Southwest Virginia / Region 1

About the Region

Region 1 includes the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe, and the cities of Bristol, Galax and Norton. The Appalachian Mountains run through many of the counties and cities that comprise the region. Located in the most southwest corner of Virginia, Region 1 is mainly rural with an estimated population of just over 381,000 making it among the least populated areas of the Commonwealth. The beauty of the mountains along with the rural amenities of the region also bring the challenges of a sparsely populated area where mountains can make navigation difficult to connect residents with jobs.

Region 1 Stats:

Total Population 381,015

Total Employment 149,694

Unemployment Rate 4.1%

Median Income Level $34,237

Mfg. Establishments 527

Mfg. Employment 17,767

Target Industries:

Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture, Food and Beverage, Manufacturing, Information and Emerging Technologies, Energy and Minerals


Talent Development, Sites and Infrastructure, Innovation and Scale Up Support

Select Clients Served Regionally:

  • Appalachian Distributing, Inc.
  • Blue Wolf Sales & Service, Inc.
  • Clarke Precision Machine, Inc.
  • NorrisBuilt Fabrication, Welding & Machine Shop
  • PEMCO Corporation
  • RL Structural Engineering, PLLC
  • The PBE Group
  • West River Conveyors

Client Testimonials:

Lawrence Brothers logo

“Our collaboration with GENEDGE has been integral to the continued growth and process improvement of Lawrence Brothers. In my honest opinion, GENEDGE’s work in Southwest Virginia is vital to not only the survival, but to our regional growth as a whole. As a small business owner, the impact of their programs and grants have meant to us a more sustainable business model that has boosted our growth by nearly $1M in the first year of implementation of our strategic growth initiatives. Moving forward, we anticipate that impact to compound as we continue to work with GENEDGE and other regional bodies to revitalize SWVA as a manufacturing hub and help other small to mid-size businesses grow as well.”

– Melanie Protti-Lawrence, President, Lawrence Brothers, Inc., Bluefield, Va.

Paul's Fan Company logo

“As the MEP for the Commonwealth of Virginia, GENEDGE contributes to the growth of Paul’s Fan Company located in Big Rock. Through GENEDGE support, we completed a Corporate Value Assessment, developed an ISO 9001:2015 QMS, participated in regional economic growth efforts, and GENEDGE is currently facilitating an ongoing growth strategy project. GENEDGE has built trust with our leadership team and key staff promoting enthusiastic participation and buy-in for upcoming strategic projects. Since beginning work with GENEDGE, our business has realized growth in efficiencies, quality, and profitability. GENEDGE has demonstrated a commitment to our success and the economic prosperity of the region. We appreciate GENEDGE and how they continue to help us move our business and region forward.”

– Todd Elswick, President, Paul’s Fan Company, Grundy, Va.

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