America’s Top State for Talent

Ranked No. 2 in the U.S. for Education and No. 3 for Workforce by CNBC, Virginia is home to tens of thousands of skilled workers in advanced materials manufacturing and related occupations. Companies can draw from these workers as well as engineering graduates from nearby top universities, and from the many service members exiting the armed services from military installations in Virginia each year.

SmartAsset_#2 Higher Ed_2022
Market Access Map

Strategic Mid-Atlantic Location

Virginia’s strategic location in the center of the U.S. East Coast provides superior access to supplier networks along the affluent Northeast corridor, across the high-growth Southeast, throughout the Midwest, and in the adjoining the D.C. Metro area. Nearly half (47%) of the U.S. population lives within an 11-hour drive of Virginia, allowing semiconductor companies to efficiently manage supply chain and nimbly manage potential disruptions.

We believe that diversity and inclusion leads to a more innovative environment. Our site in Virginia is represented with 55 different nationalities. This diversity of talent promotes a culture of innovation and is a key contributor to our success, and we love that.

Sanjay Mehrotra President and CEO, Micron Technology

Premier Engineering and Computer Science Programs

University of Virginia

  • The Department of Electric and Computer Engineering offers a bachelor’s, masters, and doctorate program in computer and electrical engineering
  • The Center for Research in Intelligent Storage and Processing in Memory, a member of the Joint University Microelectronics program, is conducting research into intelligent storage and memory systems
  • Numerous other laboratories related to the semiconductor industry, include: the Energy Science Nanotechnology and Imagination Lab, the Microfabrication Laboratories, and the Virginia Nano Computing Group

Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Virginia Commonwealth University offers a bachelor’s, masters, and doctorate program in electrical and computer engineering
  • The Virginia Microelectronics Center focuses on the fabrication and development of micro- and nano devices and state-of-the art material creation. This laboratory, which has supported the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Department of Defense, conducts research in nanoelectronics and nanophotonic devices, micro- and nano-electromechanical systems, drug discovery, microfluidics, flexible electronics, bio-electronics, and nano-bio interfaces

Virginia Tech

  • Virginia Tech offers a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering with available focuses in chip scale integration, micro/nano systems, and photonics. A minor is also available in microelectronics engineering. Virginia Tech also offers a M.S., M.E., and PhD program with the M.S. having a specialization in semiconductors and microelectronics
  • The VT MEMS Lab pursues research in MEMS, nanotechnology, and microfluidics
  • The Micro and Nano Fabrication Laboratory provides ample cleanroom space for the research and development of MEMS, nanotechnology, bio-sensing applications, photonic, and microelectronic devices

George Mason University

  • The Volgenau School of Engineering offers a B.S. and M.S., in electrical engineering with the M.S. allowing a specialization in microelectronics and nanoelectronics
  • The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department includes electronics as one of their key research areas with an emphasis on semiconductors, including classical semiconductor devices, nonelectronic devices, sensors, digital and analog circuits, and integrated circuits, as well as the necessary fabrication and manufacturing technologies

Norfolk State University

  • The College of Science, Engineering, and Technology offers a Bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and a Master’s of Science in Electronics Engineering with a microelectronic and photonics track available to students
  • The Center for Materials Research conducts pioneering research into materials science and engineering, including semiconductor materials and devices
  • Norfolk State University is the lead institution in the Southeastern Coalition for Engagement and Exchange in Nanotechnology Education (the SCENE)

Old Dominion University

  • The Batten College of Engineering & Technology offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical and computer engineering
  • One of the core research areas of The Batten College of Engineering & Technology is advanced manufacturing, including micro and nano-electronics
  • The Applied Research Center has an interdisciplinary team of researchers working in areas that would be of interest to semiconductor manufacturing, including nanotechnology and MEMS
Prof. Jon Kropko teaches students in his Practice and Application of Data Science class

University of Virginia

America’s Largest Investment in Tech Education

Through its historic, innovative Tech Talent Investment Program, targeted philanthropic gifts, corporate partnerships, and K-12 computer science initiatives, Virginia is investing more than $2 billion to expand its tech talent pipeline, doubling the number of graduates each year in computer science and closely related fields.

Additionally, Virginia higher education institutions already produce roughly 12,000 tech-related degrees and certificates annually in areas ranging from computer science to modeling and simulation.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Microelectronics Consortium

The Virginia Microelectronics Consortium (VMEC), founded in 1997, fosters university-industry partnerships to address the educational, training, and research needs of the Commonwealth’s microelectronics industry and contribute to the development of Virginia as a location of choice for the microelectronics industry. Since 1997, VMEC has supported 327 VMEC scholars, at least half of whom have pursued microelectronics careers in the Commonwealth. During the same period, VMEC has funded over 75 seed projects with grants totaling $1 million.

NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton

NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton

A Well-Rounded Ecosystem for Semiconductor Development

The Commonwealth houses a dynamic semiconductor research and development enterprise conducting cutting-edge research in multiple fields critical to the future of semiconductors. Many of these are clustered around Micron Technology’s Manassas facility, one of the 20 major fabs currently operating in the U.S. A number of government entities are part of the R&D infrastructure in Virginia, conducting research in such areas as lasers and THz detectors, including: Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate; National Radio Astronomy Observatory; Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility; and NASA Langley Research Center.

MITRE, Fairfax County

MITRE, Fairfax County

A Welcoming Business Climate for Semiconductor Companies

  • Virginia has one of the oldest right-to-work laws in the country and is the northernmost right-to-work state along the I-95 Corridor.
  • Virginia has had a stable 6% corporate income tax rate, one of the lowest in the nation, since 1972.
  • Sound economic policy and prudent financial management has earned Virginia a AAA credit rating since 1938 — longer than any other state.
  • Industrial users paid an average rate of 6.24 cents per kilowatt-hour in the winter of 2022, well below the national average of 7.28 cents per kilowatt-hour.
  • Manufacturing and research and development operations receive some of the broadest sales and use tax exemptions for purchases used directly in production or R&D offered by any state in the U.S.