Although currently ranked #6 by Forbes’ Best States for Business, Virginia had been ranking among the top two best states for businesses each year from 2006 through 2013. With a GDP of $480 billion, manufacturing contributes approximately 9% to that total.

5.9% of Virginia’s workforce is employed by 4560 manufacturing firms and there has been a steady increase in the number of manufacturing goods exported from Virginia, since 2009. This is evident from the figures , whereas exported goods revenue in 2012 stood right at $12 billion and by 2015 was $16 billion. Also, with a HDI (human development index) of 5.47, Virginia’s living conditions beat 80% of all other states.

Food and beverage manufacturing is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in Virginia by contributing a direct economic output worth $25.2 billion. This sector provides work opportunities to 35,000 individuals.

Chemical and transportation equipment manufacturing are second and third on the list. However, their revenue doesn’t match the food and beverage manufacturing industry.

Some huge brands within the f&b sector call Virginia it’s birthplace, while others are planning to expand its reach to Virginia. Fortune 500 brands like Lipton (Unilever), Kraft/Heinz, McKee Foods, Pepsi Co. and Hershey have either their head offices, plants and/or operations here.

With 11% of the state’s population working within the food and beverage manufacturing sector and earning an average annual salary of &70K+, according to data collected in 2015, the workforce in Virginia is benefiting from 1.9 billion in investments with the state from several large food manufacturers.

Manufacturing Infrastructure

Reliable logistics, high connectivity and a steadfast supply chain via major interstate highways, railways, commercial airports and vast shipping lines, provide a smooth process for import and export in Virginia.

Also a significant burden of tax gets eliminated in Virginia since the state does not implement taxes on inventories, computer software, accounts receivable and other intangibles. Most other taxes stand at a low rate of just 6%. Combined with excellent infrastructure, reliable electricity for commercials, utilities being available at 14% lower than the national average cost, and Virginia has all the ingredients of a very productive and inviting atmosphere for manufacturing.

A stable workforce and high quality of life have Virginia ranking #2 in labor supply, according to Forbes which goes even further to making Virginia enticing to current and future manufacturers.

The State of Virginia is continuing to set high standards for its competitors in the manufacturing economy to meet.

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