Roanoke, Virginia is located midway between New York, NY and Atlanta, GA on Interstate 81. It is approximately 168 miles west of the state capital, Richmond, Virginia. As such, the city is the center of one of Virginia’s largest metropolitan regions and a hub of transportation, finance and industry for the southwestern part of the state. The scenic beauty of the Roanoke Valley, located between the Blue Ridge and the Virginia Allegheny Highlands, makes the city a very pleasant as well as an economically diverse place to live and work. Roanoke’s geographical location gives it ready access to approximately two-thirds of the total population of the nation within a radius of 500 miles.
The Roanoke Region of Virginia is recognized as a desirable place to work, do business and invest. The economy is vibrant and stable and once again gaining momentum in high-tech fields such as life sciences, advance manufacturing, and automotive components. With Virginia being a “Right to Work” state, the local pro-business climate encourages success and attracts businesses who want to take advantage of cutting edge research institutions (Virginia Tech), low costs of doing business, excellent market access by road, rail and air; and a skilled, productive workforce. All these advantages portend continued growth for businesses.
The city is the health care and retail hub of a large area, driving the exponential expansion of Carilion Health System and the many retail concentrations such as Valley View and Tanglewood Malls. Advance Auto Parts is headquartered in Roanoke and has expanded through the acquisition of other chains to become one of the largest auto parts retailers in the U.S. Norfolk Southern continues to have a large presence and is a draw for ancillary businesses such as FreightCar America. The corporate office of Virginia Transformer Corporation is also located in Roanoke. General Electric and Toshiba manufacture large drive systems for electrical generating stations and factories at their joint facility in Salem. ITT manufactures night vision goggles at its plant in Roanoke County and some its employees have started other firms such as Optical Cable Corporation. The proximity of automotive assembly plants in the South has attracted manufacturers including Dynax, Koyo, Metalsa and Yokohama, formerly Mohawk Tire. Roanoke’s location allows for delivery within one day to most markets in the southeast, northeast, mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley, which has made it a distribution center for such companies as Orvis, Elizabeth Arden, and Hanover Direct. United Parcel Service (UPS) maintains a major facility at the Roanoke Regional Airport. Norfolk Southern has announced plans to develop an “Intermodal” freight transfer facility approximately 8 miles west of Roanoke as part of its Heartland Corridor project.
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