Industries Economic Development

Staunton/Augusta/Waynesboro ranked as a top 20 “Micropolitan”

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Staunton/Augusta/Waynesboro’s economy ranks among the country’s strongest “micropolitan areas, according to the March issue of Site Selection Magazine. 

The Shenandoah Valley area is tied at No.13 in the national ranking and is top-ranked for Virginia. The only other Virginia locality to make the list, Martinsville, comes in at No. 32. 
The U.S. Census Bureau defines a micropolitan region as an “urbanized area” based around a town or city with a population between 10,000 and 50,000 people.

The magazine’s criteria for ranking included capital investment and job creation. Six local projects met at least one of the three criteria for successful micropolitan cities — at least $1 million in new capital investment, a minimum of 20,000 square feet of new construction and creation of at least 50 new jobs. 

The projects are:
• Cadence, a $15.9 million expansion
• Fisher Auto Parts, a $3.5 million expansion
• Innovative Refrigeration Systems Inc., a $1 million expansion
• PPI/Time Zero, Inc., a $1.15 million expansion
• nTelos Inc., a $2.3 million expansion
• Lumos Networks, a $1.2 million expansion>

“2011 was a great year for our community. Investment and interest are up,” Amanda Glover, Staunton’s assistant director of economic development, said in a statement. “We have location, labor, and logistics. We offer access to two interstate highways, as well as rail and air. We are centrally located among 11 colleges and universities. We are just a couple of hours from Washington D.C., Richmond and Norfolk. Plus, the Shenandoah Valley is one of the most beautiful places in the country.”

In the same issue of Site Selection, the magazine ranked Virginia No. 5 overall for new facilities and expansions, up from No. 10 in 2010.


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