Virginia’s economic growth rate may have lagged the national average last year (See Don Rippert’s post on the subject), but outside perceptions of Virginia have changed for the better. Virginia ranked 4th in Forbes magazine’s 2018 Best States for Business ranking and 4th in CNBC’s Best States for Business ranking. Most recently, on the strength of winning half of Amazon’s HQ2 project, the most highly touted economic development project in recent history, Business Facilities magazine anointed Virginia as 2018’s “state of the year.“
“Virginia snared more than $5.5 billion in capital investment for its top two projects, and its top five job-creation efforts netted nearly 28,000 new jobs in a diverse and well-executed growth strategy that has made VA a high-tech force to be reckoned with,” said BF Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers.
“The 21st-century infrastructure that Virginia has meticulously installed will serve as a fertile root system that will nurture a lush forest of high-tech enterprises in the Commonwealth for years to come,” Rogers said. “Virginia not only is ready to compete in the emerging high-tech battleground—it shows every intention of dominating the field.”
While Amazon garnered the big headlines, Virginia also could boast of the announcement of Micron Semiconductor’s $3 billion expansion of its fabrication complex in Manassas, WestRock’s $248 million expansion of its paper plant in Convington, and a decision by Press Glass, the largest independent flat glass processing operation in Europe, to establish its first Virginia manufacturing facility in Henry County.
For a more complete list of corporate investment in Virginia, check out the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) news portal.
VDEP CEO Stephen Moret has made it a priority to move Virginia higher in the best-state-for-business rankings. Like any kind of list — the Best Colleges lists rankings come to mind — rankings are somewhat arbitrary, varying by the metrics that are taken into consideration. Regardless, the rankings do influence the perceptions of of corporate CEOs and site-selection consultants. So, just as U.S. News & World-Report’s Best College rankings drive college admissions, the best-state-for-business rankings influence which states will be considered for many business investments.
Ultimately, there’s no substitute for sound tax and regulatory policy, an educated and skilled workforce, and good infrastructure. But rankings do matter, and Virginia’s climb back into the top tier portends a more competitive posture than the state has enjoyed in the recent past.There are currently no comments highlighted.