Business growth attracts Virginia Tech alumni back to the New River Valley
February 19, 2014
When alumni reflect on Blacksburg, they think of the beautiful fall foliage reminiscent of our collegiate colors, picturesque mountain views, and majestic Hokie Stone structures.
One might not associate the New River Valley with a growing job boom, but in the past two years the area has been ranked among the best places in the country for job growth by CNBC, Forbes, 24/7 Wall St., and NewGeography.com.
Since 2010, employment in Montgomery County, Va., including Blacksburg and Christiansburg, has jumped 6 percent and wages have risen 5.3 percent. The unemployment rate has fallen to 5.6 percent, retail sales are up 11 percent, and the area’s population continues to climb at a steady pace.
The community is riding a promising wave of growth and success.
With more alumni looking to reestablish roots in the area, the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development have joined forces. The association uses its career resources program to assist alumni in finding quality jobs in the area, and the county department works with those who are interested in starting, expanding, or relocating a business in the community.
Virginia Tech’s alumni are having a big impact on economic growth in Montgomery County.
Since 2010, at least 12 alumni have founded or led companies that created almost 500 new jobs and sparked $13 million in economic growth. Several companies, including Comprehensive Computer Solutions, Harmonia, Modea, and UXB International, have been named to Inc. Magazine’s prestigious list of the fastest-growing companies in the nation.
It should be no surprise that alumni are building successful companies in the area. In 2008, CNN Money recognized Blacksburg as one the best places in the country to live and launch a business.
Montgomery County has a supportive entrepreneurial culture that is cultivated by the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council and is home to several successful corporate parks, including the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center and Falling Branch Corporate Park in Christiansburg.
Montgomery County’s award-winning quality of life is helping businesses attract and retain critical talent. The community has an exceptional public school system, a cost of living that is 6 percent below the national average, and numerous cultural and outdoor recreation opportunities.
Montgomery County’s family-friendly reputation received national attention when Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Blacksburg the No. 1 place in the U.S. to raise kids.
For more information on career opportunities and business development, contact the Alumni Association’s Nancy Brittle at 540-231-6285 or Montgomery County’s Charlie Jewell at 540-382-5732.