Virginia’s Manufacturing Ecosystem: Collaborating for Success in Regional Clusters

Virginia’s manufacturing sector is vibrant and evolving, with a rich history and a promising future. The Commonwealth has been a manufacturing leader since the early 19th century, and today, it has a thriving ecosystem of advanced materials companies supported by an unbreakable network of suppliers, innovators, and customers.

LISTEN: Hear more about the Virginia manufacturing industry’s developments on the Manufacturing NOW in Virginia Podcast

In this blog, we will cover:

  • Virginia’s manufacturing industry’s advantages
  • How our regional clusters collaborate to drive economic development for manufacturing companies
Manufacturing Ecosystem

What Makes Virginia Manufacturers Special

Large Output and Economic Impact

Virginia’s manufacturing scene is a major player, making up 8.30% of the state’s total output, according to In 2021, this powerhouse generated an impressive $49.50 billion in manufacturing output, pumping life and resources into the state’s economy. This doesn’t just help businesses grow; it supports people’s livelihoods, builds communities, and lays down the infrastructure we rely on. Plus, with 239,000 skilled workers in manufacturing, earning an average of $79,114.61 a year, this industry is thriving and full of opportunity.

Virginia’s Global Impact

Virginia is home to over 400 advanced materials companies operating in various sub-sectors. This industry is fueled by hundreds of specialized suppliers. And thousands more in the broader region, creating a dense network of collaboration and innovation.

However, Virginia’s manufacturing industry goes far beyond the local level. The state’s manufacturers are key players worldwide, with a whopping $14.31 billion in products in 2021. Think of it like Virginia’s manufacturers reaching out to friends in Canada, China, Mexico, Germany, and the United Kingdom. By shipping goods globally, they’re also building bridges between cultures and helping the state grow even more.

Diverse Workforce

Virginia’s manufacturing strength comes from its diverse and skilled workers. These unique individuals bring a mix of talents and backgrounds, making Virginia’s manufacturing scene truly unique. Virginia has everything from smart STEM graduates who bring in fresh ideas and innovations to the discipline and adaptability of veterans and the new perspectives of immigrants. Whether it’s putting together complex machines, improving chemical processes, or making the latest tech, this workforce is at the heart of Virginia’s success in manufacturing.

How Our Regional Clusters Work Together

engineer wearing a helmet and using a laptop for economic development for manufacturing companies

Our regional clusters drive economic development for manufacturing companies through the GO Virginia Program. The Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity (GO Virginia) is a bipartisan, business-led economic development initiative changing how Virginia’s diverse regions collaborate on economic and workforce development activities. By concentrating interconnected firms and supporting organizations geographically, our nine clusters enhance productivity, foster new developments, and drive regional economic performance.

We Collaborate Across Universities and Industries

Public, private, and university-based R&D activities are critical drivers of innovation in Virginia. With extensive investments in advanced manufacturing research, institutions like Virginia Tech and the Old Dominion University Batten College of Engineering and Technology are examples of University centers we are currently collaborating with. Additionally, federal research dollars contribute to a dynamic environment for breakthroughs in manufacturing.

Virginia’s success in manufacturing is also due to the collaboration between companies and the government. Initiatives like the Virginia Alliance for Semiconductor Technology drive talent development and R&D critical to the future of industries like semiconductors. Another example is the Alliance for Building Better Medicine, which secured over $111 million over three months for U.S.-based manufacturing of essential medicine in 2022.

How GENEDGE Helps Virginia Manufacturers Reach Success

At GENEDGE, we’re dedicated to fueling Virginia’s manufacturing success. Our comprehensive consulting services and resources are designed to help you take control of the global supply chain. With innovative solutions such as CONNEX Virginia (our Matchmaker Platform), Cybersecurity, and Strategic Sourcing support, we’re here to enhance your industry knowledge and improve decision-making. Request your free assessment for local manufacturing business growth advice. Together, we will transform your manufacturing business.

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