Investor Spotlight: Goodwill Industries of the Valleys

Investor spotlightGoodwill Industries of the Valleys serves 35 counties and 14 cities throughout Central, Southwest, and Southside Virginia. Its vision is the eliminate poverty through its mission of empowering individuals, strengthening families, and inspiring communities. Through the sale of donated goods in our stores, Goodwill provides training and employment services to people who face challenges, disadvantages, or barriers to employment.

How is the Roanoke Region important to your business?

Roanoke is home to our organization’s headquarters and one of our major hubs. The Roanoke Region includes eight of our stores and donation centers as well as your Youth Headquarters and Jobs Campus. Each location has team members from right here in the Roanoke Valley. In addition to our stores, we provide a variety of our mission-focused services, such as our GoodCare and GoodStart programs, to the area.

Why has your company invested in the Roanoke Regional Partnership?

The work the Roanoke Regional Partnership does recruiting businesses as well as helping current businesses, like us, continue to grow and prosper is important to Goodwill. Our focus, what we do every day, is to help individuals achieve their fullest potential, through job skills and other types of training. We want to be ready to provide a ready job force for those industries the Roanoke Regional Partnership works to bring to the Valley. Also, the majority of our funds come from the sale of the generous donations we receive from all those in our communities. The more prosperous our communities can be, the more we can really help those individuals in need of services.

Company information:

  • Corporate Leadership: Richmond Vincent, President & CEO | Mindy Boyd, Chief Operations Officer | Mary Ann Gilmer, Chief Strategy & People Officer | Jackson Green, Chief Financial & Compliance Officer | Brenda Moore, Chief Technology Officer
  • 540-581-0620
  • Follow Goodwill Industries of the Valleys on social media: Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  LinkedIn  YouTube

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Altec Industries Announces Expansion in Botetourt County

Group of several business people pose in front of large utility Altec truck for photo opportunity.

On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced Altec Inc. will be investing $1.4 million to reconfigure the Botetourt County operation for a new product line which will result in the creation of 150 new jobs. Altec is a leading provider of products and services to the electric utility, telecommunications, tree care, lights, signs, and contractor market.  

“Congratulations to Altec on another successful chapter in its long and storied history producing high-quality products that garner international recognition,” said Delegate Terry Austin. “The company’s facility in Botetourt’s Greenfield Industrial Park is an economic driver. With this investment, it is now one of the largest employers in the region. We are grateful for Altec’s continued commitment to advanced manufacturing and are proud of the men and women who build these world-class products right here in Botetourt.”

“Altec is in its third decade operating in Botetourt County. The team at Altec has proven again and again that they are true corporate and community partners who are committed to providing fantastic manufacturing jobs in our region,” said Dr. Mac Scothorn for Botetourt, chairman of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors. 

“Botetourt County is proud to call Altec Industries a member of our corporate family,” says Botetourt County administrator Gary Larrowe. “We want to congratulate them on this expansion and are thankful for the economic partner that they are right here in Botetourt County.” 

“The expansion of Altec Industries is a fantastic success story and a testament to the region’s capabilities in supporting business investment and growth, as well as Altec’s solid foundation of strong business leadership”, said John Hull, Executive Director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “Altec is a longstanding community and regional partner, and the growth of this enterprise in Botetourt County will have positive, significant regional impact.”

Altec Industries joined the Botetourt County corporate family when they opened their 80-acre campus in 2001 at Greenfield. In 2018 the company announced an expansion of the facility, bringing 180 new jobs and $30.2 million in capital investment. This new expansion will be built on eight additional acres.

These two most recent expansions support an additional 287 indirect and induced jobs and provide a total economic impact in the Roanoke Region of approximately $196 million annually.  Indirect and induced economic impacts represent those benefits created by the additional spending on goods and services in the region by a company and its new employees. 

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Botetourt County and the Roanoke Regional Partnership to secure the project for Virginia and will support Altec’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP), which provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and training activities. Read the full press release from Governor Youngkin’s office here.

Site-Selection Study Underway in Roanoke Region

The Roanoke Regional Partnership is launching a new site identification and evaluation effort to update an earlier, revolutionary endeavor launched in 2014. That initial site study effort led to the identification of the Wood Haven Technology Park and Summit View Business Park. The Roanoke Regional Partnership is partnering with Timmons Group who will utilize GIS technology to identify site-investment options.

When it comes to facilitating new business locations or the growth of existing businesses, the availability of prepared real estate is vital to the success of business-attraction efforts. The RoanokeOfficials in suits and hardhats break ground at a site with golden shovels Regional Partnership and its local government partners have been leaders in implementing real estate development strategies. Research from the Partnership has consistently shown that larger acreage requirements typically correspond to significant employment creation, higher wages, and notable capital investment profiles. Why does this matter? More jobs at higher wages create more significant economic spinoff, more benefit for area business, and more opportunity for residents. Higher capital investment generates more revenue for local governments to fund the services that residents need and enjoy – emergency services, refuse collection, parks/recreation, education, libraries, etc.

The region has seen significant success – Eldor Group, Munters, Lowe’s, and Traditional Medicinals are all examples of recent investments that were made possible through the availability of quality greenfield sites. The Roanoke Regional Partnership has seen a significant increase in opportunity particularly with the development and preparation of additional 100+-acre-site options. Demographics and labor-market data show the region has a diversity of industry and a concentration of population that is unique along the Interstate-81 corridor, suggesting a unique advantage when it comes to workforce. Interest in our region is at an all-time high.

The timeframe to develop a quality site can vary significantly depending on the site’s natural characteristics, distance to utilities, transportation access, and other factors. Acquisition and improvement can take as little as three years or as many as five to six years. Strategic evaluation of site options can direct public investment towards preparing competitive real estate opportunities.

Site selection is an elimination process. If a region cannot demonstrate availability of quality real estate with rapid development timelines and availability of utilities, it will struggle to compete for new investment opportunities of significant size. Development of next generation real estate sites and the identification of potential future investments will prepare the region for success in the years ahead. 

Collaboration and Communication: How to Get Ahead in Today’s Economic Development World

Site selectors and businesses consider several factors when expanding or opening new locations. There is the obvious—cost of doing business, incentives, location. Then there are the bonuses—placemaking, livability, aesthetic beauty. There is, however, a wildcard that sets this region apart from the rest—a collaborative, unselfish effort among multiple partners to assist businesses during onboarding and beyond. Efforts to answer the labor availability question are collaborative, and, in the Roanoke Region, a true differentiator in the competition to attract jobs and investment.

The Roanoke Regional Partnership’s relationships with educational institutions and state and local workforce partners continue to improve the region’s competitiveness for investment. The Partnership, together with its partners, continue to find innovative way to solve new challenges.

Workforce/Talent Partnerships

The region is blessed with strong higher education assets. The Roanoke Regional Partnership has a long history of making connections between expanding companies and training assets including the notable examples of Mack Trucks, Schaefer Rolls, and Eldor Corporation.

The Partnership is contributing even greater value through its talent strategies and in partnership with local, regional and state partners. RRP has collaborated with localities, the Greater Workforce Development Board, and the Virginia Talent Accelerator to assist a number of active expansions regionally including STS Group, who recently selected Salem for its North American headquarters.

This project, along with others soon to be announced, has acted as a prototype for a new, custom, collaborative regional toolkit to assist new and existing businesses to ensure successful launches and continued growth. The Partnership’s talent solutions strategies are fast becoming an important regional tool to support basic sector, project-based scale-up operations.

State Partners 

Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) is a key partner when it comes to lead generation, assisting business expansions, real estate development support, and talent solutions including the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program (VTAP). VTAP accelerates facility start-ups and expansions by expediting recruitment and shortens the new-hire curve.  The program is geared towards traded sectors which sell a majority of goods and services outside of the Commonwealth that meet specific investment and job creation/wage criteria. 

The Roanoke Region has developed specific programs to answer the questions of industries who are evaluating the region for expansion opportunities.  When it comes to assistance with training and recruitment, a collaborative network of local and regional partners are available to assist.  Collaboration and communication are keys to unlocking regional success. 

To attract investment, you must be creative and be able to leverage your assets. In addition to hard assets like location, real estate, and incentives, the Roanoke Region can rely on the intangibles like cooperation and collaboration among educational institutions, local, regional, and state partners.