Key Companies in Southern Virginia

Because of its accessible location and stable, business-friendly environment, the area has attracted both national and international companies from a wide variety of industries, including plastic manufacturing, warehouse and distribution, information technology, biotechnology/pharmaceuticals, and auto supply manufacturing.

Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing (CAFM), Henry County

Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing (CAFM), Henry County

Regional Highlights

Southern Virginia is made up of four counties (Halifax, Henry, Patrick, and Pittsylvania) and the cities of Danville and Martinsville. With a rich history in high-performance manufacturing and the infrastructure in place to support its growth, 18% of the region’s total labor force of nearly 100,000 is employed in manufacturing.

The region enhances the business community with a high level of support and involvement in the arts, as well as recreational opportunities like professional motorsports and outdoor, water-related activities at four major lakes.


Southern Virginia is located along the Virginia/North Carolina state line at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. An excellent highway system coupled with easy access to interstates make the region extremely well-suited to reach Mid-Atlantic markets and international shipping facilities.

Southern Virginia
VIRginia International Raceway, Halifax County

VIRginia International Raceway, Halifax County

  • High-quality, four-lane divided highways service the area, providing convenient access to major interstates: I-77 (5 miles), I-81 (18 miles), I-85 (18 miles), I-40 (30 miles), I-73 (36 miles), and I-64 (45 miles).
  • Freight rail service is provided by Norfolk Southern.
  • The region offers a direct route to the Mid-Atlantic gateway at The Port of Virginia in Hampton Roads.
  • The Virginia TradePort, located at the New River Valley Airport in Dublin, is 57 miles northwest.
  • Three regional airports provide general aviation services, and commercial air service is offered at Lynchburg Regional Airport (LYH – 45.5 miles), Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C. (GSO – 48.3 miles), and Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA – 56.3 miles).

Southern Virginia Showcases Next-Level Manufacturing Talent Pipeline

How did Danville do it? By doubling down on its manufacturing roots. This time, it was future-proofed, led by advanced and precision manufacturing — paired with an open embrace of workforce training on Industry 4.0’s cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, as well as both cloud and cognitive computing. In other words, it wasn’t solely infrastructure and location that would draw companies to the region. It was a high-skilled workforce, one that was methodically reverse-engineered to possess the advanced manufacturing skill sets that employers operating on the cutting edge coveted.

Read More in Virginia Economic Review

Eastman Chemical, Henry County

Eastman Chemical, Henry County

Our flagship operation’s continued achievements in manufacturing excellence has been driven by a highly skilled and engaged workforce.

Dave Bennett Vice President of Operations, Intertape Polymer Group Inc. (IPG)

Talent Development in Southern Virginia

Residents in the region have access to high-quality public, private, and magnet schools, as well as workforce training programs throughout the region.

K-12 Education

Galileo Magnet High School

Established in 2002, Galileo Magnet High School is a public high school located in Danville that offers a technology-based curriculum with four strands of study, including Advanced Biotechnology, Communications and Networking, Publications, and Theatre Performance and Communication.

Piedmont Governor’s School

The Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science & Technology is a public magnet school with campuses in Martinsville and Danville. The school serves students in their junior and senior years and offers a rigorous, STEM-focused curriculum. While enrolled, students also have the opportunity to obtain their Associate’s degree in parallel at one of two local community colleges.

The Early College at Guilford

A partnership between Guilford College and Guilford County Schools, The Early College at Guilford provides a rigorous academic schedule consisting of a heavy load of honors and AP classes in the first two years, and dual enrollment classes in the second two years, graduating with a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit.

Workforce & Training Solutions

Danville Community College and Patrick Henry Community College

Danville Community College and Patrick Henry Community College design comprehensive training programs to suit any business’s needs, and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research develops and attracts technology and talent critical to Southern Virginia’s economic transformation.

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) engages the resources of Virginia Tech, Danville Community College, Averett University, and other partners to grow innovation and stimulate economic opportunity. The Analytical Chemistry group offers elite testing services and the Advanced Materials team provides cutting-edge characterization and processing capabilities. IALR proudly promotes sustainable solutions for enhanced agricultural production around the globe with the Plant Endophyte Research Center and access to a live bacteria library with over 2,000 endophytes. Most recently, IALR has partnered with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech to launch a Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center on IALR’s campus. The Center will leverage technology and research to accelerate advancements, economic development, and regional participation in the developing industry of indoor farming, which is expected to exceed $4 billion this year. The IALR campus also hosts offices for the Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Morgan Olson, LLC Steps into Southern Virginia

Southern Virginia boasts a rich legacy of manufacturing and offers world-class training institutions that are partnering with the company to create specific programs to prepare its new workforce. Morgan Olson’s investment will further bolster this 21st-century industry sector in the region and the Commonwealth for many years to come.

Read the Full Case Study

Monogram Foods Gets Results in Virginia

Memphis-based Monogram Foods Solutions purchased a plant in Henry County for its food processing operation in 2009, just five years after the company was founded. After ramping up quickly, the company announced an expansion just a year later. Upon landing additional customer business in 2014, Monogram needed to select one of its existing facilities to add capacity rapidly. The Henry County operation offered a proven track record of success and a workforce committed to Monogram Foods Solutions.

Living in Southern Virginia

Southern Virginia was built on a strong work ethic that continues into the 21st century, and its small-town charm is complemented by plentiful opportunities for arts, culture, and recreation. Steeped in motorsports history, the region boasts VIRginia International Raceway in Halifax County, one of the world’s finest road courses; South Boston Motor Speedway, a NASCAR-sanctioned race track that has hosted Busch Series Grand National Racing since 1982; and the Martinsville Speedway, which hosts four major NASCAR-sponsored auto races attracting in excess of 100,000 spectators annually.

The Riverwalk on the Dan is a popular amenity valued for its natural beauty, and four major lakes in the region provide a large variety of water-related activities like swimming, wind surfing, water-skiing, boating, fishing, and sailing.

Arts are a priority in the region, and the array of options includes the Museum of Fine Arts and History in Danville, an affiliate of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; the Piedmont Arts Association, which sponsors many workshops, displays, and special events; and the Virginia Museum of Natural History, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum in Martinsville. TheaterWorks, Piedmont Playmakers, the Martinsville Community Chorus, and the Martinsville Opera Society all provide outlets for amateur talent.

Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History

Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History

Martinsville Speedway

Martinsville Speedway

River Walk, Danville

River Walk, Danville