Business Facilities magazine, a trade publication that focuses on corporate site selection and economic development, has named Virginia first in the nation for its overall business climate, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.
The state joins fellow honorees Tennessee (recognized for best dealmaking) and Massachusetts, recognized for its workforce and educational system in Business Facilities’ annual ranking of the states. Virginia last won Business Facilities’ state of the year award in 2018, followed by Texas in 2019 and North Carolina last year.
“For the first time, we thought it was appropriate to name three winners in this prestigious process,” Business Facilities Editorial Director Seth Mendelson said in a statement. “As businesses look to expand or relocate, the questions they have about communities are becoming more complex. They want to know as much as they can about a community before making a final decision. We think this is going to help them make informed choices. The commonwealth’s location, right next to the District of Columbia, combined with its pro-business work environment, strong workforce and educational systems, makes it a great place to do business in.”
Business Facilities notes that Virginia has an unemployment rate of 3.6%, the 10th-lowest in the country, and it has a workforce of 4.1 million people as well as successful workforce programs, including the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a collaboration between the Virginia Community College System and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership that provides on-site work training, and Fast Forward Virginia, a VCCS program that provides industry credentials after a short-term training program that typically takes between six and 12 weeks.
“I am proud of the work our administration has done to develop the strongest business-friendly environment in the nation,” Northam said in a statement. “During my term, we’ve attracted more than $80 billion in economic investment, creating more than 100,000 jobs — a record for any Virginia governor. Virginia has set a new standard for all other states. Companies want to invest here and create jobs here because of our welcoming environment, commitment to developing our workforce, and our existing infrastructure.”
In July, Virginia was named the No. 1 state for business by CNBC for the second time in a row and five times in all.