Virginia’s diverse economy and strong business climate provide a strategic advantage for Irish companies entering or expanding in the U.S. market.
Irish companies will find easy access to the U.S. market with 47% of the U.S. population located within a one-day drive of Virginia. The Commonwealth’s strong transportation infrastructure ensures optimal access to major east/west and north/south interstate highways and rail lines, regional and international airports, and seaports.
Virginia’s exceptional logistics include:
- Six interstate highways
- Two Class 1 railroads – CSX and Norfolk Southern
- 16 commercial airports serving Virginia, including Washington Dulles International
- 3rd-largest port on the East Coast – The Port of Virginia
The Port of Virginia is planning for additional growth with major expansion projects currently underway and is the only port on the East Coast authorized for 55-foot channel depths to handle the larger cargo ships of the future as first and last port of call. The Port of Virginia moved more than 3.5 million TEUs in 2021 – making Virginia an ideal location for import or export centers to serve the U.S., Asia, or Latin America for Irish companies.
Virginia is adjacent to Washington, D.C., and within 480 kilometers of New York City.
Virginia’s proximity to Washington, D.C., allows for quick access to U.S. Embassies and federal decision-makers. Nonstop service to Dublin is available on United Airlines and Aer Lingus from Dulles International Airport, located in Virginia.
In Virginia, you will find a business-friendly environment. More than 820 internationally owned companies are located here, and the international base continues to grow.
Virginia has a competitive cost environment for business:
- Industrial electricity rates are below the U.S. average at 6.42 cents per kilowatt hour vs. 6.61 cents nationally (EEI, 2020)
- Unemployment insurance taxes are 6th-lowest in the nation and an average tax rate of 28% of total wages compared to the national average of 59% (The Tax Foundation)
- Average workers' compensation costs among the nation’s lowest
- Construction costs fall below the national average by 7% to 20%, depending on the region
Virginia offers tech firms access to the highest concentration of tech talent and the third-largest tech industry workforce in the nation, with 315,000 people working in the tech sector and/or tech occupations. Additionally, Virginia hosts the largest data center market in the world and Northern Virginia is home to more than 20% (100) of all known hyperscale data centers worldwide.
Virginia is ranked No.1 by CNBC and No.4 by Forbes in their Best States for Business studies. The Commonwealth also ranked No. 3 in the Forbes study for regulatory environment, which looks at labor regulations, tax incentives, health insurance mandates, and occupational licensing.
Virginia’s biggest strength lies in the quality and productivity of its workforce. Virginia is a right-to-work state and, at 2.4%, has the fifth-lowest private sector unionization rate in the country (UnionStats, 2021). Virginia is known for its world-class higher education system that provides a strong pipeline of new graduates from local and regional universities. The Virginia Community College System, comprising 23 community colleges, provides occupational and technical training programs, many of which are designed specifically to meet the needs of nearby industries.
Virginia offers the affordable, exciting, and diverse environment that employees desire, with a mild, four-season climate, competitive cost of living, and world-class cultural events, outdoor experiences, and sports amenities. Whether in small towns or thriving urban communities, businesses that locate in Virginia have an advantage in attracting talent.
Irish Companies with Virginia Locations
Virginia ranks 13th in employment from Europe in the U.S. A number of Irish companies have operations in Virginia, including:
Kevin Finegan Managing Director, Anord Control Systems
Following a due-diligence process which evaluated several coast-to-coast locations across the U.S., Anord choose Virginia as its first U.S. location based on the quality of the available real estate, the access to a skilled local workforce, and the abundance of blue-chip data center companies that are located in the region. Furthermore, Virginia offers a sound base of suitable supply chain partners which will provide Anord with a reliable local supply base.