Southwest Virginia is a region of mountains, rolling hills, and wide-open valleys that includes seven counties (Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise) and the City of Norton. An abundant natural resource base consisting of timber, coal, limestone, and natural gas provides economic opportunities for onshoring. Accessibility to interstate highways makes the region a convenient location to reach markets east of the Mississippi and in the Midwest.
As a trendsetter in broadband and 4G wireless access in rural America, the area is marketed as Virginia's e-Region to reflect its focus on these strategic components of modern business – electronic information technology, energy, education, and emerging technologies. IT companies such as CGI and Northrop Grumman, as well as leading manufacturers like Tempur-Sealy, call the region home and are served by a skilled talent pool of over 450,000 in the extended labor market area.
Southwest Virginia offers exceptional business location and expansion opportunities, with available property and buildings, low costs, a robust workforce, and tailored training programs at the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing and the region’s community colleges and universities, including the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.
Strategically located midway between Atlanta-Pittsburgh, Charlotte-Cincinnati, and Richmond-Louisville, Southwest Virginia is within a day’s drive of more than half of the U.S. population. Major interstates and excellent four-lane highways enhance the region’s accessibility.
- Seven interstates are within close proximity: I-81 (1 mile), I-26 (2 miles), I-381 (6 miles), I-77 (6 miles), I-75 (24 miles), I-64 (28 miles), and I-40 (36 miles).
- Four-lane highways in the region (U.S. 19, 23, 58, 460 and 421) increase connectivity to major interstates and markets.
- Freight rail service is provided by CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern, offering a wide range of reliable and efficient shipping options.
- The Virginia TradePort, located at the New River Valley Airport, is 67 miles north, and The Port of Virginia, offering the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast, is 387 miles east.
- Six regional airports provide general aviation service, and Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI) provides commercial air service with connections to Atlanta, Charlotte, and Orlando/Tampa.
The beautiful scenery, outdoor recreational opportunities, museums, historical reenactments, festivals, music events, and access to quality health care and educational facilities are only some of the perks of living and working in Southwest Virginia.
The region’s highway systems, broadband, and 4G wireless enhance accessibility and add to its appeal as a quality business location. Bordering Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia, Southwest Virginia also has the advantage of a mobile workforce and proximity to the Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area with a population of nearly 500,000.
Four colleges and universities are located within the region, and many other higher education facilities are within a 125-mile radius. The University of Virginia’s College at Wise is home to Virginia’s only undergraduate degree program in software engineering. Working cooperatively with the region’s community colleges and universities and the industry-driven Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing, companies have access to tailored training like fast-track software programming, IT help desk training, or advanced manufacturing technology. Students are exposed to the latest technologies in modeling and simulation, robotics, 3D printing, drone technology, cybersecurity, and environmental technologies.
Spearhead Trail - Mountain View, St. Paul
Numerous recreational and cultural activities are available in Southwest Virginia. The area is surrounded by an abundance of scenic natural beauty, and residents and visitors enjoy hiking and picnicking at Jefferson National Forest and Breaks Interstate Park, rated one of the top 10 state parks in the nation. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and Natural Tunnel State Park are also located in the region, and outdoor activities like hunting, swimming, fishing, ATV trails, and boating are offered in each locality. Two of the nation's best historical driving trails go through the region: The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail and The Wilderness Road: Virginia’s Heritage Migration Route.
The Southwest Virginia Museum highlights the life and heritage of the area, and the Pro-Art Association provides a diverse series of performances, including the longest-running outdoor drama in the southeastern United States, “Trail of the Lonesome Pine.” Numerous festivals and special events held throughout the year highlight the music, arts, crafts, and foods of the region and Virginia.
Todd Baxter Former Senior Vice President, TeleTech
Scott County, in the e-region of Virginia, was a natural choice for TeleTech’s domestic expansion for a number of reasons, including an outstanding labor force, low cost of living, and great access to the market through the Tri-Cities airport.