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.”

More than $1.5 million pledged by business partners

Governor Ralph Northam today announced the collective pledge of more than $1.5 million by the Cameron Foundation, Dominion Energy, Facebook, and Primis Bank to expand broadband access to underserved locations across the Commonwealth. The funding will further the ongoing efforts to bridge the digital divide for the approximately 233,000 locations in Virginia that lack access to broadband.

“These investments will play a vital role in connecting thousands across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “We are thrilled to see the private and philanthropic sectors recognizing the need for broadband access and stepping up to support getting as many Virginians connected as soon as possible. With these investments, our goal of universal broadband by 2024 is even closer.”

Partnership and facility to help former tobacco farmers seize fast-growing market for organic vegetables

Governor Northam today announced Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing, LLC has partnered with Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority to construct a new, 45,000 square-foot, $4.2 million produce processing and packing facility.

Old Dominion Organic Farms, a member of Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing, will operate the facility. Over the next three years, 40 new jobs will be created and the facility is expected to process nearly $24 million Virginia-grown vegetables, approximately 80 percent of which will be certified organic. The new facility will support more than 22 farmers located in Amelia, Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Prince George, and Surry Counties during its first season.

Commonwealth becomes the first to claim consecutive wins with education system, workforce, and inclusiveness highlighted

Governor Ralph Northam today announced that CNBC, a world leader in business news, has named Virginia as America's "Top State for Business" in 2021. The Governor joined CNBC at the Port of Virginia for a live broadcast where the winner was revealed following an extensive study of 85 distinct metrics across 10 competitiveness categories. CNBC's scorecard highlighted the Commonwealth's education system, workforce, and commitment to equity and inclusion.

Following the announcement, Governor Northam held a press conference with leaders from the General Assembly to discuss the pragmatic, forward-looking policies that propelled the Commonwealth to reclaim the top spot in 2019 and made Virginia the first state to win back-to-back titles in CNBC's ranking.

State is the first to be awarded No. 1 ranking five times

screenshot northam cnbcVirginia retained its place as CNBC’s Top State for Business this year, beating out North Carolina and Texas and becoming the first state to achieve the honor twice in a row and five times in all, the cable business news channel announced Tuesday morning.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam appeared live Tuesday morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” sitting in front of the Norfolk harbor, where ships blasted their horns and sprayed water in celebration following the announcement that Virginia had again ranked No. 1 in CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business competition. Virginia also took the top spot in CNBC’s annual state rankings in 2019, 2011, 2009 and 2007. CNBC did not rank the states in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pictured from left to right are: Lauren Mathena, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation, Todd Lindsey, President, Eastern Engineered Wood Products, Gary Walker, Chairman, Virginia’s Regional Heartland Industrial Facility Authority (Five County Consortium), Linda Balderson, Preservation and Access Programs Manager, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Dan Witt, Charlotte County Administrator and Wade Buick, Director of Operations, Eastern Engineered Wood Products.

New Distribution Center in Virginia’s Regional Heartland Industrial Park

On Monday afternoon, representatives from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Charlotte County, and Virginia’s Regional Heartland Industrial Facility Authority joined representatives from Eastern Engineered Wood Products for the groundbreaking of the company’s new distribution center near Keysville, Va. They addressed public officials and guests from Keysville and the surrounding area who attended the ceremony.

Charlotte County Administrator Dan Witt said, “Eastern will be a great fit for Charlotte County and a great partner in the Heartland Park.  It has been great working with them and I am looking forward to filling up the Heartland Park. I hope this is the first of many.” 

The 32-acre parcel is located in Virginia’s Heartland Regional Industrial Park at the interchange of US Routes 15 and 360.  Construction will be completed later this year and the facility will consist of office space, cutting buildings, a drive-through storage building, and vertical racking.  Approximately 22 acres of the site will be finished for inventory lay-down. It will replace a smaller leased facility the company occupies in Emporia, Va. and will expand the present delivery footprint to new markets further west in Virginia and North Carolina.  It will also service customers in Washington D.C. and parts of Maryland. 

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