Danone North America, Rockingham County

Danone North America, Rockingham County

Regional Highlights

Nestled between Virginia’s Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley includes seven counties (Augusta, Bath, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, and Shenandoah) and five independent cities (Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, and Waynesboro). The region is plentiful in natural resources and boasts a powerful cluster of employers rooted in manufacturing, agriculture, and logistics. Food and beverage production is at the heart of the manufacturing sector, employing more than 5% of the Valley’s labor force of over 175,000 people at major companies like Hershey, Molson Coors Beverage Company, McKee Foods, Perdue, and Cargill.

Location

The Shenandoah Valley is in the heart of historic and scenic west-central Virginia in the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. Interstates 81 and 64 traverse the region, providing an excellent transportation infrastructure and connection to markets north or south and east or west.

Shenandoah Valley
Sigora Solar, Staunton

Sigora Solar, Staunton

  • I-81 is the longest interstate in Virginia and rated one of the top eight truck routes in the U.S.
  • Interstates 64 and 81 provide easy access to the Virginia Inland Port at Front Royal and The Port of Virginia in Hampton Roads.
  • I-66 links I-81 with the Washington, D.C., MSA.
  • Freight rail service is provided by CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern, Buckingham Branch Railroad, Chesapeake & Western Railroad, and Shenandoah Valley Railroad.
  • The Virginia Inland Port is 31 miles from the region and The Port of Virginia in Hampton Roads is 182 miles east.
  • General aviation and commercial air service is provided by Shenandoah Valley Airport (SHD), which offers Daily United Express jet service to Chicago O’Hare and Washington Dulles, as well as Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO – 36.7 miles), and Lynchburg Regional Airport (LYH – 40.3 miles).

Virginia has made for a great manufacturing location for the Hershey Company because it gives us access to the talent and labor supply that we need to operate a highly efficient, automated manufacturing facility.

Jason Reiman Chief Supply Chain Officer
James Madison University

James Madison University

Talent Development

The region is home to many diverse options for higher education and technical training, such as James Madison University, Washington and Lee University, Virginia Military Institute, Bridgewater College, Blue Ridge Community College, and Massanutten Technical Center. With access to more than 35,000 annual graduates within a 30-mile radius of the region, companies look to the Shenandoah Valley’s colleges and universities for an educated workforce. High academic standards, new technologies, and the application of classroom learning to real-world situations prepare Valley graduates to enter the job market as educated and skilled professionals.

Living in the Shenandoah Valley

A four-season climate means year-round outdoor recreational activities, from skiing at Massanutten and Wintergreen resorts to golfing at the world-renowned Omni Homestead Resort. National, state, and local parks offer unlimited recreational opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, and camping. Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway draw visitors from around the world to view the scenic vistas of the Shenandoah Valley.

Cultural and historical attractions include the Shenandoah Valley Art Center, the Museum of American Frontier Culture, Woodrow Wilson’s Birthplace, Natural Bridge, and the George C. Marshall Museum. The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton is the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater and hosts performances year-round.

The Valley’s rich history is kept alive in living museums and libraries, and the area’s colleges and universities sponsor lectures, concerts, art exhibits, and numerous athletic events. Vibrant town centers, unique to each community, are a focal point for commerce and social activity, featuring fine arts and crafts, music, festivals, performing arts, and one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants.

Luray Caverns, Page County

Luray Caverns, Page County

Massanutten, Rockingham County

Massanutten, Rockingham County

American Shakespeare Center, Staunton

American Shakespeare Center, Staunton