Virginia Economic Review: First Quarter 2021

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FIRST QUARTER 2021

America’s Corporate Hometown Why so many executives choose Virginia for their corporate headquarters Full speed ahead at Amazon’s HQ2

International companies find a home in Virginia


Smith Mountain Lake, the largest lake entirely within Virginia’s borders, is a popular water recreation destination. It sits on a former Algonquin Native American hunting and fishing site.


Contents 18 America’s Corporate Hometown Why so many executives choose Virginia for their corporate headquarters

30 Innovation Lives at National Landing Amazon’s mammoth HQ2 undertaking is on time and full speed ahead

44 Home Away From Home International companies find advantages in locating U.S. headquarters in Virginia

52 Virginia’s Smaller Metros Prove Fertile Ground for Tech Headquarters Town-and-country lifestyle, access to university talent attract investment

62 From Boots to the Boardroom Virginia’s veterans are a natural fit for corporate headquarters

4 Facts & Figures 6 Selected Virginia Wins 10 Factors in Corporate Headquarters Location Decisions: A Conversation With Top Site Consultants 20 Headquarters in Virginia 56 The Appian Way: A Conversation With Matt Calkins 68 Sentry Equipment Stakes Reputation on Customized Service 72 Regional Spotlight 84 Economic Development Partners in Virginia

Our cover features illustrative examples of companies with a global or regional headquarters located in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Subscribe today. Visit www.vedp.org/Virginia-Economic-Review

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Winchester’s Old Town was established before the American Revolution and includes a pedestrian mall with shops and restaurants. The city hosts the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival each year, including concerts and parades.

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Virginia: America’s Corporate Hometown OVER THE LAST FEW DECADES, the

Commonwealth of Virginia has solidified its position as America’s hometown for corporate headquarters. In just the past 10 years, more than 500 companies have relocated their headquarters to Virginia or expanded an existing headquarters in the Commonwealth. They were attracted here by Virginia’s compelling combination of diverse, world-class talent, exceptional quality of life, stable business climate, and competitive costs. Virginia has the sixth-highest number of Fortune 500 company headquarters in the United States. Corporate headquarters located in Virginia represent a diversified ecosystem across a broad range of industries, including technology (e.g., Appian, DXC Technology), defense (e.g., General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman), food and beverage processing (e.g., Mars, Nestlé USA), finance (e.g., Capital One), hospitality (e.g., Hilton), and more. In this issue of Virginia Economic Review, we explore the diverse array of firms that have chosen to locate a corporate headquarters in Virginia (and why they have done so), including international companies that have selected Virginia for their U.S. headquarters, as well as tech firms that have found success locating their headquarters in one of Virginia’s smaller metros.

This issue also provides an insider look at the remarkable progress of Amazon’s landmark HQ2 in Arlington County, and highlights Virginia’s veteran community as a large, talented workforce asset for corporate headquarters. Inside are discussions with thought leaders offering distinctive perspectives on corporate headquarters, including an interview with Matt Calkins, CEO of Fairfax County-based technology company Appian, about his company’s history in Virginia, as well as a roundtable discussion with leading site-selection consultants Greg Burkart, Jeannette Goldsmith, and Chris Schastok, on the key criteria that go into corporate headquarters location decisions. We hope you enjoy this special issue chronicling the companies and location advantages that have made Virginia America’s corporate hometown. Best regards,

Stephen Moret President and CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership @StephenMoret

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Facts Figures

1 1

# # #

1

2

#

4

Top State for Business Workforce in the U.S.

Digital Infrastructure Leaders

Top Public Schools: National Universities

4 11

2021

# #

University of Virginia College of William & Mary

2020

Scientists & Engineers Information Technology Jobs State New Economy Index, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, 2020

3

#

Best States for Regulatory Environment


39.6 6 1

%

World’s Most Admired Companies 2021

Airbus US

Fairfax County

of Residents 25 and Older With a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher

#

in U.S.

#

BAE Systems, Inc. Arlington County

Booz Allen Hamilton Fairfax County

CACI International Arlington County

in South

Capital One Financial Fairfax County

Dominion Energy Richmond

General Dynamics Fairfax County

Hilton Worldwide Fairfax County

Leidos

Fairfax County

Best Cities for Women in Tech

Nestlé USA

Arlington County

Northrop Grumman

3 4

2020

# #

1

#

Falls Church

NVR

Fairfax County

SAIC

Arlington

Fairfax County

Thales USA

Arlington County

Volkswagen Group of America

Chesapeake

RICHMOND MSA:

Lowest Travel Delay for Large Urban Areas 2019 Urban Mobility Report, Texas A&M Transportation Institute

3

#

Fairfax County

NORTHERN V I R G I N I A/G R E AT E R WASHINGTON METRO:

Best Metros for Commuting Via Public Transportation Metro Magazine, 2020

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Selected Virginia Wins

Civica Inc. will invest $124.5 million to establish its first in-house pharmaceutical manufacturing operation in Petersburg in Virginia’s Gateway Region. The project will create 186 new jobs. Civica is a key partner for the new federally funded partnership with Phlow Corporation, the Medicines for All Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University, and AMPAC Fine Chemicals. Through the partnership, Phlow executed a $354 million contract with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to produce essential medicines. As part of the initiative, Civica will construct a state-of-the-art, 120,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility next to AMPAC’s existing Petersburg facility and Phlow’s future site. These investments continue to position the Richmond MSA as a leader in advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing, allowing more essential medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients to be produced in the United States. The new Civica plant will manufacture vials and syringes of injectable medicines used for COVID-19 patient care, emergency rooms, surgeries, and the treatment of serious infections and hypertension. Based in Utah, Civica is a nonprofit generic drug company launched in 2018 to address the problems of chronic generic drug shortages and high drug prices. More than 50 health systems are Civica members, representing approximately 1,350 hospitals and nearly one-third of licensed hospital beds in the United States.

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With its welcoming partnerships, central location along I-95, and growing life sciences workforce, we are thrilled to build this new facility in Virginia. This is a dream come true for Civica and our hospital partners as we work together to stabilize the supply of quality medicines for patients across the country. MARTIN VANTRIESTE President and CEO, Civica Inc.


CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, will retain its North American headquarters in Norfolk and grow its presence in Virginia, creating more than 400 new jobs in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia. The company, based in Marseille, France, will invest a projected $36 million to expand customer care and finance operations in Hampton Roads and establish ZEBOX, a startup incubator and accelerator in Arlington County that will assist innovative startups in developing new technologies for transportation, logistics, and mobility. The majority of the new positions will be located in Hampton Roads. CMA CGM Group, the top ocean freight carrier in the United States, serves 19 American ports, including the Port of Virginia. Worldwide, its 502 vessels serve more than 420 ports globally and carried nearly 22 million 20-foot equivalent units in 2019. The company employs more than 12,000 across the United States and 110,000 worldwide and is a leading provider of logistics services through its subsidiary, CEVA Logistics. With CEVA Logistics, CMA CGM Group handles more than 500,000 tons of airfreight and 1.9 million tons of inland freight every year. In addition, the company’s subsidiary, American President Lines, operates a fleet of U.S.-flagged vessels and supports U.S. territories and American military stationed around the world.

We always had a strong and long-lasting commitment to the #US. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce alongside @GovernorVA the creation of 400 jobs in #Virginia. An obvious choice for us, a proof of the trustful ties and close cooperation we have with the US. RODOLPHE SAADE @RodolpheSaade Chairman and CEO, CMA CGM Group

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Selected Virginia Wins Central Virginia

Northern Shenandoah Valley

Afton Scientific, LLC

Jobs: 20 New Jobs CapEx: $500K Locality: Albemarle County

Silent Falcon UAS Technologies

Greater Fredericksburg DHL Supply Chain

Jobs: 577 New Jobs CapEx: $72M Locality: Stafford County

Northern Virginia

Kreative Technologies, LLC Jobs: 296 New Jobs CapEx: $1.5M Locality: Fairfax County

Hampton Roads

Tabet Manufacturing Company, Inc.

Shenandoah Valley

Jobs: 68 New Jobs CapEx: $6.5M Locality: City of Norfolk

Dynamic Aviation

Jobs: 207 New Jobs CapEx: $47.9M Locality: Rockingham County

I81-I77 Crossroads Mohawk Industries

International Automotive Components Group

Jobs: 35 New Jobs CapEx: $22.5M Locality: Carroll County

Grayson Natural Farms, LLC Jobs: 40 New Jobs CapEx: $1.5M Locality: Grayson County

Jobs: 249 New Jobs CapEx: $6M Locality: Warren County

Jobs: 47 New Jobs CapEx: $4.6M Locality: Shenandoah County

Shenandoah Valley Organic Jobs: 110 New Jobs Locality: City of Harrisonburg

Southern Virginia Crown Holdings

Jobs: 126 New Jobs CapEx: $145M Locality: Henry County

Intertape Polymer Group Jobs: 50 New Jobs CapEx: $44.5M Locality: Pittsylvania County

Laminate Technologies Jobs: 42 New Jobs CapEx: $4M Locality: Henry County

Southwest Virginia eHealth Technologies Jobs: 160 New Jobs CapEx: $375K Locality: Scott County

Multiple Locations

Klöckner Pentaplast Group Jobs: 54 New Jobs CapEx: $68M Locality: Louisa County, Wythe County

Roanoke Region New River Valley

Southwest Virginia I81-I77 Crossroads

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Northern Shenandoah Valley

Washington, D.C.

Northern Virginia Shenandoah Valley Central Virginia

Greater Fredericksburg

Northern Neck

Middle Peninsula Greater Richmond Lynchburg Region

Eastern Shore South Central Virginia

Southern Virginia

Virginia’s Gateway Region

Greater Williamsburg

Hampton Roads

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Factors in Corporate Headquarters Location Decisions A Conversation With Greg Burkart, Jeannette Goldsmith, and Chris Schastok

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In the competitive realm of corporate headquarters location decisions, the COVID-19 pandemic upended the way companies operate and could have major ramifications on office space moving forward. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with three leading site consultants on the factors that affect corporate headquarters location decisions, how companies will operate differently coming out of the pandemic, and the advantages Virginia has in attracting corporate headquarters investment. Stephen Moret: It’s a very interesting time for corporate real estate decisions in the country as companies navigate a major pandemic. What are the main criteria considered in location searches for corporate headquarters? Greg Burkart: The main criteria that we see for headquarters are really two. The first one is labor force, particularly labor force that has experience in the given industry sectors. Second is accessibility. We gauge the accessibility to the company’s operations across the United States, but also across the globe. And then the proximity to customers and how quickly corporate executives can get out and be with customers, or have customers visit them. Jeannette Goldsmith: There’s a culture element, too. A location has to make sense for a company from a culture perspective. It’s, “Do we fit in with this community? What does this community project about our company to the outside world?” I’ll use as an example Nissan’s headquarters relocation to Tennessee. Nissan was the first Japanese company to have an automotive plant in the southeastern United States with the plant in Smyrna. Relocating to Tennessee fit the image that they wanted to project to their customers and to the world.

Chris Schastok: Not only culture, not only impact on brand position, but a big component around talent. Often, when you look at relocating a corporate headquarters, it’s not a five-year decision — it’s a 50-year decision. It presents the opportunity to leapfrog competition and, if it’s done correctly, become the employer of choice, focusing not only on retention, but also attraction of talent. Moret: As you think about headquarters location decisions, specifically, what do you see as the major trends that will affect company operations over the next few years? What have you seen shift over the last several years? Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, what might shift about how companies think about headquarters location decisions? Goldsmith: As companies begin to look for new headquarters locations, oftentimes that means building a new building or a new facility for their headquarters. When they start to do that design and construction work, a couple of big trends emerge. One is ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles. Companies are not building as much parking as maybe they would have 10 or 15 years ago because they know this trend is coming and people aren’t going to own cars and park when they come to work. The other trend I’m seeing is toward more flexible space that can be used for multiple purposes.

GREG BURKART Managing Director and Site Selection and Incentives Advisory Leader, Duff & Phelps

JEANNETTE GOLDSMITH Vice President, Strategic Development Group

CHRIS SCHASTOK Senior Vice President, Advisory & Transaction Services Practice, CBRE


FA C T O R S I N C O R P O R AT E H E A D Q U A RT E R S L O C AT I O N D E C I S I O N S

When you look at relocating a corporate headquarters, it’s not a five-year decision — it’s a 50-year decision. It presents the opportunity to leapfrog competition and, if it’s done correctly, become the employer of choice, focusing not only on retention, but also attraction of talent. CHRIS SCHASTOK Senior Vice President, Advisory & Transaction Services Practice, CBRE

Schastok: The demographics of the country are changing and the workforce is changing, with components like health and wellness at the forefront. As the world becomes flatter from an accessibility standpoint, how does the current location versus a new location, or multiple new locations, play into what they’re really trying to offer the folks that come work there every single day? I think coming out of 2020, similar to how we came out of 2009, there will be a return to cost consideration at the corporate decision-making level. But we’re hearing a lot of our clients also circle that cost-of-living bucket and say, “The way we’re looking at costs is the impact to our employees, the ability to own a home or rent a home, or commute and live, work, and play in a community.” I think we’ll revisit some corporate decision-making that brings the employee back to front and center. To put a bow around it, it’s a big, long look at how you can keep the folks who are coming to work every day happy, healthy, and content with their jobs. Burkart: If you’re in an urban core and your headquarters team is in an elevator and commuting through a congested lobby, you have some real

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practical considerations about having your colleagues actually be able to get to the office safely. So we’re seeing a lot of discussion around risk minimization, particularly as it relates to urban cores. It’s bringing more rural and suburban locations into play, whereas, I think over the last decade, we’ve seen this shift to the urban core. We’re now starting to have some discussions about reversing that, or having a smaller team in the urban setting and pushing the much larger team out to the suburbs or to more rural locations. Moret: We’ve seen a sea change in the extent of remote work in the country in the wake of social distancing requirements associated with a pandemic, especially early on. How do you think that will affect the future of corporate headquarters locations? What kinds of locations do you think would or could benefit from a trend toward more hybrid or fully remote jobs? Schastok: The pandemic, while it feels like it’s been a long time, is a pretty short window to look at, and it has greatly impacted the corporate office landscape. You look at employee surveys coming out regarding remote work, and a large swath of the working population report at least currently that they enjoy the increased

flexibility, not having to commute to major urban cores. It costs money to eat, it costs money to park, it costs money to take the train. You might spend 20 minutes or an hour commuting to and from the office. The one thing we all have is 24 hours in a day, so one of the most valuable things was getting time back and being more efficient with it. And I think there is a quotient of the C-suite that looks at the ability to get more time and more efficiency out of people. That’s something that’s been really favorable. From a team and a collaboration standpoint, while we’ve all done a really great job leveraging the tools we have to work remotely, it simply will never replace face-to-face human interaction. So, what does that really mean? I think what you’re seeing right now is a lot of kicking the can down the road on office-related projects — a lot of short-term renewals. I think it’ll be a couple more years until we really get this thing evened out. But my belief is that remote work is not here to stay. I think flexibility may be here to stay, but I do believe that we will all be back in our respective offices working again together.


FA C T O R S I N C O R P O R AT E H E A D Q U A RT E R S L O C AT I O N D E C I S I O N S

Burkart: The headquarters projects that we’re working on right now, some were before the pandemic and a couple have cropped up since the pandemic. The projects are getting smaller. The executive teams are trying to determine what core leadership is required to be together on a consistent basis. You’ll have much smaller dedicated offices and these isolated open areas that would allow for team collaboration, but also easy changeover from one meeting to another, to allow appropriate hygiene and sanitation to take place. The discussions we’re having so far from executives have been about much smaller core HQs, with the extended enterprise for back-office operations. The debate we’re hearing right now from a lot of our clients is, do they include R&D? That’s the intellectual heart of the company. It depends a lot on corporate strategy. But for those companies that pride themselves on innovation, they certainly consider their R&D colleagues to be a core part of the leadership team. Goldsmith: We are going to go back to work in an office. I think there have been productivity losses, and the lack of social interaction really takes a toll. How we go back to an office is going to look different. Some companies during the pandemic have adopted a rotating schedule so that only a certain number of people are in the building on any given day. Maybe that stays. The built space is going to change dramatically to allow for the flexibility that’s needed to accommodate personal offices as well as larger collaborative space in a much smaller footprint. Moret: Are small to mid-size metros on your clients’ radar when they’re initially thinking about where a project might fit, particularly a corporate headquarters project? What can smaller metros do to attract more corporate headquarters projects?

Burkart: For the smaller metro areas to be competitive, it’s all about accessibility. What connectivity does that community have? What sort of information and communications infrastructure is there? Do they have 5G? Do they have fiber extended throughout the community? Connectivity is really, really important for smaller communities. If you look at the growth over the last 12 to 18 months, I’m amazed at the number of smaller metro areas that are essentially vacation markets. Take a look at in Traverse City in northwest Michigan. I think it’s approaching almost 20% growth with permanent residents moving in. Same thing down in Texas and some of the communities surrounding Austin, and in New Orleans and some of the surrounding parishes.

A location has to make sense for a company from a culture perspective. It’s, ‘Do we fit in with this community? What does this community project about our company to the outside world?’ JEANNETTE GOLDSMITH Vice President, Strategic Development Group

That might be a result of what we were just discussing about the remote workforce. They’ve moved out of the urban to suburban locations and reached for more space. That’s where I’m seeing a lot of growth, particularly here in the Midwest. Schastok: When you’re talking about an HQ relocation, no project is identical to another. Think about the Amazon project you guys have in Northern Virginia. That project fits into your Virginia story very well, versus some other places in the country that just couldn’t accommodate that type of growth. If you take Chicago, where I live, what you see is a glut of companies that have spent the last decade moving their headquarters to downtown Chicago. And that is all about talent.

For the smaller metro areas to be competitive, it’s all about accessibility. What connectivity does that community have? What sort of information and communications infrastructure is there? GREG BURKART Managing Director and Site Selection

I think a smaller community can compete like a big community for a headquarters project. It just has to be the right type of project. You’re not going to have a company move 5,000 jobs into a market where you’d automatically be the big fish in a medium-sized pond, and then have your competition for talent and ability to attract slightly hindered based just on the size of the community.

and Incentives Advisory Leader, Duff & Phelps


FA C T O R S I N C O R P O R AT E H E A D Q U A RT E R S L O C AT I O N D E C I S I O N S

THREE “P’S” PROSPERITY WHEEL

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an dP

Designing a Fair and Competitive Tax Structure

S ta t e Government

POLICY

Diversifying and Globally Connecting Business

Shaping Responsive Government

niz rga O nal, a l nd Loca

Increasing Capital Funding

Enhancing Transportation Connections

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Optimizing Infrastructure Investment

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Publ ic

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te ,

Creating an Entrepreneurial Culture

ment ern ov

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PROSPERITY

Advancing Innovation and Technology

Seizing Green Opportunities

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K-12 and H igh er E

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Retooling Our Existing Workforce

Enhance Community Assets

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Strengthening Quality of Place

LA

P

Marketing Each Region

Attracting and Retaining Talent

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Enhance Talent Assets

LE

Enhance Business Climate

Source: Michigan State University Land Policy Institute, “Redefining Economic Strategies for the New Economy,” 2010

There are a lot of high-value markets out there outside of the big cities that are very, very promising places for corporations to relocate to. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to the scope and criteria of what the company wants to do. Goldsmith: If a company is of a size that might consider a smaller community or a rural area, they’re going to look for areas that fit their company culture. So, what communities need to be focusing on, if that’s their goal,

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is placemaking. What can they do to make their community stand out? Rural communities need to make sure they have the amenities that are going to be important to a headquarters project. Is that more green space? Biking trails? A vibrant downtown? Certain types of housing? Taking care of those traditional community development activities that are going to make their community stand out to a company that’s looking to relocate their corporate headquarters.

Burkart: There’s a study from Michigan State University from 2009 that’s probably the seminal study in placemaking. If a community is looking to be competitive, whether it’s a smaller community or a larger community, public amenities are tremendously important. There’s actually a rate of return that’s projected with a formula showing how certain investments in these public amenities will yield X number of dollars of increase in per capita income, and it’s been pretty accurate.


FA C T O R S I N C O R P O R AT E H E A D Q U A RT E R S L O C AT I O N D E C I S I O N S

Moret: Is there anything else we didn’t hit on in terms of things that states and regions can do to better position themselves as attractive locations for corporate headquarters? Goldsmith: We’re active with a corporate headquarters project right now, and one of the things that has frustrated me is an inability to understand the talent pipeline. Specifically, if my client is looking for a specific skillset, we want to know how many people in XYZ major graduate from the major universities and colleges in a certain region. How many of those people stay in the region and have jobs? How many of those people leave the region? Those data points help us understand what that talent pipeline is going to look like. A lot of places haven’t really mastered that yet, for a variety of reasons: It’s difficult to work with their local universities or a nonwillingness to do it. That piece of data is very important, but very hard to get. Schastok: Collaboration with higher education is really key for these types of projects. Some states and sophisticated regional groups have done a really good job of paving the way to help companies put together a structured partnership around talent. I think air transport will continue to be something that folks really depend on. There are some great stories out there about cities that have been able to get one of the larger air carriers to increase their gate capacity in the airport. That’s viewed very favorably, especially when you get outside of the top five airports that we can all rattle off. Companies need to figure out, “How are we still going to be able to get around the country and the globe if we pick up and move from our existing location?” Moret: As you think about the Commonwealth of Virginia, what are the qualities that really help Virginia stand out as a location for corporate headquarters?

Burkart: The first thing that comes to mind with Virginia for headquarters projects is just the number of bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees the population has. The educational attainment is the highest in the country. For headquarters, it’s also the location quotient for management executives, and the professional and scientific and engineering communities. You’re averaging almost a 2% growth rate over a five-year period for those occupations. Then you balance that with wages, and the average annual wage across the Commonwealth for managerial jobs is about $125,000 a year, which is lower than the national average of about $128,000 a year. When you consider the concentration, the education attainment, versus the cost for what you’re getting, I think Virginia is a very, very competitive location for a headquarters. Goldsmith: The No. 1 asset is the talent and the talent pipeline. In addition to the existing talent base you have, your universities and colleges are turning out excellent individuals in a multiple array of occupations. That’s definitely part of your talent advantage. In addition, part of Virginia’s competitiveness in this area is your connectivity. If you include Baltimore, which I know is not in the Commonwealth, it gives you access to three airports that get you almost anywhere in the world. You offer corporate headquarters for whom air travel is important a lot of connectivity. Schastok: It’s about pipeline development. You’ve got three of the country’s top universities in Virginia. You have growing markets that are very, very attractive. It’s a growing state. When you put all this together, Virginia clearly puts itself in the position to be at the table for a lot of these big discussions.

Moret: Did the Amazon HQ2 win do anything to change perceptions of Virginia as a location for corporate headquarters projects? Goldsmith: One of the things that I think was done well was to brand that location as Northern Virginia, as opposed to Washington D.C. That allowed you to bill it as a Virginia win and distinguish that from D.C. as the major metropolitan area. Moret: One thing a lot of folks don’t realize is that Northern Virginia is by far the largest source of headquarters, particularly for tech talent, in that region. The whole region is quite strong, but Northern Virginia is the biggest part of it. Goldsmith: Amazon helped you tell that story broadly and loudly. That’s a concept which I think was really underscored with the Amazon decision. Schastok: When it was all revealed, there were many for months who had said that the, quote, “greater D.C. Metro” would be in the mix. The fact that the project landed in Arlington gives you a new stack of chips to go out and say, “We were able to locate this. We’ve been able to support it.” Burkart: I think the Amazon decision confirmed what we’ve been saying today about the Commonwealth, and certainly about Northern Virginia. Going all the way out to Charlottesville, and down to Richmond, you certainly have communities with the capabilities to retain and attract that workforce. You’re in an enviable position with the universities in the Commonwealth, in the D.C. area, to attract those graduates to stay in the area. I think it’s reaffirming everything the Commonwealth has been doing over the last decade.

For the full interview, visit www.vedp.org/Podcasts



Advanced Over 45 years ago, [STIHL] looked for a good working environment and access to trained and skilled employees. [Hampton Roads has] a lot of good educational facilities, but we also have access to veterans who bring with them the skills and work ethic that we need in our company. BJOERN FISCHER President and CEO


America’s Corporate Hometown Why so many executives choose Virginia for their corporate headquarters

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T

he last few decades have solidified Virginia’s position as America’s hometown for corporate headquarters. In total, 580 companies have relocated to or expanded headquarters offices in Virginia in the last decade. The Commonwealth is home to 22 Fortune 500 headquarters — tied for sixth in the country — and 36 Fortune 1000 companies representing industries as diverse as technology, defense, hospitality, food and beverage, and finance. In ranking Virginia as its top state for business (and the best state in the Workforce and Education categories), CNBC cited the “best workforce in the nation, with the nation’s largest concentration of science, technology, engineering, and math employees.” Virginia is home to almost a million professionals in corporate headquarters functions (e.g. finance, accounting, computer science, data science, human resources, and marketing), and that talent pool is one of the most diverse in the country, placing Virginia among the top 10 states for the percentage of corporate professionals who are Black, Asian-American, or foreign-born. The Commonwealth maintains an ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion — for example, Virginia was the first state in the Southeast to extend workplace protections to LGBTQ+ professionals. Companies are taking notice, including some of the world’s largest. Holly Sullivan, head of worldwide economic development at Amazon, cited “a strong local and regional talent base” when the company announced its decision to locate its highly coveted HQ2 at National Landing in Northern Virginia. Virginia’s talent advantages start with its top-notch education system, and the Commonwealth invests to ensure the future health of that talent base. Virginia

boasts the best higher education system in the South and the second-best in the country (SmartAsset, 2020) and the best K-12 public schools in the South and the fourth-best in the country (WalletHub, 2019) which helps ensure the future health of that talent base. The Commonwealth holds another talent advantage over its peer states — a robust pipeline of individuals each year, exhibiting stability, confidentiality, and high-stakes operational knowledge. Only California, nearly five times larger, has more service members separating from the military each year. Virginia’s location at the center of the East Coast offers headquarters proximity to key economic hubs, including critical customer markets like the federal government, Northeast Corridor, and Southeast metro areas. These advantages were cited by then-Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush when the Fortune 100 company moved its headquarters from California to Falls Church in Northern Virginia — and Virginia’s proximity to Washington, D.C., allows for access to regulators and other decision-makers. Strong infrastructure helps magnify those geographical advantages. As Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta said when his Fortune 500 company announced it was relocating its headquarters from California to Fairfax County, “Virginia offers a more central location from which to operate a global organization.” In addition to Virginia’s highway network, second-densest in the Southeast, every region of the Commonwealth has access to at least one of 16 commercial airports, including two of the nation’s top airports in Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. Virginia’s extensive public transit network offers access to environmentally friendly transportation options — the Commonwealth ranks

No. 1 among Southeastern states for public transit usage. Another Virginia trait attractive to corporate headquarters is stability. The Commonwealth offers a combination of business-friendly policies and stable operating costs, including a 6% corporate income tax rate that hasn’t changed since 1972. Virginia has earned an AAA bond rating for more than 80 consecutive years, longer than any other state. As Mike Petters, president and CEO of Newport News-based Fortune 500 company Huntington Ingalls Industries, said, “There’s a general consensus in the state legislature of the importance of business, and I don’t think that is tied to a particular party. It’s incumbent upon the businesses to identify those things that are good for business, but when the case is made, the Commonwealth steps up.” In addition to a highly attractive and stable business climate, Virginia offers world-class talent. Kevin Chidwick, then the CEO of Elephant Auto Insurance, said when the company established its U.S. headquarters in Greater Richmond, “The financial economics of recruiting, rewarding, and retaining this talent are not only attractive in the short term, but aligned with our business’s long-term aspirations.” Major corporations have found Virginia to be a strategic location to build and grow, supported by an educated workforce, strong transportation, strategic location, demographic diversity, and a host of other benefits. State and local leaders have worked assiduously to help businesses build on the Virginia success story. The story is ongoing. Read on for a closer look to learn more about why so many companies have chosen to make Virginia home.

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Headquarters in Virginia Illustrative Examples

Northern Shenandoah Valley

77

Central Virginia West Virginia

79

Shenandoah Valley

81

33

H ar r i s o

64

Lynchburg Region 250 220

S t au n to n

2

Roanoke Region

64

L e x i n g to n

220

New River Valley

460

Kentucky

Blacksburg

460

19

Wise

W y t h ev i l l e

81

Tennessee

58

29 South Martinsville

I81-I77 Crossroads

20

220

77

B r i s to l

26

R o an o k e

501

221

58

Lynchburg

77

19

23

81

Southern Virginia

40

Danville

501


Maryland

Northern Virginia

Winchester

7 Leesburg

Greater Fredericksburg 66 A l ex a n d r i a

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C u l p e p er

17 Fr ed e r i c k s b u r g

onburg

301

95 Charlottesville

Greater Richmond

17 360

29

15

33

64

13 17

Richmond

60

Northern Neck

288 360

Fa r m v i l l e

Middle Peninsula

Williamsburg

460

Petersburg

64

460

95 85

360

460

Greater Williamsburg

Norfolk Virginia B eac h

B o s to n

Emporia

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S o u t h Hi l l

North Carolina

Virginia’s Gateway Region

Hampton Roads 21


A Home for All Companies Home to hundreds of corporate, subsidiary, and regional managing offices, Virginia boasts the sixth-highest number of Fortune 500 company headquarters and the eighth-highest number of Fortune 1000 company headquarters in the U.S. These headquarters operations represent a diversified ecosystem of large and small operations as well as a broad cross-section of industries, from manufacturing and food and beverage to emerging technologies and hospitality and tourism, showing that companies of all different sizes and industries find what they need to thrive within the Commonwealth.

The Motley Fool is a financial and investment advice company based in Alexandria. The company offers investment advice to subscribers on stocks, other investments, and real estate, along with reviews of personal finance products.

Goochland-based Fortune 500 company CarMax is the largest used-car retailer in the United States and provides a variety of vehicle delivery options to go with its “no-haggle” pricing.

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Tysons-based software developer Appian provides a low-code automation platform that accelerates the creation of powerful, unique business applications.

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A H O M E F O R A L L C O M PA N I E S

Based in McLean, Fortune 500 company Capital One Financial offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses, and commercial clients, including credit cards, auto loans, banking, and savings accounts.

McLean-based consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, a Fortune 500 company, provides analytics, digital, engineering, and cyber solutions to business, government, and military leaders.

Mechanicsville-based Fortune 500 company Owens & Minor, Inc. provides healthcare solutions to providers and manufacturers across the continuum of care.

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Alarm.com, headquartered in Tysons, provides a cloud-based platform for home automation and monitoring services, including security, video, access control, and energy management.

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Fortune 1000 firm CACI International provides professional and information technology services to the federal government, including defense, homeland security, intelligence, and healthcare.

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Leidos, a Fortune 500 company based in Reston, is the American defense industry’s largest information technology services provider. The company serves numerous federal defense and civil agencies and selected commercial markets.

In addition to its corporate headquarters in Frederick County outside Winchester, kitchen and bath cabinet manufacturer American Woodmark operates a kiln drying facility in Orange County.

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Trex Company, Inc., based in Frederick County, manufactures wood-alternative decking, railings, and other outdoor items from recycled materials.

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A H O M E F O R A L L C O M PA N I E S

Based in McLean, M.C. Dean designs, builds, operates, and maintains cyber-physical solutions for facilities, secure environments, complex infrastructure, and global enterprises, serving both government and private clients.

Tysons-based business intelligence and computing company MicroStrategy develops software to analyze data in order to make business decisions.

Reston-based SAIC, short for Science Applications International Corporation, is a Fortune 500 company that provides government services and information technology support.

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Innovation

NEW AMAZONIANS ARE

onboarding. Construction milestones are being met. From timelines to pipelines, Amazon’s mammoth HQ2 undertaking is on time and full speed ahead. In the two-plus years since Amazon announced that Arlington would be home to its highly sought-after HQ2, Northern Virginia’s innovation ecosystem has been supercharged. This ecosystem has taken root in National Landing — the newly branded community comprising parts of Arlington County and the city of Alexandria — and is already branching out across Virginia, while stoking collaboration between the business, education, and government sectors. From its strategic perch overlooking the U.S. Capitol and the Potomac River, HQ2 is taking shape as more than a second headquarters for the global technology giant. It is a beacon signaling to the world that National Landing is growing into a tech community like no other. This community includes Virginia Tech’s $1 billion Innovation Campus, transportation infrastructure upgrades, significant retail and affordable housing investments, two 22-story towers currently under construction, and Metropolitan Park, a public open space including a dog park, art walk, and recreation areas. The centerpiece of the next phase of HQ2’s construction will be Amazon’s recently unveiled Helix — a distinctive building featuring two walkable paths of landscaped terrain spiraling up the outside of the structure — and three more LEED Platinum-certified, 22-story towers scheduled for construction this year.

Amazon HQ2 rendering

Lives at National Landing

But that’s just a peek at what’s to come. Much within the footprint of HQ2 has already begun coming to life.

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Hire Ground

I N N O VAT I O N L I V E S AT N AT I O N A L L A N D I N G

Cited as a critical factor for NOVA’s selection in Amazon’s HQ2 announcement in November 2018, Virginia’s tech talent pipeline is picking up steam. That’s because Virginia universities committed to producing 32,000 new computer science graduates in excess of current levels through the history-making Tech Talent Investment Program. Creating this additional workforce is critical, as Amazon alone plans to hire at least 25,000 employees to power HQ2. After beginning virtual interviews in February 2020, Amazon has already hired more than 1,600 employees and has posted another 600 job listings for the Arlington site. “The hiring and the talent pipeline is exactly what we’d hoped it would be,” said Brian Huseman, vice president of public policy for Amazon. “There’s no shortage of applicants and great people to choose from.” The focus up until this point has been on establishing the needed infrastructure to set up HQ2, an effort that included hiring recruiters and program managers. That focus has since shifted because Amazon is now hiring more business-oriented and technology roles.

The hiring and the talent pipeline is exactly what we’d hoped it would be. There’s no shortage of applicants and great people to choose from. BRIAN HUSEMAN, Vice President of Public Policy, Amazon

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Metropolitan Park rendering

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Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus, shown here in a university rendering, is scheduled to be completed by fall 2024.

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Mastering Innovation

I N N O VAT I O N L I V E S AT N AT I O N A L L A N D I N G

Amazon’s new neighbor is Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus, a cutting-edge talent accelerator that’s the furthest thing from a typical classroom experience. About 80 master’s students have begun virtual coursework, with the goal of growing enrollment to 750 master’s students over the next several years. Construction on the Alexandria campus’s first academic building, a 300,000-sq.-ft., gem-shaped structure, is slated to begin this year and be completed by fall 2024. Leading the charge as vice president and executive director of the Innovation Campus is Lance Collins, who previously served as the dean of engineering at Cornell. While there, he helped launch the school’s satellite campus, Cornell Tech, at Roosevelt Island in New York City. “I think it’s going to be transformative to everyone in this region,” Collins said. One way he plans to set this tone is through relationships the campus builds with partnering businesses. Collins sees these as meaningful relationships, with degrees built primarily around project-based learning, where students and faculty work with industry partners to offer solutions to real-world problems. The plan is to build small, nimble teams of students who circulate through leadership roles. “Everyone gets something out of this model,” Collins said. Business leaders are buying in. Mehul Sanghani, CEO of Fairfax County-based Octo Consulting Group, and his wife Hema donated $10 million to establish the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, which will be the first academic building at the Innovation Campus. Some of the funding will be allocated to a scholarship program for underrepresented minorities to pursue graduate degrees with a focus on artificial intelligence. Finally, Collins is also eyeing the section of pipeline preceding the Innovation Campus. “I am passionate about creating pathways for young people to think about careers in technology,” he said. “I am really interested in thinking about ways to work with the city of Alexandria schools as a template.” Similar to the other critical nexus points in this rising innovation ecosystem, Collins sees the real success in building a model for K-12 schools and higher education that can be replicated throughout Virginia and beyond.

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Expect the Unexpected

CodeVA

HQ2 is rolling out according to plan, with two noteworthy exceptions.

Amazon estimates it’s engaged with more than 100 area nonprofit and community groups since HQ2 began.

First, the pandemic brought new challenges to navigate. But by every measure, these challenges didn’t stall the project’s momentum.

“From the beginning of HQ2, we wanted to start out on the right foot,” Huseman said. “We want to be the best corporate citizen we can be.”

“I think we changed and modified to address the pandemic,” Huseman said, calling these pivots purposeful and a source of pride for Amazon.

One of the beneficiaries of Amazon’s community outreach is CodeVA, a nonprofit founded with the mission of bringing equitable computer science education to all of Virginia’s students. In 2019, CodeVA received a note from Mat Wisner, founder of Amazon Future Engineer, a comprehensive childhood-to-career program aimed at increasing access to computer science education for children and young adults from underserved and underrepresented communities.

One of these adaptations has been a shift to virtual community gatherings and municipal meetings. Matt Kelly, CEO of JBG SMITH Properties, National Landing’s developer, cited the greater level of participation and interaction that online meetings created. “In many ways, it broadens the base of people who can participate,” Kelly said. Second, Amazon has embraced its role as a corporate citizen. In November 2020, the company announced $9 million of contributions to nonprofit and community groups to commemorate the project’s twoyear anniversary. This included gifts for legal service providers to support local families, organizations advancing racial equality, and community groups helping to advance economic opportunity through literacy programs and job training.

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The note requested a few proposals Amazon might fund. That outreach sparked a back-and-forth that landed on the CS Ready Schools Program, a partnership between CodeVA and the Virginia Department of Education to design computer science curriculum and teacher training. Amazon donated $3.9 million through 2022 to support Virginia’s goal of offering computer science education and training to every high-needs school in the state. More than 700 schools that may otherwise lack access, training, or funding will benefit from the donation, which includes virtual resources and training for students and more than 12,000 teachers.


A Growing Sense of Community

Metropolitan Park rendering

An undercurrent runs through National Landing that’s much more than the sum of its parts. It’s a growing sense of community — and it’s growing more vibrant by the day. “As we get to know some of the nonprofits and neighbors, I do think there’s this sense of togetherness and partnership,” Huseman said. Kelly and JBG SMITH know National Landing well, having acquired a substantial number of properties in the area with their eyes on the future. This move serendipitously intersected with Amazon’s selection of the area. “It’s a bit of a renaissance in this neighborhood,” Kelly said, noting he’s seeing some of the excitement and vibrance it used to possess now returning. Some of the other planned upgrades and placemaking initiatives are even more impactful, ranging from time-saving to life-changing. Amazon is prioritizing walkways, landscaping, and retail over vehicle traffic and plans to move all vehicle access underground to create a welcoming environment for pedestrians. Additionally, the surrounding streets will have protected bike lanes and each HQ2 office building will have dedicated, street-level bike entrances and facilities to encourage bicycle commuting.

Other planned transportation upgrades include a new $320 million Potomac Yard Metro Station slated for completion in 2022. Additionally, environmental impact studies have been completed for the Long Bridge expansion, a $1.9 billion rail project that will bring a second set of tracks to a heavily trafficked stretch connecting Virginia and Washington, D.C. The proposed pedestrian bridge connecting National Landing to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport could be completed by 2025. A new grocery store and other retail options are on the way, as well as an effort to bring affordable housing to the area. JBG SMITH has begun construction on the first 800 of what will be 5,000 units. Help also arrived in January 2021 when Amazon named Arlington one of three communities to benefit from its Housing Equity Fund. According to Amazon, the $2 billion investment ($382 million of which is earmarked for Arlington) is designed to preserve existing housing and create inclusive housing developments through below-market loans and grants to housing partners, traditional and nontraditional public agencies, and minority-led organizations.

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What’s Next

When Collins imagines what’s possible for the growing innovation ecosystem from his temporary office space, he looks at Silicon Valley, Austin, and North Carolina’s Research Triangle. “One of the ingredients is a strong academic program that’s oriented toward developing technology,” Collins said. Another key ingredient is employers who understand their role inside and outside the boardroom. “It’s usually that pairing where the magic occurs,” Collins said. When it comes time for showing and telling other companies the story unfolding in National Landing and the rest of Virginia, “I’d like them to recognize that this is a powerful technology district,” he added.

French global shipping company CMA CGM Group, will be established in Arlington. Microsoft will open a sales hub in Arlington, taking over 180,000 square feet that will be ready in 2022 — the second major announcement from the company, which also announced plans for a new software and development hub at Reston Town Center in Fairfax County, scheduled to open this summer. Previously, Google announced in 2019 that it planned to double its Northern Virginia workforce with new office development in Reston. Northern Virginia, which previously acted as disparate localities when bidding on projects, has leveraged the momentum built during the HQ2 selection process to form a new regional entity, the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance. The organization positions the entire region as a top producer of tech talent. Its slogan? “Innovation Lives Here.”

That’s already happening. The region has made several big announcements since HQ2, most recently that ZEBOX, a startup incubator and accelerator from

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Indeed, it does.


I N N O VAT I O N L I V E S AT N AT I O N A L L A N D I N G

Metropolitan Park rendering

Amazon HQ2 rendering

Metropolitan Park rendering

Metropolitan Park rendering

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Richmond provides a highly educated labor pool, a superior quality of life for our employees, and a culture that aligns to our business model. ANDREW FLORANCE CEO, CoStar Group

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Seven Fortune 500 companies are based in the Greater Richmond region: Altria Group, CarMax, Dominion Energy, Genworth Financial, Markel, Owens & Minor, Inc., and Performance Food Group.

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Value There’s a general consensus in the state legislature of the importance of business, and I don’t think that is tied to a particular party. It’s incumbent upon the businesses to identify those things that are good for business, but when the case is made, the Commonwealth steps up. MIKE PETTERS President and CEO


Lidl US, Arlington County

Home away from Home International companies find advantages in locating U.S. headquarters in Virginia FOREIGN COMPANIES looking for a

launching point to serve the U.S. and North American markets have many choices on where to plant their flag. Virginia has proven fruitful as that launching point for many of them. More than 820 global companies have operations in Virginia, making up approximately 6.1% of total employment in the state, according to the Global Business Alliance, a membership organization made up of the largest international companies with operations in the United States. One of those companies, Switzerlandbased Nestlé, moved its U.S. headquarters from California to Arlington County in Northern Virginia in 2018. According to Dawn Striff, the company’s vice president,

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workplace solutions, “With 80% of Nestlé USA products sold east of the Mississippi and 75% of factories in the eastern half of the United States, the move to Virginia allowed the company to be closer to our consumers, customers, and U.S. business operations.” That’s 80% of a considerable sales volume. In 2020, Nestlé product sales in the United States topped roughly $28 billion, making it the company’s largest market in the world. Moving a company closer to its customer base and getting corporate functions closer to manufacturing facilities made economic sense. For Nestlé, Virginia provided a strategic location with easy access to major U.S. population centers — the ideal spot to attract talent from a wide geographic


Nestlé USA, Arlington County

Framatome, Lynchburg

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HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Massimo Zanetti USA, Suffolk

area in addition to the talented, diverse workforce already in place in Northern Virginia. “When we thought about relocating our headquarters, it was really about finding the right location that gave us access to the right talent and the right kind of infrastructure we needed to succeed for the next 100 years, and that turned out to be Virginia,” Nestlé USA Chairman and CEO Steve Presley said. “What we found in Northern Virginia is the talent we need to win, and it’s exceeded our expectations.” Framatome, a full-service supplier to nuclear power plants, had a similar plan in mind. A 2018 restructuring saw former parent company AREVA split into two companies, and Framatome, then headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., needed a new home base. It became clear that

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locating North American operations in Lynchburg made sense. “Our location in the Mid-Atlantic area puts us in the middle of our eastern customer base. We can drive to all of the East Coast nuclear power plants in less than a day,” Framatome Vice President Denise Woernle said. “The East Coast time zone also facilitates communication with our European and West Coast colleagues.” Connectivity with major markets has been a theme for some time with international companies that choose Virginia. Then-Volkswagen of America CEO Stefan Jacoby cited it as a reason for his company’s decision to locate its U.S. headquarters in Fairfax County in 2007, calling the location “convenient to vitally important markets for all our brands.” Last year, the company signed a 20-year lease to remain in Fairfax.

Furthering that connectivity, Virginia’s 16 commercial airports offer nonstop flights to more than 100 domestic and 50 international destinations. Access to The Port of Virginia, the deepest port on the East Coast, is a draw for manufacturers like Germany-based power equipment company STIHL, which located its U.S. operations in Virginia Beach in 1974 and expanded its headquarters in 2018. But another advantage a Virginia headquarters brings is just a car or Metro ride away: easy access to the decisionmakers regulating a company’s industry in Washington, D.C. For Nestlé, Striff says, “Being in Northern Virginia gives us unbeatable access to Washington, to help ensure we are fully involved in important conversations about


HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Ferguson Enterprises, Newport News

bringing the best food and beverages to U.S. consumers.” London-based industrial giant RollsRoyce made a similar calculation when locating its U.S. headquarters in Fairfax County, close to regulators and government clients. “The D.C. metro area is home to a wide range of Rolls-Royce stakeholders, including customers, trade associations, and policy makers,” said Rolls-Royce Director of Communications Donald Campbell. “Being located here helps us build and maintain many of the relationships that drive business, both domestically and globally.” Campbell notes that what first attracted Rolls-Royce to Virginia was the proximity to talent and innovation pipelines that have led to “strong technology partnerships with colleges and universities in the state.” Rolls-Royce maintains key relationships with the University of Virginia and

STIHL Inc., Virginia Beach

Virginia Tech, which have served as part of the manufacturer’s global University Technology Centers research network since 2014. The company works closely with participating universities to expand its research and development efforts through joint research that can influence future Rolls-Royce products. Framatome has made a similar commitment through its relationship with Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg, working closely with the college to develop nuclear technologies programming to train technicians who support the global company’s work.

“We are fortunate in Virginia to have a large network of colleges and universities, and we find that hiring within the region strengthens our retention, particularly for early-career professionals,” Woernle said. Nestlé USA has made Virginia a key part of its employee retention strategy. In fact, Striff notes that the perceived “employee experience” in Arlington became a major factor which tilted the relocation decision-making process to Virginia over alternative areas. “Northern Virginia offers great quality of life for Nestlé employees and an incredible

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HOME AWAY FROM HOME

talent pipeline, both of which are keys to success for the business,” Striff says. Chandler Ebeier, public relations manager of Lidl US, LLC, echoed that sentiment. “We want our employees to love where they work,” she said. “In addition, there are many transit options available to our employees, whether that be the Metro, by car, bus, or bike. Being within close proximity to a major airport also helps to facilitate work travel as needed.” In 2015, after 40 years of growth in Europe, Lidl, a German discount grocery chain, selected Arlington County as the hub of its U.S. operations and located its first East Coast distribution center 60 miles south in Spotsylvania County near Fredericksburg. Like Nestlé, Lidl recognized Virginia as an accessible location from which to begin to broaden its U.S. footprint. The ability to recruit a strong workforce also tipped the scales in favor of Virginia for Lidl, which benefits from Northern Virginia’s highly educated talent pool of nearly 28,000 corporate office professionals in the region. Finding a location that supports recruitment from a long-term talent pipeline — and that encourages retention of key team members — presents a significant advantage. This focus on strong employee retention programs is one more way these international organizations reinvest in their communities. By supporting international investment with favorable policies, Virginia and its localities take steps toward a strong future. “The state and local tax structures are favorable for our business and our employees,” Woernle said. “Legislation, regulation, and programs that allow us to grow and sustain our business, fairly compensate our employees, return a profit to our shareholders, and contribute to our communities are important to our presence in Virginia.”

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Volkswagen Group of America, Fairfax County

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Advantage When we thought about relocating our headquarters, it was really about finding the right location that gave us access to the right talent and the right kind of infrastructure we needed to succeed for the next 100 years, and that turned out to be Virginia. What we found in Northern Virginia is the talent we need to win, and it’s exceeded our expectations. STEVE PRESLEY Chairman and CEO



Virginia’s

Smaller Metros Prove Fertile Ground

for Tech Headquarters

Perrone Robotics, Albermarle County

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Town-and-country lifestyle, access to university talent attract investment WHILE VIRGINIA’S LARGER metro

areas along Interstates 95 and 64 have been recognized as technology hubs, the Commonwealth’s smaller metros are leveraging their unique strengths to create their own tech clusters. Numerous tech companies have established new headquarters or expanded their operations in Virginia’s smaller metros, in some cases revitalizing long-abandoned office buildings and factories. With a steady pipeline of tech-savvy graduates from local universities — in addition to low turnover and favorable operating costs — Blacksburg, Charlottesville, and Lynchburg continue to entice tech startups and expansions. While recruiting to Blacksburg or Charlottesville requires a different sales pitch than drawing talent to larger metro areas, technology companies have had success with graduates of local universities and potential employees looking for a different lifestyle. “You have to be honest with people about what Blacksburg is and isn’t,’’ said Chris Riegger, chief operating officer of Blacksburg-based healthcare technology consultant Modea, which announced a 20-job expansion last year. Riegger grew up near Fredericksburg, but spent much of his professional career outside Virginia in New York City and London. He was initially unsure about returning to the Commonwealth. “After graduating from high school, I never wanted to come back,” he said. “But it’s been a great move for the family. We love it here.” Modea plans to nearly double its workforce this year. Another area headquarters, autonomous vehicle manufacturer Torc Robotics, announced an $8.5 million expansion last year that will create 350 new jobs in Montgomery

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V I R G I N I A’ S S M A L L E R M E T R O S P R O V E F E RT I L E G R O U N D F O R T E C H H E A D Q U A RT E R S

Modea, Montgomery County

“Once you’re here, it’s hard to leave,” said Dengel, who joined WillowTree after moving from Brooklyn to Charlottesville when his wife Lynn began a surgical residency at UVA’s University Hospital. A clear pattern emerges when looking at expansion announcements at tech companies. Employers recognize that not every developer wants to live in dense areas, and Virginia’s top-notch university system — ranked second-best in the country and the best in the South by SmartAsset — provides a pipeline of candidates who are already familiar with Virginia’s charms.

CloudFit Software, Lynchburg

County near Blacksburg, while mobile software developer Ozmo announced an expansion in 2019. Given the national job upheaval caused by pandemic-related restrictions, rising real estate costs, and an eventual return to pre-COVID traffic congestion, Reigger and other Virginia-based executives say smaller metros could benefit from a shift away from traditional tech hubs such as

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Silicon Valley and Seattle. Tobias Dengel, CEO of Charlottesvillebased software strategy, design, and development company WillowTree, says his company has a “college-town advantage” when it comes to luring workers, especially the work-life balance of shorter commutes and quick access to outdoor leisure pursuits.

“Our proximity to Virginia Tech provides us a unique advantage of access to top talent, while also being able to offer exceptional quality of life for our employees,” Ozmo CEO David Catalano said when the company’s expansion was announced. Paul Perrone, CEO of Albemarle County-based autonomous car developer Perrone Robotics, sounded a similar note when announcing his company’s 2017 expansion: “This region offered the perfect blend of high tech


V I R G I N I A’ S S M A L L E R M E T R O S P R O V E F E RT I L E G R O U N D F O R T E C H H E A D Q U A RT E R S

WillowTree, Albemarle County

energy and a cultured university town with arts, high quality of living, and natural beauty that is unmatched in the U.S.” Those factors have enabled steady growth for companies willing to make the investment. WillowTree, which began in 2009 with three employees, now has more than 300 in Charlottesville. Dengler says WillowTree is planning on an additional 200 hires by 2026. To accommodate that growth, WillowTree moved from downtown to renovated space in Albemarle County’s historic Woolen Mills textile factory, where a brewery and restaurants have already been established. Other selling points for prospective job candidates: a newly linked recreational trail and kayaks for WillowTree employees who want to paddle the Rivanna River. Other Charlottesville-area technology companies have recognized the benefits of the location and elected to double down on the area. Albemarle County-based gaming software developer Castle Hill Gaming began work on an expansion of its headquarters in 2019.

In addition to Amazon’s 2018 decision to locate its HQ2 in Virginia, Virginia’s tech headquarters boom has extended to other smaller metros. Greater Fredericksburg (cybersecurity engineering and consulting firm GRIMM, Stafford County) and the Northern Shenandoah Valley (unmanned aircraft systems provider and original equipment manufacturer Silent Falcon UAS Technologies, Warren County) have successfully attracted tech headquarters since the beginning of 2020. Lynchburg — like Blacksburg and Charlottesville, home to a major university in Liberty University, along with several other colleges and universities in the surrounding area — is seeing benefits from its own homegrown tech ecosystem.

cloud computing services firm has about 150 workers across 22 states, but plans to hire up to another 100 workers over the next year, including many in the Lynchburg area. CloudFit was awarded Microsoft’s U.S. Partner Award for Industry-Government in 2020.

“I’m a big fan of the people here, the brainpower and the work ethic. I call it blue-collar brilliance,’’ said Carroll Moon, co-founder and chief technology officer of CloudFit Software, headquartered in Lynchburg.

Moon hopes CloudFit will inject broader vitality into Lynchburg by moving its headquarters to downtown’s Carter Glass House, built in the 1800s and vacant since 2007. “I hope it’s life-changing for folks and makes an impact on the region,’’ he said.

Moon has developed a local talent pool through paid internships for high school and college students, but has also recruited workers from Dallas, Seattle, and other large cities. “It may sound arrogant, but we aren’t having trouble hiring. People are choosing to move here,’’ Moon said. “The cost of housing, the quality of living, how far their money goes.”

Moon, a former Microsoft employee, was raised on a farm near the city. The

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The App ian Way A Conversation With Matt Calkins Matt Calkins is founder and CEO of Appian, an enterprise cloud software company headquartered in McLean in Fairfax County. Calkins is a California native who founded Appian in 1999 and grew it into a publicly traded company. Appian is a leader in low-code automation, which enables organizations to develop powerful business applications quickly. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with Calkins about building and running a software company headquartered in Northern Virginia. Stephen Moret: Could you tell us a bit about the backstory on Appian? What led you to found the company and take it in the direction it’s going? Matt Calkins: We’ve been building Appian for 22 years. No plan survives 22 years, but from the beginning, I wanted to build an organization that contributed both financially and culturally. It was very important to me that we’d be a member of the community and a good part of the lives of those who came into contact with us. We’re a low-code provider, which means we’re a software company that allows our customers to build applications without using much code. It’s the new way of building applications. We’re facilitating and pioneering the new concept of low-code so that organizations can create new software quickly. Moret: What led you to base Appian in Northern Virginia? And how has Appian benefited from that decision?

Calkins: I came here right out of college. I started the business here with three friends who also lived in Virginia. We’ve never had our headquarters outside of a tight circle here in Northern Virginia. All of our code is developed here. All of our board members are from this region. All of our funding came from this region. I feel like Appian is a testament to what’s possible in Northern Virginia. We have the necessary components — the experts, the funding, the very smart employees, the great education, and the transportation. We’re a hub. We’re a center of smart people. Northern Virginia has everything you’d ever need to build a great company. Moret: When we talk about the tech sector, the dominant factor of interest by far in where things begin, where things grow, is talent. It’s that collection of smart people you talked about. How has Appian had success in recruiting tech talent to Northern Virginia, or in Northern Virginia?

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A C O N V E R S AT I O N W I T H M AT T C A L K I N S

I feel like Appian is a testament to what’s possible in Northern Virginia. We have the necessary components — the experts, the funding, the very smart employees, the great education, and the transportation. MATT CALKINS Founder and CEO, Appian

Calkins: It does have the second-highest number of IT professionals in the United States, just after Silicon Valley, but most of those IT professionals are not private-sector software engineers. We don’t traditionally have a giant software sector, but we are seen as a place where it’s possible to do software work and to build a software company. It’s also a place where ambitious, energetic people would like to go. This is a region in the United States that can attract that kind of talent, which helps us a lot. You said a moment ago that talent was the No. 1 determiner of whether a region could host a growing startup software company. That actually might be changing. It’s possible that the location of talent is less important in a virtual age, so perhaps a local culture of investment that nurtures those companies might actually become more important. Moret: I read that at one point you personally vetted every new hire at Appian. I assume that isn’t the case anymore, but how do you think that helped Appian in its early years, and how do you think that’s shaped the way you think about recruiting talent to Appian? Calkins: Yes, I did. It was very important to me to personally interview all the candidates we hired because I felt from the beginning that culture was going to be the most important factor here, and I wanted to be sure we were accumulating a consistent culture — one that I wanted. I looked for a certain kind of a person. I didn’t think I could delegate that.

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Secondly, it expressed my respect to each candidate. By making myself available to speak to them even in the process of getting a job at Appian, there is an implicit signal that they could speak to me later, too. I want to be open to comments. It created a very open culture where no one felt daunted to approach me because they’d all spoken to me already. I still try to encourage Appian to have an open culture where anybody can share their thoughts and disagree with anybody else. I think a company’s DNA is determined by the first 1,000 or so people it hires. Our cultural DNA was just so important to me. Besides, we plan on growing a lot more, so whatever hiring decisions we make now and whatever culture we implicitly endorse are going to be multiplied as we grow. I want to be sure we get the initial model just right. For a long time, I considered one of the most important things in my job to do hundreds of interviews a year. Now I regret that I can’t do that many. Moret: What do you see as the future of Northern Virginia as both a tech hub and as a location for other corporate headquarters? And what role do you think individual companies can play in helping to develop a sustainable tech workforce in the region? Calkins: The transition I would most like to see Virginia make in terms of its software business is to be less of a satellite and be more of a headquarters. I’d like to have more Virginia-headquartered software companies. I know we’ve got talent here, but let’s not have all that

talent work for somebody else’s firm. Let’s have some of them work for Virginia firms. We’ve got good ones, and many of us are striving to build more good ones. Given the talent of our workforce, we should expect to have our share of flagships and not just satellites. Moret: Appian was at the forefront of the tech sector’s focus on low-code — offering existing building blocks of code to businesses to help get apps online more quickly. I think you’d agree that’s been a big driver of your success and growth. Can you elaborate on the benefits of that approach and how you see it evolving in the future? Calkins: Low-code means drawing an application like a flowchart instead of coding it line by line. It makes an organization much faster to define its own patterns. It’s maybe 10, or even 20 times faster and, as such, it’s helping organizations to be agile and self-defined. It’s empowering them to be themselves. Lately, organizations have never needed to be themselves more. They’ve never needed to react faster to change. This has all been a big test of our ability to change. There’s never been as much demand for corporate agility, and it’s been fascinating to be right in the middle of that. Appian is a leader in the low-code market. We were the first company to go public as a low-code firm. We’re right in the middle of it. I love that, because it means we’re not just running a business, we’re pioneering an idea. We’re creating this concept and trying to deliver value through the concept.


Board games Calkins has designed

Moret: Think about the last year for a moment. Obviously, it’s been an interesting and rather challenging year for most companies because of the pandemic. How has it impacted Appian, as well as your role as CEO? Calkins: For Appian, it was a turning point that strengthened us. We figured out early on that we had strengths to spare, which is to say our business was virtualized pretty easily. We had the platform that was perhaps the world’s fastest way to build a new application. We saw the world struggling to adopt new patterns of behavior. Here we were, at once able to sustain our patterns and also possessed of an ability that others needed, and so we immediately turned our strengths outward and tried to help others. We created an application that would manage COVID risk and keep people safe inside an organization. We gave it away. It was the most popular launch we’ve ever done. We had more than 1,000 companies download it. It was fulfilling to be able to use our strength in the midst of a crisis to help others. Moret: One of the most interesting things I learned about you was that one of your chief hobbies, when you’re not running Appian, is board games — not

just playing them, but also designing them — and I think doing both at a competitive level. What appeals to you about gaming? Calkins: I’ve loved board games since I was about two years old. They always fascinated me. I like complexity, competition, and things that simulate history or real-world situations. All of these things draw me to board games. I like playing them competitively, partly because they give you excellent feedback. They teach you whether you’re doing well or doing poorly. I like designing them because it trains me to take a complex real-world situation, like the war that unified Japan in the 1600s, and boil it down to a few important mechanisms that can be a good game. I think that’s a great exercise I enjoy very much. It’s about reducing a situation and then building rules and identifying causal relationships. Those are exactly the same activities you should be doing when running a company. Moret: You’ve been here a long time in Virginia. What are your favorite places to visit in the Commonwealth? Calkins: First, I love to hike. I’m a backpacker, so of course I like the

Shenandoah Valley. There are a number of other places to hike around Virginia. The second top thing my love of history. This is a state full of early American history, from the colonies and the Revolution to the Civil War. It’s just teeming with historical sites. All those sites mean more if you do a little research and understand the background. Moret: Matt, we’re so grateful for you making time to visit with us. Is there anything else you’d like to share about Appian or Virginia? Calkins: I’m proud of the way we’ve been able to grow for 22 years in Virginia. We’ve seen a lot change and had a good partnership with Virginia throughout. I feel like this region has given us everything we needed in order to be a successful firm. It’s always been my goal for us to be a contributing member of the community. I’m proud that we’re getting to the size where we can start doing that. It’s been a great partnership. I appreciate all that you and your colleagues have done to make this a great place to do business.

For the full interview, visit www.vedp.org/Podcasts

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We have chosen Fairfax County, considered the East Coast center of technology innovation, for its proximity to the nation’s capital, a vibrant business community, access to several international airports and Metro’s Silver Line, and an incredibly diverse and highly educated workforce. MICHAEL SAYLOR CEO, MicroStrategy

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Tysons in Fairfax County was a rural farming community until the 1960s. The construction of the Capital Beltway, Dulles International Airport, and the mall that became Tysons Corner Center kicked off a period of explosive growth that transformed the area into a major employment center with more than 100,000 jobs.

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U.S. Navy Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Nolan Paras demonstrates virtual reality training software at Cape Henry Associates in Virginia Beach.

From Boots to the Boardroom Virginia’s veterans are a natural fit for corporate headquarters

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VIRGINIA IS HOME to 30 military

Naval Station Norfolk

installations and more than 721,000 veterans. It’s also home to 36 Fortune 1000 companies (eighth among U.S. states) and 2,300 corporate headquarters operations (seventh). Veterans are well suited to transition from boots to the boardroom, and many who serve in the state want to stay. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, 21,210 service members separated from military service in Virginia in fiscal 2019, second-most in the country behind California. Last year, WalletHub ranked Virginia No. 1 for veterans looking to retire, based on healthcare facilities, quality of life, and the Commonwealth’s strong economy. “It’s a win-win-win. The veteran wins, the corporation wins, and the community wins,” said Vonzell Mattocks, executive director of the Veteran Employment Initiative at the Northern Virginia Technology Council. Their mix of technical and soft skills make veterans a great choice for employers, and the Commonwealth has recognized the workforce asset veterans represent and taken steps to enhance that advantage.

VETERANS AND VIRGINIA: A PERFECT MATCH The same strengths that make Virginia a great state for business make it a great fit for service members. The marriage of the Commonwealth’s diverse economy and its military footprint come together on the map. Virginia’s three major economic hubs of Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, and the Richmond MSA are each anchored by large military installations. Northern Virginia is home to the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Marine Corps Base Quantico, and Joint Base MyerHenderson Hall. Fort Lee is south of Richmond, near Petersburg. And Hampton Roads is home to more than 82,000 active-duty military across seven naval installations (including Naval

Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base), two U.S. Army bases, four U.S. Coast Guard installations, a U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command, and Langley Air Force Base. Veterans exiting military service from these installations depart with a diverse range of professional skills and expertise, from logistics and cybersecurity to force protection and program management. In addition to professional qualifications, soft skills reign supreme for service members. “Veterans are going to be on time, stay until after the buzzer, and be there until the job is done,” said Kenneth Lyles, Virginia Values Veterans (V3) regional program manager, Northern Virginia. “It’s basically muscle memory.”

For Virginia companies, it often comes down to dollars and cents, as well — hiring veterans can help a company’s bottom line. “You’re going to save on training costs. You’re going to save on clearances. We come to work on time,” said Lyles, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a military policeman. “We’re good decision-makers.” “If you’ve got 40,000 employees, your most important lever with your employees is how good are you at the craft of leadership,” said Mike Petters, CEO of Newport News-based Fortune 500 shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls Industries. “And veterans bring that experience with them in a way that a lot of other parts of our society just don’t.”

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FROM BOOTS TO THE BOARDROOM

Naval Station Norfolk

Joint Base 64 Langley-Eustis


FROM BOOTS TO THE BOARDROOM

A CULTURE MATCH The military culture itself aligns well with a corporate headquarters environment, where good judgment and professional values are vital. That culture is one of the reasons CACI International, Inc., a professional services and information technology company headquartered in Arlington County, has made a commitment to veteran hiring, with veterans or military members comprising 37% of its workforce (including military spouses, National Guard, and reserves). “The reason we are doing all of this is because of the great value that veterans and military bring to CACI and to our customers,” said Gary Patton, vice president of veteran and military affairs at CACI. “We recognize and appreciate the leadership, the self-discipline, the training, the work ethic, the integrity and, in many cases, the security clearance they bring to our company. They enrich our company with all of those values and attributes, in addition to their experience and their skill sets, and they help make us successful in supporting our customers in the national security space.” For a company like CACI, with a significant portfolio of government and military customers, hiring veterans just makes good business sense. Patton says he couldn’t imagine the company without its veteran population. “It’s part of our culture, it’s part of our DNA, and it’s ingrained in everything we do.” Mattocks notes that a lot of desirable qualities which aren’t easily vetted in a traditional interview process generally shine in the veteran community. “A person who has volunteered to serve probably brings some soft skills that we don’t often talk about — their honor, valor, integrity,” Mattocks said. “We don’t use that in common terms or in an interview question, but veterans possess that highest level of commitment and the courage to say, ‘Hey, I don’t know that’ — the

courage to be truthful. That brings trust pretty fast, and that’s critical for any organization.” Veterans are an obvious fit for the defense industry, where security clearances are often required and knowledge of government culture is a plus. But Virginia businesses are creating innovative programs to help attract and retain qualified veterans. Jack McCarthy, a military recruiter at Goochland County-based auto retailer CarMax, estimates that 10% of his company’s hires each year are veterans, and he believes that number will rise based on the company’s work with organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes. In February, Alarm. com, headquartered in Fairfax County, began the second year of its G.R.I.T. apprenticeship program for veterans. The apprenticeship is a one-year paid program that provides full employee benefits, including on-the-job and classroom training and industry certifications. The Virginia government also offers programs to help veterans find post-military employment. For example, the V3 program is a free training and education program operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. To date, V3 has helped more than 79,000 veterans get hired. The organization offers a free certification program to help employers attract and retain veterans.

WILL WORK FROM ANYWHERE With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect the workforce, veterans are ready to stand out in corporate offices in other ways — by showing up and getting the job done regardless of their office location. “In the virtual environment, you have less supervision than in the direct, live office space, and veterans make great employees,” Patton said.

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Cultivate When we look at supporting former military as they come into civilian life, it’s a great starting point for someone who has leadership skills, great work ethic, good people skills, and can develop technical abilities and ultimately set their own career path. KEVIN MURPHY CEO



Sentry Equipment and Erectors, Inc., Bedford 68 County


Sentry Equipment Stakes Reputation on Customized Service From its Bedford HQ, company eyes overseas markets for its conveyor systems FOR THE PAST FOUR DECADES, Sentry

Equipment and Erectors, Inc. has fostered a reputation for delivering quality conveying systems and service to customers in all 50 states. Now the company is aiming to expand its reach into the rest of the Americas and beyond. Upon its founding by conveyor industry veteran Adam Vinoskey in 1980, Sentry initially focused on the design and installation of machinery used in the bottling industry. The company has expanded continuously ever since, and employs 265 people today at its headquarters in Bedford County in the Lynchburg Region in an industry it helped establish. With roughly 200 companies supporting the conveyor industry, the Lynchburg Region is known throughout the soft drink and beverage industry as the unofficial “Conveyor Capital of the World.” Sentry is one of many Lynchburgarea companies that traces its roots back to Simplimatic, Vinoskey’s former employer and one of the first conveyor businesses in the region. Founded in 1965, Simplimatic built a competitive advantage by providing custom conveyor designs in an industry that had typically sold its products in as-is fashion. The company expanded and spawned several spinoffs and, over time, the cluster of conveyor businesses in the area has helped build a strong workforce pipeline in a region heavy on manufacturing. Manufacturing is second only to healthcare in total employment in the Lynchburg Region.

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Sentry Equipment and Erectors, Inc., Bedford County

We pride ourselves on the fact that we’re not just looking at doing a complete system. GREG GOFF Vice President of Sales, Sentry Equipment and Erectors, Inc.

After founding Sentry as a mechanical installation group, Vinoskey quickly recognized the need to be able to manufacture small parts to support the installation business. From there, the company slowly began manufacturing sections of conveyor before expanding to produce conveyor to support entire projects. “We can design a conveyor system for anything that’s in a can, bottle, or box,” said Greg Goff, Sentry’s vice president of sales.

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Today, Sentry provides new or upgraded conveyance — defined essentially as equipment that can pack, pallet, handle, ship, unpack, and clean anything from bottles of soft drinks to perishable foods in numerous sizes. A partial list of corporate and business clients includes Coca-Cola, Keurig Dr Pepper Inc., Nor-Cal Beverage Co., The Boston Beer Company, Inc., Refresco Co., Vinton Packaging Group, Inc., and G.A.F. Seelig, Inc. Sentry’s staff includes electrical and sales engineers in addition to line workers and

other employees, along with a six-person research and development team. While overseas suppliers provide the company with raw materials, the design and assembly take place entirely in the same building the company has occupied for the last 21 years. The company began its international expansion effort roughly a year ago and has engaged in conversations with potential clients in Canada, Mexico, and Chile. Helping international clients understand Sentry’s manufacturing


Sentry Equipment and Erectors, Inc., Bedford County

capability has been a challenge. Through the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program, VEDP has provided the company with introductions to professional contacts that have assisted in clarifying the ins and outs of doing business beyond U.S. borders. Another difference is that other countries, particularly in Europe, do not necessarily follow the same formula that Simplimatic developed. Those companies tend to hire firms that provide everything a company would use on a complete line before turning over control. Sentry chooses to target its approach in a manner Goff says could save money for prospective clients. “Tell us where you want us to start and where you want us to end — that’s pretty much our responsibility,” Goff said.

“It’s going to take time to find the right people and the right companies.”

conveyor belt that really needed to be designed a certain way.”

The company views this more as an opportunity than a challenge. Not every company, domestic or international, can afford to embark on a turnkey upgrade. Goff cited a hypothetical scenario in which a company wants to put in a new line for conveying cans. Most European firms would quote a price for the total package ranging somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million. Sentry would only build what the client specifically needs, and leave it to that client to assume the costs for anything else.

More than 80% of Sentry’s domestic business comes from return customers, Goff said. He cites one company that came to them 12 years ago, needing only a 25-inch section of a conveyor — by all definitions, a small project that would offer only a modest profit, but one that eventually became a multi-million-dollar customer.

“We pride ourselves on the fact that we’re not just looking at doing a complete system,” Goff said. “We’ve had customers come to us for one unique section of a

Ultimately, Sentry’s commitment to service remains its chief objective — one that he and his colleagues believe will pay off as the company looks to expand overseas. “Somebody always can offer something faster and cheaper than we can,” Goff said, “but nobody can give you the service and quality that we do.”

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Innovation Lives Here

Northern Virginia is the Commonwealth’s most populated region and a major commerce hub home to 12 Fortune 500 companies and 22 Fortune 1000s. The D.C. metro area, which includes Northern Virginia, is one of the most educated and diverse regions in the United States, and its nationally recognized school systems and abundant higher education opportunities ensure a sustainable talent pipeline. Northern Virginia is home to two major airports with direct flights to 109 domestic and 56 international destinations, as well as a robust public transportation network with quick, easy train access to the entire metro area and other East Coast population centers. With elite school systems and abundant activities in the region and across the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia communities consistently place high in livability rankings, and the region has a lower cost of living than competitor regions.

Northern Virginia Offers A diverse, top-ranked workforce with more computer science graduates than any other metro area in the country

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A vibrant, culturally rich population and quality of life that attracts and retains talent, including easy access to cultural opportunities in Washington, D.C.

Unparalleled cyber infrastructure, with an estimated 70% of worldwide internet IP traffic passing through “Data Center Alley” in Loudoun County


Arlington County

The Wilkes Street tunnel in Alexandria was used as a railroad tunnel dating back to the Civil War before being restored as a pedestrian walkway in 1975.

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Accenture, Arlington County

Fairfax74 County

The Inn at Little Washington in Rappahannock County has three Michelin stars and has been named America’s best hotel for foodies.


Hylton Performing Arts Center, 75 Prince William County


REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT: NORTHERN VIRGINIA

The Washington Metrorail connects Northern Virginia with Washington, D.C., and its Maryland suburbs.

Niche named Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County the top public high school in the United States in 2020.

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We believe that diversity and inclusion leads to a more innovative environment. Our site in Virginia is represented with 55 different nationalities. This diversity of talent promotes a culture of innovation and is a key contributor to our success. SANJAY MEHROTRA President and CEO, Micron Technology

Dulles International Airport, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties

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U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria

Salamander Resort & Spa, Loudoun County

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Great Falls Park, Fairfax County

George Mason University in Fairfax County, Virginia’s largest public university, serves students from all 50 states and 130 countries.

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REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT: NORTHERN VIRGINIA

Known as “D.C.’s Wine Country,” Loudoun County is home to more than 40 wineries, including Stone Tower Winery in Leesburg.

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REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT: NORTHERN VIRGINIA

Old Town Alexandria

The National Museum of the Marine Corps opened in 2006 near Marine Corps Base Quantico in Prince William County.

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Olalekan Jeyifous’s “Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies” in Alexandria was inspired by the city’s history as a shipping and manufacturing center inextricably linked with the work of enslaved people.

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REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT: NORTHERN VIRGINIA

Scheduled 2021 concerts at Jiffy Lube Live in Prince William County include Jimmy Buffett, Maroon 5, Kenny Chesney, and the Backstreet Boys.

Potomac River, Arlington County

Arlington County

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Economic Development Partners in Virginia VEDP works in close partnership with local and regional economic development organizations. For a full list of local and regional partners, visit www.vedp.org/Regions In addition, VEDP regularly works with a wide network of statewide partners, including: State Leadership Partners

Project Delivery Partners

Governor

Center for Innovative Technology

General Assembly

Policy and Programmatic Partners GO Virginia

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Commission

Colleges and universities across the Commonwealth (e.g., UVA, Virginia Tech, William & Mary)

Secretary of Commerce and Trade

CSX, Norfolk Southern, and short-line railroads

Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity

Secretary of Finance

Dominion, AEP, and other electric utilities

Virginia Department of Taxation

The Port of Virginia

Virginia Department of Transportation

Virginia Community College System Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

Virginia Chamber of Commerce, as well as many local and regional chambers of commerce

Virginia Agribusiness Council

Virginia Economic Developers Association

Virginia Association of Counties

Virginia Farm Bureau

Virginia Business Council Virginia Business Higher Education Council Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association, Manufacturers Association, Virginia Maritime Association, Virginia Realtors Association, and many other trade associations

Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission Virginia Tourism Corporation

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Virginia Municipal League Virginia Planning District Commissions Virginia Rural Center

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Virginia’s Technology Councils

64

220

Roanoke Region New River Valley

460

23

58

Southwest Virginia

19

220

19

81

221

I81-I77 Crossroads 77 58

84

460


Northern Shenandoah Valley

7

Washington, D.C.

66 81

Northern Virginia

211 33

17

Shenandoah Valley

250

Greater Fredericksburg

Central Virginia

301

95 81

Northern Neck

33

64

29

17

15

360

Eastern Shore

Middle Peninsula 13

Greater Richmond Lynchburg Region

60 288

360

64

295

Greater Williamsburg

460

Virginia’s Gateway Region

460

29

501

South Central 360 Virginia

Southern Virginia

85

58

17

460

95

Hampton Roads

168

501

85


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America’s Best State for Business