2020 Was a Year of Challenge and Perseverance

This past year has been challenging and unprecedented.

Despite challenges, the Roanoke Regional Partnership adapted and found ways to add value with a number of key initiatives:

  • Location and expansion project announcements included Mack Trucks, Traditional Medicinals, Fleetwood Homes/Cavco, and Apex Systems representing $46 million in investment and 440 direct new jobs. These projects will result in the creation of 741 additional, indirect jobs and a total annual regional economic impact of $417 million at full operation.
  • The Partnership also saw a 300 percent increase in large site interest driven by the development of new real estate by the region’s governments. The year finished with more projects initiated than in 2019.
  • Talent solutions efforts pivoted to address the concerns of major employers related to COVID-19 recovery.
  • Talent solutions staff created a summer program for 150 college students, providing an eight-week certificate program with online sessions to develop skills for the workplace and a connection to job opportunities in the region.
  • Roanoke Outside shifted with an option for a virtual Blue Ridge Marathon when the in-person event was canceled and a reimaged GO Fest. Through Project Outside, the Roanoke Outside Foundation raised more than $100,000 to address a lack of funding for the maintenance and development of the outdoor assets that are drivers for economic growth, livability, and tourism.
  • An online marketing campaign to attract remote workers and influence population growth resulted in nearly eight million impressions with the top demographic between the ages of 25 and 34.
  • Market intelligence staff closely monitored real-time labor market and consumer spending data and provided regular reports to partners and investors to evaluate ongoing impacts of COVID-19, inform mitigation efforts, and gauge the recovery.

The Roanoke Region is facing a recovery process positioned for economic success.