Virginia snags “Best Business Climate” state ranking
Business Facilities mag also ranks Va. tops for Tech Talent Pipeline category
Virginia is the state with the “Best Business Climate” in the nation, according to Business Facilities magazine’s 17th annual State Ranking Report, released Wednesday.
Last year, Texas held the No. 1 spot, with Virginia taking second. After falling off Business Facilities’ top 10 list in 2014 and 2015, Virginia placed ninth in 2016, fourth in 2017, fifth in 2018 and then rose to No.2 in 2019, losing out to Tennessee.
Virginia also topped Business Facilities’ Tech Talent Pipeline rankings, a new category this year, and took first place in the Cybersecurity category again. Virginia ranked within the top 10 states in the Customized Training, Offshore Wind Power, Most Educated and Highest Average Income categories.
Barry DuVal, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement, “Virginia’s recognition as Business Facilities’ Best Business Climate is a testament to our world-class talent initiatives and strong economy. Virginia has advanced strategies to support our tech ecosystem and foster a strong tech talent pipeline.”
“Virginia is injecting more than $2 billion into a Tech Talent Investment Program that cumulatively represents the largest state commitment to computer science education,” the report stated, praising the state program that is incentivizing 11 universities to create 31,000 new computer science/engineering graduates during the next 20 years.
The report also cited:
- Virginia Tech’s $1 billion Innovation Campus under development in Alexandria;
- George Mason University’s $250 million investment to double the number of computer science majors and to build a new headquarters for Mason’s Institute for Digital InnovAtion;
- and the University of Virginia’s establishment of a $120 million School of Data Science, which will train students in data analysis, machine learning, statistics, computer science and communication.
Arlington was the top-ranked mid-sized metro locality for Best Business Climate and Alexandria was the top-ranked small metro (population under 200,000) locality for Best Business Climate. Amazon.com Inc.’s HQ2 headquarters was the primary reason, according to the report, plus the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus.