Virginia, Tennessee and Massachusetts have been named winners of the Business Facilities’ 2021 States of the Year awards, the first time BF has named three winners to this annual contest.
Virginia was named the state (commonwealth) with the Overall Best Business Climate, Tennessee was named the state with the Best Dealmaking, and Massachusetts was named the state (commonwealth) with the Best Workforce/Educational System. The three jurisdictions, as well as honorable mentions in all three categories, will be highlighted in the January/February issue of Business Facilities.
“For the first time, we thought it was appropriate to name three winners in this prestigious process,” said BF Editorial Director Seth Mendelson. “As businesses look to expand or relocate, the questions they have about communities are becoming more complex. They want to know as much as they can about a community before making a final decision. We think this is going to help them make informed choices.”
Virginia finished first in the Best Overall Business Climate because of the steps many economic development councils in the commonwealth, both local and statewide, are taking to make the area more attractive, Mendelson said. “The commonwealth’s location, right next to the District of Columbia, combined with its pro-business work environment, strong workforce and educational systems, makes it great place to do business in,” he added.
The proof is in the pudding. With a workforce in excess of 4.1 million people, Virginia has an unemployment rate of just 3.6%, the 10th lowest in the country. The commonwealth also runs a number of highly-successful workforce programs, including the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a customizable job-specific training and recruitment initiative; and Fast Forward Virginia, a short-term credential program to train Virginians for top, in-demand jobs across the commonwealth. Virginia also operates workforce development programs and workforce connection programs to assist employers in finding qualified workers and to assist workers in finding suitable jobs.