Thriving Advanced Materials Industry Ecosystem

A diverse ecosystem of suppliers, innovators, and customers already thrives in Virginia, supporting the 400+ advanced materials companies operating in a range of sub-sectors from chemicals and metals to plastics and composites. Hundreds of specialized suppliers – including contract manufacturers – operate in Virginia and North Carolina, and thousands more in the wider region. Virginia’s advanced materials ecosystem continues to grow on the solid foundations of over a century of excellence in areas ranging from advanced textiles in Southern Virginia to chemicals in Hopewell. DuPont’s Spruance plant, for example, began operations in 1929 and is currently the largest DuPont facility in the world.

Advanced Materials R&D in Virginia

Public, private, and university-based R&D activity drives innovation in Virginia. Virginia’s public universities, such as Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia, invested more than $355 million in advanced materials research in 2019, and every year billions in federal research dollars are spent in Virginia. Major public and private research centers include NASA Langley Research Center, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), and the ChemQuest Technology Institute.

World-Class Logistics Infrastructure

A dense network of roads, railways, ports, and airports provides transport links to supply chain and physical distribution networks, allowing easy worldwide interconnectivity and efficient operational logistics. Virginia is served by the third-largest port on the East Coast, with a network of six terminals that can handle any type of cargo. Port facilities include four deep-water terminals in Hampton Roads, the inland Richmond Marine Terminal, and the Virginia Inland Port, an intermodal container transfer facility in Front Royal. In 2024, after completion of a $1.4 billion modernization and expansion project, The Port of Virginia will be the East Coast’s deepest port and one of the most advanced in the world.

~120 nonstop service destinations

120 nonstop service destinations from Washington Dulles International Airport

6 major interstates

Six major interstates, including major north-south and east-west trucking routes

3,000 miles of railways

3,000 miles of railways (anchored by Class I railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern)

Grupo Phoenix evaluated various location options to build upon its future in the United States and chose Virginia due to a variety of factors, including a central location that allows us to be within 400 miles of 80% of the U.S. East Coast population; the ability to negotiate electricity at a competitive rate; access to rail transport, which reduces our logistics; a motivated labor force; support from the local colleges and universities to assist us with training specialized technical jobs; and the accessibility and unwavering support of the government to work together within the industry to create jobs.

Alberto Peisach CEO, Grupo Phoenix

America’s Top State for Talent

Ranked No. 2 for Education by CNBC, Virginia is home to almost 350,000 workers in advanced materials and related occupations. Companies operating in Virginia can reap the potential gains – lower health care costs and higher productivity – of one of the healthiest workforces in the Southeast. Virginia is home to excellent K-12 schools – No. 1 in the South and No. 4 in the U.S., according to WalletHub – and the No. 2 higher education system in the U.S., according to SmartAsset.

WalletHub_#1_2021_Best Public Schools in the South
SmartAsset_#2 Higher Ed_2022

kp Enhances Industry R&D

In 2015, Klöckner Pentaplast opened a state-of-the-art R&D facility, referred to as the, at North Fork – A UVA Discovery Park in Charlottesville. The is one of the industry’s first packaging technology centers, offering a welcoming environment for packaging professionals to collaborate with kp’s expert packaging design engineers, leading to the discovery of innovative packages and prototypes optimized for customer’s needs. The innovation center represents the first of many centers around the world by Klöckner Pentaplast, providing a collaborative space for idea sharing to help drug makers bring products to market more quickly and cost-effectively.

EC Group Offers Specialized Workforce Training

EURO-COMPOSITES® Group (EC Group) is a global player in the field of high-quality and sophisticated composite materials. The company manufactures advanced honeycomb composite materials used in aviation, space, industrial, and defense technology applications. With over 1,000 employees worldwide, the Culpeper facility, established in 1988, is the company’s sole U.S. location. During its 2016 expansion, EC Group partnered with Germanna Community College to offer specialized training for its CNC machine operators.

America's Top State For Business

Named America’s No. 3 Top State for Business by CNBC and the No. 2 state for governance by U.S. News & World Report, Virginia is widely recognized for its favorable regulatory climate and consistently rated one of the best-run states in the country. It also has one of the oldest right-to-work laws and the fourth lowest private-sector unionization rate in the country at 2.5%. Virginia offers a stable tax environment as well as competitive wages, construction costs, and industrial lease rates. Virginia also has low risks of natural hazards in every region, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, minimizing the potential of disruption to advanced materials manufacturing operations.

Business Facilities_#2_Business Climate
Hardide Coatings, Martinsville

Hardide Coatings, Martinsville

A Welcoming Business Climate for Manufacturers

  • Virginia is the northernmost right-to-work state along the I-95 Corridor.
  • Virginia has had a stable 6% corporate income taxrate, one of the lowest in the nation, since 1972.
  • Sound economic policy and prudent financial management has earned Virginia a AAA credit rating since 1938 — longer than any other state.
  • Industrial users paid an average rate of 6.42 cents per kilowatt-hour in the winter of 2020, well below the national average of 6.61 cents per kilowatt-hour.
  • Virginia has a low natural disaster risk and is tied No. 4 among ‘States Most Prepared for a Disaster,’ according to 24/7 Wall Street.
  • With 450+ fully characterized development sites of 25 acres or larger, dozens of certified sites, and a growing inventory of spec buildings and virtual buildings, Virginia is constantly working to improve its portfolio of real estate options for food and beverage processing firms.

Learn More About Advanced Materials in Virginia

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