Free Demo  |  About Us  |  Sample Profile  |  User Reviews  |  Compare Versions  |  Subscription Pricing  |  IndustrySelect Blog  |  Contact Us

Six Things to Know About Virginia Manufacturing

Posted by IndustrySelect on Tuesday, March 10, 2020

100099_norfolk naval shipyard2

Having a deep understanding of your market is essential to building relationships and nurturing leads.

For those looking to do business with Virginia manufacturers, IndustrySelect's database of 400,000 U.S. manufacturers contains a vast amount of hand-verified data to help users understand their market and create a list of prospects.

Today, we're sharing some of these key facts and insights provided by Virginia's manufacturers.

Here are 6 things to know about to know about Virginia’s industrial sector.

1. Virginia Manufacturers Are Hiring

5,691 manufacturers currently call Virginia home, according to MNI, compiler of the industrial data that powers IndustrySelect. Virginia manufacturers are major employers, accounting for 342,813 of the state’s industrial workers.

While hiring in manufacturing has generally come to a halt nationwide, Virginia has added jobs over the past twelve months, with employment up roughly one percent, or by 2,184 jobs.

Things continue to look up for the state with Navien, Inc’s plans to open a $77 million boiler manufacturing plant in the previously-shuttered Lumber Liquidators facility in James City County.

The state is also getting a new paper recycling facility, an expanded Mack Truck plant and a major expansion at Norfolk’s TST Fabrications plant.

Hiring in the U.S. manufacturing sector has slowed overall in the past year, as a sputtering global economy and uncertainty over tariffs continue to impact new orders and exports. Hiring has dragged considerably in the U.S, with nearly a half million manufacturing jobs going unfilled due to a tight labor market and persistent skills gap.

Having added jobs over the year, Virginia is somewhat of an anomaly. 

2. Virginia's Top Industries Are Growing

Employment in transportation equipment, which ranks first in the state for number of jobs, grew by 2% over the past year. Currently, transportation equipment employs 45,049 workers.

Second-ranked food processing, also saw jobs increase, up 3% in the past twelve months.

That sector accounts for 37,325 jobs.

Job gains were seen across a wide swath of industries, with employment up the most in stone/clay/glass; textiles/apparel; fabricated metals; lumber/wood; and electronics.

These gains were offset by losses in printing/publishing; chemical manufacturing; and primary metals. For deeper insight on the state's industries, see the chart below on Virgina's top manufacturing industries. 

Top Virginia Manufacturing Industries by Number of Jobs

IndustryManufacturing Jobs
Transportation Equipment45,049
Food Processing37,325
Industrial Machinery23,924
Fabricated Metals21,358
Medical Instruments/Related Products11,413
Paper Products9,986
Primary Metals5,001

3. Virgina's Largest Cities Are Adding Jobs

Virginia’s top cities saw manufacturing employment increases across the board, according to data reported to MNI.

Top Industrial Cities in Virginia

1. Newport News: 28,630 jobs
2. Richmond: 24,982 jobs
3. Lynchburg: 10,803 jobs
4. Norfolk: 9,796 jobs
5. Virginia Beach: 9,763 jobs

MNI recorded a slight uptick in jobs for Newport News (+0.3%) but the state’s other top cities saw manufacturing job surge over the year. Norfolk’s manufacturing workforce grew by 6.3%, while industrial jobs in Virginia Beach surged 5.1%. Lynchburg saw a gain of 2.8% and Richmond inched up 1% over the year.

4. Virginia Gets Top Marks for Business Conditions

Virginia has bucked the national trend, adding jobs over the past year across a spectrum of industries and regions. So what makes the state’s manufacturing sector so successful?

We looked to CNBC’s most recent survey of state business conditions which awarded Virginia the top title for business climate in 2019.

For starters, Virginia is home to a number of defense contracts and military spending is up. But beyond that, the state is home to a highly-educated workforce and the nation’s fourth-largest concentration of STEM employees. The state ranks third for business friendliness, although taxes are high.

5. Virginia is Home to a Larger Number of Publicly-Owned Manufacturers

Taking a look at the advanced criteria available in the IndustrySelect database, 12% of Virginia manufacturers are publicly-owned, compared to 9.4% nationwide.

Additional data in the Virginia database finds there 19,603 manufacturing executives in the state, including 2,860 presidents, 1,510 owners and partners and 1,730 Vice-Presidents.

Other items, based on data available to IndustrySelect subscribers:

• 2% of Virginia manufactures are women-owned
• 0.7% are minority-owned
• 12% are publicly-owned companies

6. Virginia is Less Dependent on Foregin-Sourced Material

Virginia has less reliance on foreign-sourced raw materials than as a nation as a whole. According to the advanced criteria available with IndustrySelect data, 8.6% of Virginia’s manufacturers import raw materials in order to produce their final goods, compared to 11.6% in the U.S. overall.

22% distribute their products internationally, slightly behind the 27% nationally.


Virginia manufacturing companies are thriving even amid challenging economic times. The state added jobs over the year, helped by increased defense spending and business-friendly reputation. The state’s workforce is top-notch, helping to draw foreign investment.

Outlook for the state appears positive, with a number of new projects on the horizon and a slightly less dependence on foreign-sourced materials. The state added jobs across multiple sectors over the year, suggesting a strong, diverse manufacturing economy. Employment gains were also spread across multiple cities, with all of the state’s top industrial centers adding jobs.

Ready to Build a List of Virginia Manufacturing Prospects?

If you are looking to sell to Virginia manufacturers, an IndustrySelect subscription can put you on a first-name basis with the state’s nearly 6,000 industrial companies and 20,000 executives. Subscribers can select up to 30 data points on any manufacturing company in the U.S. to help identify or pre-qualify leads. Company profiles also include the contact information for hard-to-find executive decision-makers. Click here for pricing on an Virginia database subscription.

IndustrySelect profiles every manufacturer in the U.S. If you want see what an IndustrySelect  subscription can do for you, try out our free demo!




Download the
FREE eBook:
Surefire Email Marketing Campaigns Made Easy
Surefire Email Marketing Campaigns Made Easy
A must-have guide for sales, marketing, & business development executives!
Almost 90% of internet users check their email at least once a day and more than 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI. Email marketing is hands down the most effective way to promote your business, but how can you tap into this lucrative marketing technique? IndustrySelectís free eBook will introduce you to B-to-B email marketing. Expert advice to help you:
  • Build a surefire message in 5 easy steps
  • Learn the most effective methods for building a targeted email list
  • Explore how to execute and measure the success of your campaign
  • Access 11 powerful tools for getting the most out of your email campaigns

Instant download! Enter your information above for instant access to the eBook. Plus, receive a free subscription to IndustrySelect Insider.
Privacy Policy  |  License Agreement

© 2020 MNI

EZ Select® is now called IndustrySelect® — Please click here now to go to