit our  website .
Metis announces new tenants for the former Allstate building

In a significant advancement for Roanoke County's economy, Metis Holdings announced the addition of multiple new tenants to the former Allstate building on Electric Road in Roanoke County. The 165,000 SF facility was purchased in April of 2017 by Metis, a local leader in insurance and risk management services, to accommodate the company's growth in Roanoke.

During the year, renovation work has been ongoing to convert the building into multi-tenant space for several growing businesses. To date, the company has secured leases on 90,842 sq. ft. of the building, with Metis planning to occupy 63,015 sq. ft. by summer of 2019. Metis has grown from a staff of 25 to more than 125 employees in the last 10 years, and the new building provides an opportunity for the company to continue their growth in a highly visible, high demand corridor of Roanoke County. Other confirmed tenants include:
  • Lucas & Kite law firm, occupying 8,294 square feet. Established in 2007, Lucas & Kite is the largest firm in Virginia exclusively dedicated to representing employers and insurers in workers' compensation matters.
  • Vistar Children's Eye Care Center, occupying 9,000 square feet. Vistar introduces the first dedicated children's clinical eye care center in the Roanoke Valley.
  • Vistar Corporate Offices, occupying 10,533 square feet
  • Fit Studio, occupying 7,500 square feet. Fit Studio is a state of the art fitness center providing personal training, strength and conditioning group training, open-gym access, and corporate wellness services to the community. Owned and operated by Richard Goodpasture and Jason Woolard, Fit Studio will offer multiple membership options to the public and is scheduled to open May 1st.
  • On-site café style restaurant - the Café is anticipated to provide healthy food options available to the tenants of the building.
About Us
General Inquires
P: 540-772-2069
F: 540-772-2030
Economic Development 
5204 Bernard Drive, SW 
Room 421 
PO Box 29800 
Roanoke, VA 24018
Jill Loope
Administrative Assistant
Mission Statement
To attract and facilitate the growth of innovative businesses, jobs and population that increase taxable investment and ensure sustainable world class community resources.


Reimagine Roanoke County - Community Meetings Wrapup

The kickoff community meetings were a big success! Over 200 people came out to talk about the Oak Grove and Hollins Center studies last month. Staff from Roanoke County and the City of Roanoke spoke with area residents, business owners and employees about changes in both areas that could occur over the next 20 years. We heard a lot of ideas about transportation, community spaces, redevelopment and economic growth.

Here were the major takeaways from our Hollins meeting...
  • Add sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes and/or shared-use paths to increase safety for all users in the study area
  • Redevelop commercial areas into a mix of housing, locally-owned businesses and places to hang out
  • Rebuild the library at a more central, connected location
  • Protect, preserve and enhance natural resources and parks
...And the big suggestions from Oak Grove:
  • Construct bicycle lanes and ADA-accessible infrastructure including crosswalks, sidewalks and greenways
  • Expand park and recreation opportunities, especially trails and activity spaces for kids
  • Improve intersections along Route 419 to facilitate traffic flow through the area
  • Upgrade commercial buildings and facades
  • Add restaurants, cafes, retail, grocery shopping and community spaces for people to hang out.
If you'd like to share your thoughts, please take our 5-minute Hollins and Oak Grove surveys (Spanish versions: Hollins and Oak Grove ). Paper copies are available at County libraries. The surveys close on Saturday, April 7!
For more information about the meeting exhibits, photos of the meetings and the studies' media coverage, check out the Hollins webpage and Oak Grove webpage .

Next Steps:
We'll begin our second round of Community Meetings in May. Come and see the full results of the survey and public input exercises, then give feedback on more specific future possibilities for the area. CORTRAN and STAR service will be available for these meetings.

Hollins meetings will be held  Thursday, May 10 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. OR Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Hollins Library . Oak Grove meetings will be held Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. OR Thursday, May 24 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Oak Grove Church of the Brethren , 2138 McVitty Road SW, Roanoke, VA 24018.

Want to keep in touch?
Click the buttons under each study to sign up for email updates!

The Virginia Workforce Connection

Are you interested in having 1.5 million potential employees at your fingertips?
Looking for another free resource to post your employment opportunities?
Do you want pre-screened candidates to ensure you have a qualified workforce that meets your current and future job demand?
The Virginia Workforce Connection ( is the statewide labor exchange system where job seekers and businesses are connected and matched. Over 1.5 million job seekers in the Commonwealth of Virginia are registered looking for employment and as a business, you can have free access to them to fill your recruitment needs.

Virginia Career Works provides staff that assist in matching job seekers to posted employment opportunities in the Virginia Workforce Connection system. Based on skills and requirements posted for each job, staff filter resumes to match your desired qualities. Register as a business and post your job in as little as a few minutes to get the process started!

Additional capabilities of the system include:
  • Secure messaging capabilities to contact potential candidates
  • Search functionality to review resumes at any time
  • Labor market information to review economic conditions and industry projections
  • Free online training opportunities for relevant job skills
  • Local education provider information for training opportunities in the region
For more information, contact Virginia Career Works at 540-562-8442 or at .

Get Involved: Blue Ridge Marathon
It's not too late to be part of race weekend

There's still time to be a part of  Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon race weekend ... and you don't have to run a single mile. Volunteer during the race or at the  Down by Downtown music festival, sponsored by Wells Fargo, on the weekend of April 21.

More than 500 volunteers make Roanoke's most prestigious athletic event happen each spring. Thanks to dedicated people like you, the race, which is put on by the Roanoke Regional Partnership and Roanoke Outside Foundation, has donated $170,000 to charity and created an economic impact of $3.8 million in the region.

What's more is this event is more than just our hometown race - it's been featured by The Weather Channel, Delta Sky magazine, Runner's World, and more as a destination race.

This is your opportunity to roll out the welcome mat to runners and spectators from out of town and give them a glimpse of what a great community this is. Runners love interacting with volunteers at the start, finish, and along the course.
Race-related jobs include:
  • Course marshals: Marshals are stationed along the entire length of the course to keep runners safe and on the course. They direct runner traffic and cheer runners enthusiastically.
  • Breakdown Saturday: These volunteers are responsible for breaking down elements of the course and helping to pack up all associated equipment.

Music festival jobs include:
  • Pour beer: Volunteers will pour beer during the music events at Elmwood Park on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Events: Business Tools for Growth

Vendor Registration is due by April 15th!

Entrepreneurial Mindset:      Gig Economy Course
June 13 

Business Smart Start
April 10

OSHA Compliance Training
Various Courses in April & May

Social Media
April 18

Other Happenings

Beginning Beekeepers Course
Ag Safety Day
April 7
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
April 14
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
The one day course held at the Catawba Community Center will prepare the beginning beekeeper for a successful season. A combination of classroom instruction and field demonstrations provides the participants with a strong foundation of beekeeping knowledge. 
Email Adam Taylor at for more information.
Join local Farm Bureau and Virginia Cooperative Extension Agents for workshops and demonstrations at the Catawba Community Center related to farm safety. Workshops will include safety instruction related to operating a skid steer, ATV, lawn tractor, and farm tractor, as well as produce safety, food preservation, and more.
Email Andy Seibel at for more information.

Blue Ridge Marathon Weekend
April 21st
eXperience YP Conference
May 4th
America's Toughest Road Running Weekend now has TONS OF RACE OPTIONS for you to choose from.  There is a challenge and race distance that will fit your ability level. Choose from the marathon, half marathon, 10K, double marathon, marathon relay, or family 1 miler. By bringing together industry and government leaders, speakers and visionaries, eXperience helps young professionals realize what our region has to offer - jobs, quality of life, arts and culture, and affordable living.
Learn More Learn More

Virginia Lifescience Workforce Summit
June 21st - Richmond, VA
Don't miss the premier Virginia Life Science Workforce Summit. It is a statewide gathering of life science industry employers, higher education institutions, economic development authorities, HR professionals, and policymakers.
Learn More


Duck Donuts opens first Roanoke Valley location

Duck Donuts held a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration on March 17, 2018. This is the first location for the brand in the Roanoke area which started in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The ribbon cutting was coordinated by the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce.

Duck Donuts
3564 Electric Road, #18
Roanoke, VA 24018

Workforce Development

Burton Center Students Featured in Roanoker Magazine Women's Issue

Rachel King: Welder
Access to quality quality educational opportunities Opened Rachel to a field she hadn't even considered!

Mackenzie Powell: Auto Mechanics Student and Drag Racer
Mackenzie uses her natural thirst for cars to to pursue a career in auto mechanics!

Courtesy of The Roanoker Magazine
Images by Boyd Pearman Photography

Job opening for Registered Apprenticeship Consultant in Roanoke Valley

The Department of Labor and Industry's Roanoke Office is seeking a highly motivated and skilled professional to work as a full-time Registered Apprenticeship Consultant Apprentice. This position assists in promoting the Registered Apprenticeship Program, conducting all aspects of the registration process, and providing technical assistance to both employers and apprentices.


Roanoke named a top travel destination on Expedia

Roanoke in Virginia's Blue Ridge has earned a top spot on another popular travel website of best places to visit! The most recent recognition is part of a survey conducted by Expedia, an online travel booking website, which asked 1,000 respondents to list their favorite small and medium towns to visit in the United States. Our vibrant city in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains is No. 11 on the list. The author points out unique experiences in Virginia's Blue Ridge like wine tasting at Valhalla Vineyards, mead tasting at The Hive, and a visit to the iconic Roanoke Star on Mill Mountain.

Accept the Ride Smart Challenge
Each year, RIDE Solutions challenges area commuters to take miles off our region's roads by exploring their commute options. And each year, commuters throughout the Roanoke Valley and beyond find creative ways of avoiding tens of thousands of miles worth of trips.

If you haven't participated before, either as an individual or an organization, now is your chance to help make the Roanoke Valley a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous place to live - just by picking one day during the month to leave your car behind and use alternative transportation.

To participate, visit  

Virginia's Blue Ridge receives $50,000 grant to market the region

Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge (VBR) was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation to implement a new comprehensive Rails, Trails and Ales marketing campaign. The campaign is designed to direct the region's niche marketing efforts to build on the brand as a metro-mountain destination. The proposed campaign will enhance efforts to attract visitors to experience the region's extensive collection of world-class trails for outdoor recreation and growing variety of craft breweries. Visit VBR public relations initiatives will complement these programs and target the markets in Amtrak's Northeast Regional route. "Tourism is proven to be an instant revenue generator," said  Landon Howard, President of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge. He also stated, "Funds from this grant will leverage our ability to reach more visitors and provide more impressions resulting in a greater economic impact on Virginia's Blue Ridge region." 

Roanoke County well represented at the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber Annual Gala awards ceremony

Jerry Canada, former Roanoke County School Board Member, received the Citizen of the Year Award Officer C.T. Mason received the Roanoke County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award

Leslie Saul of Back Creek Elementary School received the Roanoke County Educator of the Year Award Chuck Neely of Neely's Accounting Services received the Judy Griesenbrock Volunteerism Award

Virginia International Trade Events

Virginia has received $255,000 in grant funding to support the Commonwealth's State Trade and Expor t Promotion (STEP) Grant Program. The STEP program, funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, is designed to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and to raise the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting. This year's grant will be administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's International Trade Division. 

The State Trade and Export Promotion Grant (STEP) is designed to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and to increase export sales for those small businesses that are currently exporting. The program is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
By providing export assistance, we help smaller businesses generate new export revenues and create new jobs for Virginia.

  • Funds may be granted for travel to international markets on trade missions, exhibiting at trade shows, or your own company's international sales trips.
  • Reimbursement: 75% of pre-approved airfare and hotel room fees up to $3,000 per company for travel to foreign markets.
  • Proof of performance (booth pictures, meeting schedules, sales meeting reports, etc.) will be required for reimbursement.
For more information, to determine eligibility or to request an application contact:
Roger Porter, International Trade Manager
Virginia Economic Development Partnership
220 Roanoke Boulevard, Salem, Virginia 24153
Tel 540-387-2562; Cell 540-588-6820

 2018-2019 Trade Event Schedule
Trade Mission or Event
Registration Deadline
USAFRICOM Africa Endeavor
July 30 - August 3, 2018
June 29, 2018
SMM 2018 (Germany)
September 4 - 7, 2018
July 6, 2018
Trade Mission to Colombia 2018
October 1 - 5, 2018
August 2, 2018
AUSA 2018
October 8 - 10, 2018
August 10, 2018
Trade Mission to South Africa & Morocco
October 24 - 30, 2018
August 24, 2018
Trade Mission to Saudi Arabia
Oct. 28 - Nov. 1, 2018
August 31, 2018
Trade Mission to Southeast Asia
November 7 - 13, 2018
September 7, 2018
Trade Mission to Romania & Czech Republic
November 12 - 16, 2018
September 14, 2018
Arab Health 2019 (UAE)
January 28 - 31, 2019
November 30, 2018
Winter Germany 2019
February 2019
January 5, 2019
Trade Mission to the United Arab Emirates
February 24 - 28, 2019
December 28, 2018
Trade Mission to Mexico
March 25 - 29, 2018
January 26, 2019
LAAD Brazil 2019
April 2 - 5, 2019
February 7, 2019
Trade Mission to Germany & the Netherlands
April 29 - May 3, 2019
March 1 , 2019
Trade Mission to Brazil
May 20 - 24, 2019
March 22, 2019

Roanoke County Business Partners Show on RVTV

On this mont h's show, we attend the first community meeting for the Reimagine Oak Grove planning study and talk to businesses and residents about the future of the area. We meet Erin Burcham, the director of talent solutions for the Roanoke Regional Partnership, to learn what she has been doing and what she has planned for the future. Finally, we participate in the second meeting for the Reimagine Hollins plan and hear from the community about the importance of this effort in the Hollins area.