Business Partners Newsletter
August 2017: Volume 17, No. 8
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 .
Roanoke County: 2017 Top 10 Mid-Sized Community

Roanoke County received the designation as a top 10 mid-size community in the nation for 2017 through the Fourth Economy Community Index.

Listed as number 9 in the top counties across the nation, Roanoke County was selected based upon sustained economic growth, resiliency and a high quality of place position among peer counties in our population category.

The index speaks to Roanoke County's strength in attracting people, economic growth and new investment in the future, with a strong foundation for economic success. The benchmark analysis scored Counties across the nation with 5 key metrics including: Talent, Sustainability, Place, Diversity and Investment with a quantitative and qualitative analysis of 19 distinct measures of the community.

In particular, several measures in the "Place" category set Roanoke County apart: a low unemployment rate, community health, and three other measures where Roanoke County scored especially high were travel time to work, housing and transportation affordability, and population diversity.
9. Roanoke County

Coming in at number 9 in the mid-sized ranking is Roanoke County, Virginia. Located on the I-81 corridor, this county boasts short commute times to work, strong average wages, and a healthy talent base. However, it's the efforts in placemaking that Jill Loope, the Director of the Department of Economic Development for Roanoke is most proud; "Place is the focus of our forward momentum - it is one of the strategic directions we are moving in county-wide." She credits the investment in outdoor recreation, like greenways and blueways, as not only promoting a healthy economy but also improving public health.

The vibrant outdoor recreation economy is complemented by a stable medical and health system. These businesses bring a more diverse group of people to the area, who in turn put down roots and start businesses. As a result, Roanoke County achieved its top 10 ranking with strengths in Talent, Diversity, and Place.

 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
To design and implement innovative economic development programs and services that leverage community assets, create wealth and prosperity, and embrace the region's  

Unique Redevelopment Opportunity Available - Vinton Motors
Preparing the Workforce for the New Virginia Economy

Governor McAuliffe Announces 2,173 Credentials Awarded Through New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant Program 
~New grants spur big gains in Virginia Community Colleges' Workforce Credential Training Program~

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that, through the New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant program, Virginia's Community Colleges provided workforce training that enabled 2,173 Virginians to secure industry-recognized credentials, licenses, and certifications needed for high-demand careers, in the first year of the grant program. Governor McAuliffe awarded the 2,172nd and 2,173rd credentials at an event commemorating this achievement. 

This milestone nearly triples the number of people who were credentialed last year, bringing the total to 4,268 Virginians.  More than half of the credential earners, 2,173, took advantage of the New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant program. Training for the remaining 2,095 credentials was funded by employers, federal grants, or other private sources. 

Virginia Western Community College offers Workforce Credential Training Programs in the follow areas.

Type of Job Workforce Credential Training Program
Business & Customer Service Project Management Professional (PMP)
Health Care Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS)

Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)

Certified Nurse Aide

Medication Aide

Pharmacy Technician
Logistics & Transportation Commercial Driver's License Class A endorsement
Welding & Manufacturing Certified Production Technician

Certified Welder

Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW)

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
Level I CNC Milling: Operations
Level I CNC Turning: Operations
Manufacturing Technician 1 (MT1)
Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program Level 1

Welding - Level 1

Virginia Western Community College
Workforce Development Office

Picture Your Business Here: Former Home Shopping Network Facility For Sale or Lease

Fantastic, fully-air-conditioned, cross-dock fulfillment facility available for sale or lease

  • 359,125 sq. ft. footprint plus 28,433 sq. ft. second-story call center and break area on 28 acres
  • Ceiling Height: 31-32 Clear
  • Zoned Industrial
  • Sale or Lease 


Get Recognized

Best Places to Work in Virginia

Does your company offer a great workplace? Good perks? An amazing benefits package? Flexible schedule? Then register today and your company could be listed among the Best Places to Work in Virginia! The deadline is September 1.  

Events: Business Tools for Growth

SEO and Google Analytics

Marketing and Social Media Basics

Business Basics
August 1 

August 15

August 15

Selling to the Commonwealth
August 8
Tips on What to Do Now to Increase Your Security Posture

Risk Management Approach to Cyber Insecurity
August 9

August 23

Hospitality Training Workshops
August 17 

September 14

A Toolkit for 21st Century Leaders

Project Management Certification Course
Aug 17 - Mar 29

Aug 22 - Nov 7
Funding Your Tech Startup - SBIR Funding Tips & State/Local Programs for Early Stage R&D
August 24

OSHA Standards for General Industry Sept 25 - 28

Other Happenings

Vendors have beef & pork products, eggs, vegetables, jellies, granola, baked goods including breads, cookies, cakes, muffins & scones. Fried pies are made on site. Many handmade arts & crafts, bath & beauty products, potted flowers, flower & vegetable bedding plants & hanging baskets. There are cooking demonstrations and special events each week - check out Facebook to see what you will find.

Market welcomes SNAP/EBT clients!
SNAP customers may purchase tokens to use for fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, breads, baked goods, dairy, honey, processed foods such as jams and pickles, and plants to grow consumable foods. Each dollar spent through the program, up to $30, is doubled for purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables.

August Entertainment and Features at the Farmers Market
August 3
- National Watermelon Day - free samples of watermelon
- Music by Jim Robinson of Salem  on his hammered dulcimer
August 10
4:00 - 6:00 PM - Pottery workshop for children!   $10.00 fee.
Children will make a pottery bowl which will be glazed and fired and available for pickup at CVFM on August 24.  
August 17
- Music by Lucy and Jordan of  "Another Roadside Attraction"
August 24
- Music by Simple Gifts of the Blue Ridge
August 31
- Cooking demo with samples & recipes

for the the latest updates each week!

RAMP Demo Day
September 11
Virginia Western Community College
Whitman Theater
Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council Fall Gala
November 2
The Inn at Virginia Tech
Learn More
Celebrate: Business Announcements

Glade Creek Greenway connects Vinton to the Roanoke Valley Greenways

A ribbon cutting event was held on  June 11, 2017 to mark the completion of  the newest section of the Roanoke Valley Greenways, the Glade Creek Greenway in Vinton. The Glade Creek Greenway connects the Town of Vinton to the Tinker Creek Greenway and the larger regional greenway system. The  project's short first leg spans about 0.35 miles between Virginia Avenue and Walnut Avenue and takes visitors alongside the point where Glade Creek flows into Tinker Creek. The project was a regional effort with the public and private sector working together. 

Click to watch the Roanoke County Business Partners Show featuring the Glade Creek Greenway.

   Photos Courtesy of RVTV-3

Former Roland E. Cook Elementary Schools re-opens as loft apartments

School is officially out forever at the former Roland E. Cook Elementary School, which re-opened as Roanoke County and the Town of Vinton's newest loft apartments. A ribbon cutting event was held on  June 20, 2017  and the first tenants began moving into to the 21 new apartments in the  Roland E. Cook Lofts. Over $3 million was invested to redevelop this historic property, which is listed on the National Register of History Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. 

Virginia Western Community College breaks ground on state-of-the-art STEM building

Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) broke ground on its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) facility on July 25, 2017 in an event that attracted students, educators, businesses, and local government representatives. This facility will be the largest and most technologically advanced on campus . VWCC leaders hope the facility will drive the region's economy and attract more students. 

Noteworthy: Local News 

Authority Receives Virginia Business Ready Sites Program Award 

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Phase II of the Virginia Business Ready Sites Program (VBRSP) development grants for eight sites across the Commonwealth totaling $1,188,288 in grant funding.  The VBRSP, administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), is a discretionary program established to help Virginia localities develop and market their existing industrial or commercial sites to prospective businesses, thus enhancing the Commonwealth's infrastructure and promoting its competitive business environment.

The Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority was awarded $100,000 for the Wood Haven Road project, a collaboration between Roanoke County and the Cities of Roanoke and Salem.


Passenger Growth Continues at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA) in 2017

Year to date traffic up 2.75% as 55,526 passengers utilized the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport in June. In June the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport posted a year over year increase in passengers utilizing the facility of 2.83%. Year to date traffic at the airport has increased 2.75% compared to 2016.

Tremendous community support, a slight increase in capacity, and better airline operational reliability all played roles in the continuation of passenger growth. June 2017 reflects a 2.83% growth over June 2016. June 2017 was the ninth month in the last ten that the airport has seen growth in traffic on a year over year basis. The airport is currently on track to have its busiest year since 2012.


New Contractor Appreciation Program recognizes its first project

Roanoke County's department of Community Development has selected the LewisGale Emergency Center project being constructed by Charles Perry Partners Inc. (CPPI) at the corner of Ogden and Electric Roads to receive the first Stormwater Clean Award.

Land development in Roanoke County presents difficult challenges in the management of stormwater runoff due to the very steep slopes and highly erodible soils in the region. Because of these challenges, Roanoke County created a Contractor Appreciation Program to recognize land-disturbing contractors who conduct exemplary work within the County to protect its natural water resources.


Video: See how drones help to map and reforest the Catawba Sustainability Center 

Even as the lure of mastering agroforestry practices inspires Virginia Tech students by the dozens to plant trees on Virginia Tech's 377-acre Catawba Sustainability Center, sky-high drones complement the earthbound digging.

More than four separate research projects involving drones and LIDAR technology touch on water-quality protection, food harvests from fruit and nut trees, wetlands restoration, and more.

Watch the Video

Art in the Airport

The Roanoke Regional Airport Commission is pleased to announce the launch of the Art in the Airport program. The new art exhibit is part of the Commission's Arts in the Airport initiative. The objective is to feature local artists from the area to the over 1,000,000 visitors to the terminal each year.

This installment of the art showcase at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport opened in June and runs through September 14, 2017.

Virginia International Trade Events and Missions


Trade Missions

Be part of one of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's Trade Missions and enjoy private, one-on-one meetings with prospective customers and partners. These well-planned visits are business me etings set up on your behalf, with your input, to save you time and maximize your results.

South Korea
October 2-6 2017
October 16-20, 2017
Registration Deadline:  August 4, 2017
Registration Deadline:  August 18, 2017
Top Opportunities:  Defense & Security, Major Infrastructure & Construction, Transportation, Healthcare & Medical Technology, Biotechnology, Mining & Minerals, Energy & Environmental Technologies, Professional Services, Agribusiness, Food & Beverage Manufacturing
Top Opportunities:  Defense Equipment, Medical Devices, Processed Food, Education, ICT, Display, Mobile Handset, Electrics & Electronics, Automotive, Semiconductor, Health Care, Bio-Pharma, Petrochemicals, General Machinery, Construction, Shipbuilding

Southern Africa
Southeast Asia
October 23-27, 2017
November 6-10, 2017
Registration Deadline:  August 25, 2017
Registration Deadline:  September 8, 2017
Top Opportunities:  Aviation, Automotive Components, Electricity Power Generation Systems, Franchising, Information Technology, Mining Equipment, Medical Equipment and Healthcare Services, Renewable Energy, Pollution Control Equipment, Telecommunications, Transportation, Infrastructure and Civil Construction
Top Opportunities: Medical Products & Services, Defense Equipment, Advanced Manufacturing, ICT, Hardwoods, Environmental Products & Services
Roanoke County Business on RVTV

On this month's show,  we visit the headquarters of Optical Cable Corporation, a company with a rich history in the Roanoke area and the fiber optic cable industry. We celebrate the opening of the lofts in the former Roland E. Cook Elementary School in Vinton. Finally, we visit the newest section of the Roanoke Valley Greenways system, the Glade Creek Greenway in Vinton.
Consult the RVTV website for the viewing schedule or click the link above to watch the show on Youtube!


Did you know?

Roanoke is among the "25 U.S. Cities That Millennials Can Afford and Actually Want to Live In"

The Penny Hoarder developed a definitive list of the top 25 coolest and most affordable cities for millennials. Roanoke came in at #12 with a very high affordability rank and recognition for the area's many outdoor assets like the Roanoke Valley Greenways and Explore Park. The list is based on a rigorous analysis of housing and local price data, economic statistics and something called a Coffee Fanatic Score.