Southern Virginia is made up of four counties (Halifax, Henry, Patrick, and Pittsylvania) and the cities of Danville and Martinsville. Because of its accessible location and stable, business-friendly environment, the area has attracted both national and international companies from a wide variety of industries, including plastic manufacturing, warehouse and distribution, information technology, biotechnology/pharmaceuticals, and auto supply manufacturing. With a rich history in high-performance manufacturing and the infrastructure in place to support its growth, 18% of the region’s total labor force of nearly 100,000 is employed in manufacturing.
Danville Community College and Patrick Henry Community College design comprehensive training programs to suit any business’s needs, and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research develops and attracts technology and talent critical to Southern Virginia's economic transformation.
The region enhances the business community with a high level of support and involvement in the arts, as well as recreational opportunities like professional motorsports and outdoor, water-related activities at four major lakes.
Southern Virginia is located along the Virginia/North Carolina state line at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. An excellent highway system coupled with easy access to interstates make the region extremely well-suited to reach Mid-Atlantic markets and international shipping facilities.
- High-quality, four-lane divided highways service the area, providing convenient access to major interstates: I-77 (5 miles), I-81 (18 miles), I-85 (18 miles), I-40 (30 miles), I-73 (36 miles), and I-64 (45 miles).
- Freight rail service is provided by Norfolk Southern.
- The region offers a direct route to the Mid-Atlantic gateway at The Port of Virginia in Hampton Roads.
- The Virginia TradePort, located at the New River Valley Airport in Dublin, is 57 miles northwest.
- Three regional airports provide general aviation services, and commercial air service is offered at Lynchburg Regional Airport (LYH – 45.5 miles), Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C. (GSO – 48.3 miles), and Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA – 56.3 miles).
Southern Virginia is home to major corporations such as Bassett Furniture, Eastman Chemical, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Ikea, and Nestlé Refrigerated Foods. With its stable taxes, low business costs, and below-average cost of living, the region is a leader in industrial growth.
A legacy workforce and robust training solutions provided by partners like the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) prepare a pipeline of talent. IALR offers some of the best research facilities in the region and represents a partnership with researchers and professionals from Virginia Tech, Old Dominion University, and Averett University.
Primland Resort, Meadows of Dan
Southern Virginia was built on a strong work ethic that continues into the 21st century, and its small-town charm is complemented by plentiful opportunities for arts, culture, and recreation. Steeped in motorsports history, the region boasts VIRginia International Raceway in Halifax County, one of the world’s finest road courses; South Boston Motor Speedway, a NASCAR-sanctioned race track that has hosted Busch Series Grand National Racing since 1982; and the Martinsville Speedway, which hosts four major NASCAR-sponsored auto races attracting in excess of 100,000 spectators annually.
The Riverwalk on the Dan is a popular amenity valued for its natural beauty, and four major lakes in the region provide a large variety of water-related activities like swimming, wind surfing, water-skiing, boating, fishing, and sailing.
Arts are a priority in the region, and the array of options includes the Museum of Fine Arts and History in Danville, an affiliate of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; the Piedmont Arts Association, which sponsors many workshops, displays, and special events; and the Virginia Museum of Natural History, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum in Martinsville. TheaterWorks, Piedmont Playmakers, the Martinsville Community Chorus, and the Martinsville Opera Society all provide outlets for amateur talent.
Jason Wells Chief Technical Officer, KYOCERA SGS Tech Hub
In business, it's really important to us to make decisions that minimize risk and ensure our success. When we visited Danville, it wasn't about what they hoped to do, but they showed us what they are doing, and it's a lot.