Optical Cable Corporation, Roanoke County
Mar-Bal, Inc., Dublin
Hardide Coatings, Martinsville
Amthor International, Pittsylvania County
Virginia has a long tradition of advanced materials manufacturing dating back to the early 19th century, when the Commonwealth emerged as a manufacturing leader in the United States. Today, a diverse array of advanced materials companies continues to locate or expand in Virginia, drawn by its thriving industry base and strong manufacturing culture, outstanding logistical advantages, skilled workforce, competitively priced utilities, and top-ranked business climate. Recent investments announced by advanced materials manufacturers include major expansions by DuPont and BWX Technologies, and a new manufacturing facility by STS Group AG.
V Optical Cable Corporation, Roanoke • I Strongwell, Bristol • R O’Sullivan Films, Winchester • G STIHL Incorporated, Virginia Beach • I Phoenix Packaging Operations, Dublin • N Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Winchester • I P1 Technologies (formerly Plastics One), Roanoke • A Arconic, Hampton
Why Virginia? 1 Thriving Advanced Materials Industry Ecosystem
3 Dynamic Center of Advanced Materials Innovation
5 Strategic Mid-Atlantic Location
7 World-Class Logistics Infrastructure
9 America’s Top State for Talent
11 An Attractive, Stable, and Predictable Operating Environment
13 Robust Portfolio of Project-Ready Sites
15 An Exceptional Quality of Life
Thriving Advanced Materials Industry Ecosyst Illustrative Examples A diverse ecosystem of suppliers, innovators, and customers already thrives in Virginia, supporting the 400+ advanced materials companies operating in a range of subsectors from chemicals and metals to plastics and composites. Hundreds of specialized suppliers – including contract manufacturers – operate in Virginia and North Carolina, and thousands more in the wider region. Virginia’s advanced materials ecosystem continues to grow on the solid foundation of over a century of excellence in areas ranging from advanced textiles in Southern Virginia to chemicals in Hopewell. DuPont’s Spruance plant, for example, began operations in 1929 and is currently the company’s largest facility in the world.
Lynchburg Region 64
B ec k l ey 220
New River Valley
West Virginia 460
W y t h ev i l l e 221
58 B r i s to l
M ar t i n s v i l l e
Kn ox v i l l e
en Gree n s b o ro
Northern Shenandoah Valley
Maryland B al t i m o r e
W i n c h es t e r 7 L ee s b u r g
Wa s h i n g to n , D . C .
17 Fr e d e r i c k s b u r g
H ar r i s o n b u r g
S t a u n to n Charlottesville
L ex i n g to n
60 Far m v i l l e
P et er s b u r g
I-95 I-85 Intersection
Norfolk Virginia B ea c h
S o u t h B o s to n D an v i l l e
S o u t h Hi l l 501
South Central Virginia R a l ei g h
Dynamic Center of Advanced Materials Innovation Public, private, and university-based R&D activity drives innovation in Virginia. Virginia’s public universities, such as Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia, invested more than $355 million in advanced materials research in 2019, and every year billions in federal research dollars are spent in Virginia. Major public and private research centers include NASA Langley Research Center, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), and the ChemQuest Technology Institute.
Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Prince George County
Industry, government, and academia members of CCAM include, but are not limited to: BWX Technologies, Canon, NASA Langley Research Center, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Virginia Commonwealth University.
The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) is an applied research center that exists to bridge the gap between university research and private sector product development. The only collaboration of its kind in North America, CCAM brings together research institutions and manufacturers in an ecosystem of collaboration to deliver “production-ready” solutions to manufacturing problems with a unique industry-friendly intellectual property model. Through collaboration, CCAM increases the value of the R&D dollar. CCAM supports innovative and demand-drive workforce education and talent solutions, and its large facility houses computational and large-scale production labs, as well as open production and co-working space. CCAM’s Apprentice Academy recently initiated two pilot programs, with GO Virginia funding, in mechatronics training. The programs include mechatronics workforce training and a transitioning military program for industrial maintenance mechanics. GO Virginia funds will be used to recruit and train instructors, to purchase mobile training equipment, and for operations during the first year. CCAM is also involved with innovative work to develop an alloy of niobium, to increase the temperature-tolerance of turbine engine materials. The project, which is led by the director of UVA’s Rolls-Royce University Technology Center on Advanced Material Systems, and includes scientists from both UVA and Virginia Tech, is funded by a grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.
NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton
NASA Langley Research Center, Advanced Materials and Processing Branch NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton works to make revolutionary improvements to aviation, expand understanding of the earth’s atmosphere, and develop technology for space exploration. The mission of Advanced Materials and Processing Branch (AMPB) is to develop advanced materials and processes that expand the engineering design space that enables and supports NASA missions. The research focuses on technologies directed toward producing usable items associated with load-bearing structures, or devices used for instrumentation, and spans many materials classes including ceramics, metals, polymers, composites, and nanomaterials. In order to rapidly infuse creative solutions and new innovations in these materials, the branch takes a ground-up approach to materials development, and the research therefore encompasses material synthesis, materials processing, analytical characterization, and computational methods to support these functions.
Strategic Mid-Atlantic Location Virginia’s strategic location on the East Coast provides significant advantages for the advanced materials industry. Advantages include proximity to major hubs of economic activity along the affluent Northeast corridor, across the high-growth Southeast, and throughout the Midwest, with access to the D.C. Metro area, and access to natural resources, such as abundant sources of water for manufacturing in many parts of the state.
Grupo Phoenix evaluated various location options to build upon its future in the United States and chose Virginia due to a variety of factors, including a central location that allows us to be within 400 miles of 80 percent of the U.S. East Coast population; the ability to negotiate electricity at a competitive rate; access to rail transport, which reduces our logistics; a motivated labor force; support from the local colleges and universities to assist us with training specialized technical jobs; and the accessibility and unwavering support of the government to work together within the industry to create jobs. ALBERTO PEISACH CEO, Grupo Phoenix 5
Grupo Phoenix Finds the Perfect Package in Virginia Grupo Phoenix, a global manufacturer of rigid packaging containers, established its first North American headquarters in 2010, Phoenix Packaging Operations, investing over $20 million and creating 240 jobs. With the long-term goal of penetrating the East Coast market and becoming the gold standard for innovative packaging worldwide, the Colombia-based company anticipated a steady growth curve in Virginia from the start. Grupo Phoenix expanded twice more in 2011 and 2012, creating an additional 200 jobs and nearly $40 million in capital investment. The company’s facility in Pulaski County offered a proven track record of success, along with the dedicated workforce and local partnerships to get the job done. In 2017, after a competitive, nationwide search, Grupo Phoenix committed to expanding its manufacturing operation in Pulaski County for the third time. The $48+ million project included 145 new jobs, bringing the company’s total capital investment since 2010 to $106.2 million and 585 new jobs for the citizens of the New River Valley. Grupo Phoenix’s robust growth and continued investment in Virginia is a strong testament to the wealth of opportunity available to global companies in the region and the Commonwealth.
Phoenix Packaging Operations, Pulaski County
World-Class Logistics Infrastructure A dense network of roads, railways, ports, and airports provides transport links to supply chain and physical distribution networks, allowing easy worldwide interconnectivity and efficient operational logistics. Virginia is served by the third-largest port on the East Coast, with a network of six terminals that can handle any type of cargo. Port facilities include four deepwater terminals in Hampton Roads, the inland Richmond Marine Terminal, and the Virginia Inland Port, an intermodal container transfer facility 77 in Front Royal. In 2024, after completion of a $1.5 billion modernization and expansion project, The Port of Virginia will be the East Coast’s deepest port and one of the most advanced in the world.
densest roadway and railway networks in the Southeast
major interstates, including major North-South and East-West trucking routes
of railways (anchored by Class I railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern)
nonstop service destinations from Washington Dulles International Airport Greenbrier Valley
The Port of Virginia Terminals
64 B ec e c k l ey
Commercial Airports 95
Roanoke Blacksburg Regional B l a c k s b u rg
R o a n o ke
W y t h ev i l l e
58 B r i s to l
74 Piedmont Triad International W i n s to n - S a l em
Kn ox v i l l e
G re e n s b o ro
H ar r i s b u rg
P h i l a d el p h i a
B a l t i m o re
Maryland 7 W i n c h es t e r
Virginia Inland Port
W i l m i n g to n
L ee s b u rg
Washington Dulles International
Wa s h i n g to n , D. C .
Al ex an d r i a
Ronald Reagan Washington National
C u l p e p er
H a r r i s o n b u rg
S t au n to n
Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional
Fred e r i c k s b u rg
Shenandoah Valley Regional
C h ar l o t t e s v i l l e
15 L ex i n g to n
Richmond Marine Terminal Ly n c h b u rg
W i l l i a m s b u rg
Fa r m v i l l e
Pe t e r s b u rg
Newport News-Williamsburg International Port of Virginia - Hampton Roads Terminals Norfolk
North Carolina 85
D u r h am
Raleigh–Durham International Raleigh
S o u t h Hi l l
S o u t h B o s to n Danville
V i rg i n i a Beach
America’s Top State for Talent Ranked No. 2 in the U.S. for Education and No. 3 for Workforce by CNBC, Virginia is home to almost 350,000 workers in advanced materials and related occupations. Companies operating in Virginia can reap the potential gains – lower healthcare costs and higher productivity – of one of the healthiest workforces in the Southeast. Virginia is home to excellent K-12 schools – No. 1 in the South and No. 4 in the U.S., according to WalletHub – and the No. 1 higher education system in the U.S., according to SmartAsset. Virginia further ensures that new or expanding companies can quickly attract and onboard high-quality employees by offering a world-class, fully customized talent acquisition and training solution through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program – provided at no cost to qualified companies as an incentive for job creation – and grants from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) for companies that want to manage their own recruitment and training activities. 9
EURO-COMPOSITES® Group, Culpeper County
EC Group Offers Specialized Workforce Training EURO-COMPOSITES® Group (EC Group) is a global player in the field of high-quality and sophisticated composite materials. The company manufactures advanced honeycomb composite materials used in aviation, space, industrial, and defense technology applications. With over 1,000 employees worldwide, EC Group serves its customers from three production locations. The Culpeper, Virginia facility, established in 1988, is the company’s sole U.S. location, with the other two composite manufacturing sites located in Germany and Luxembourg.
In 2016 EC Group expanded its Culpeper County facility by 51,000 square feet and added new equipment to increase production of composite-based parts associated with the aerospace industry. As part of the project, the company partnered with Germanna Community College to offer specialized training for its CNC machine operators and an apprenticeship program that provides on-the-job training with industry-recognized credentials. Classes are offered through an apprenticeship pathway, which can be part of a degree program.
O’Sullivan Films, Winchester
Canon Virginia, Newport News
An Attractive, Stable, and Predictable Operating Environment In 2021, Virginia was again named America’s Top State for Business by CNBC for its business-friendly regulations, stable tax environment, and competitive cost of doing business. Virginia is widely recognized as one of the best-run states in the country, ranked No. 2 for governance by U.S. News & World Report. Virginia has the 4th-lowest private-sector unionization rate in the country, competitive costs of doing business, and state and local taxes that are lower than the nationwide average.
Virginia is the northernmost right-to-work state along the I-95 Corridor.
Virginia has had a stable 6% corporate income tax rate, one of the lowest in the nation, since 1972.
Sound economic policy and prudent financial management has earned Virginia a AAA credit rating since 1938 — longer than any other state.
Robust Portfolio of Project-Ready Sites With 450+ fully characterized sites of 25 acres or larger, dozens of certified sites, and a growing inventory of spec buildings and virtual buildings, Virginia is constantly improving its portfolio of real estate options for the advanced materials industry. Companies looking for ready-built options have ample choices among the thousands of existing buildings with space for lease, representing over 29 million square feet of industrial space, including over 450 vacant industrial buildings of 10,000 square feet or larger. Construction is underway on 8.3 million square feet of industrial space across the state.
Total Site Acreage
Certiﬁed Sites Additional Sites in Development
99 and below 100 to 499
500 and above
250 301 220
29 South Boston Mar tinsville
58 South Hill
85 Winston-Salem Knoxville
sites are certified as project-ready under Virginia’s Business Ready Sites Program
of Virginia’s certified parks have graded pad sites available for construction
rail-served sites for advanced materials requiring on-site rail
kp i.center Enhances Industry R&D Founded in 1965 in Montabaur, Germany, Klöckner Pentaplast Group (kp) is a global leader in rigid and flexible packaging and specialty film solutions serving the pharmaceutical, medical device, food, beverage, and card markets, among others. The company has operations in 18 countries and employs over 5,900 people worldwide in more than 60 locations, including 31 production sites. Klöckner Pentaplast established its first North American production facility in 1977 in Gordonsville. The company now has multiple locations within Virginia and continues to grow its footprint in the Commonwealth.
North Fork – A UVA Discovery Park, Charlottesville
In 2015, Klöckner Pentaplast opened a state-of-the-art R&D facility, referred to as the i.center, at North Fork – A UVA Discovery Park in Charlottesville. The i.center is one of the industry’s first packaging technology centers, offering a welcoming environment for packaging professionals to collaborate with kp’s expert packaging design engineers, leading to the discovery of innovative packages and prototypes optimized for customers’ needs. The innovation center represents the first of many centers around the world by Klöckner Pentaplast, providing a collaborative space for idea sharing to help drug makers bring products to market more quickly and cost-effectively.
Klöckner Pentaplast’s i.center, North Fork – A UVA Discovery Park
An Exceptional Quality of Life
From beaches to mountains, and from cities to small towns, there are many reasons to love living in Virginia. Virginia’s diversity and natural beauty are truly unique, offering access to a variety of outdoor amenities both in cities and picturesque small towns, as well as thriving urban centers alive with arts and culture.
The Omni Homestead Resort, Bath County
The Commonwealth offers a mild, four-season climate and a competitive cost of living. From outdoor recreation and scenic shorelines, to history and culture, to established restaurants and up-and-coming breweries, Virginia features a vibrant quality of life. In fact, Virginia was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for quality of life by Forbes.
Virginia Creeper Trail, Washington County
Smith Mountain Lake, Bedford County
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond
Sandbridge, Virginia Beach
Old Town Winchester
The James River is a popular destination for water activities, particularly near the fall line, which passes through downtown Richmond. The rapids there are billed as the only urban Class III-IV rapids in the United States.
Expertise • Collaboration • Innovation • Solutions The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) team of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals is committed to Virginia’s economic success, and connects industry-leading businesses to the resources they need to make relocation and expansion successful endeavors. From site selection, customized research, cost analysis, and coordination with public and private partners, to discretionary incentives and workforce solutions, VEDP’s services are tailored to companies’ unique requirements. To learn more about VEDP’s expertise and resources, visit VEDP.org.
© January 2022