Roanoke Regional Partnership Unveils Strategic Plan for Economic Growth

Public-private economic development group will capitalize on region’s assets and opportunities to advance regional economy.

ROANOKE, VA (August 25, 2021) – The Roanoke Regional Partnership unveiled Thrive 2027, a new strategic platform for economic growth today. The plan identifies the Partnership’s goals and strategies for the next five years and prioritizes economic growth, innovation, talent attraction, commercial real estate, infrastructure, and placemaking and livability over the next five years.

“The Board of Directors is committed to the vision that the ‘Roanoke Region has a thriving, innovative, and growing economy that is inclusive of diverse businesses and talent, with quality sites, advanced infrastructure, and an array of natural and cultural lifestyle amenities and activities’,” said Brett Marston, president of the Partnership. “We will make that vision a reality with this program of work.”

“This strategy is the guide to growing jobs, population, and prosperity for the region,” said John Hull, executive director. “We also recognize that by supporting innovation, the economy and region will grow.”

The planning process included interviews with regional leaders, focus groups, an online survey, open houses, and an advisory committee of stakeholders. Key indicators were benchmarked and a SWOT analysis was completed to help shape the strategy.

Thrive 2027 Four Main Objectives:

• Commitment to continue and enhance what’s working and has been impactful
• Strengthening of collaborations and partnerships
• Focus on adding value and not duplicating the efforts of partners and stakeholders
• Exploration of bold opportunities including new approaches to existing programs and activities

Thrive 2027 Strategic Priorities:

• Economic growth and innovation
• Talent attraction and workforce development
• Commercial real estate and infrastructure
• Placemaking and livability

New initiatives include commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation, greater regional coordination on employer talent needs, regional coordination on real estate and infrastructure needs, and attracting and retaining an increasingly diverse segment of people and businesses by expanding the region’s livability story.

The 2027 plan builds on the current program of work adopted in 2017 that took the region to a higher level, creating over the past five years 3,255 direct and indirect jobs, $527 million in new capital investments, and an increase in per-capita income by 15 percent.

Strategies already being implemented by the Partnership will be enhanced by amplifying business recruitment, retention, and expansion efforts; elevating talent attraction and retention programs; raising the Partnership’s profile as a thought leader on economic trends; and creating sustained investment and curation of outdoor assets and activities.

“It is critical that we adjust our strategies to meet not only current economic and demographic realities but take advantage of exciting opportunities ahead in innovation and livability,” said Hull. The complete plan can be viewed at

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The Roanoke Regional Partnership, founded in 1983, is the public-private economic development marketing and strategy organization supported by Alleghany, Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke Counties, the cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem, and the town of Vinton as well as more than 200 businesses. The organization has worked with its partners to create more than 20,000 primary jobs and $2.4 billion in investment by attracting companies such as Munters Group AB, Orvis, Altec, McAirlaids, Bimbo Bakeries, Cardinal Glass, Balchem, Eldor, Mack Trucks, Traditional Medicinals, Constellation Brands and others to the region. RRP also created brand-building entities such as the Roanoke Outside Foundation, Get2KnowNoke, Blue Ridge Marathon, Go Outside Festival and Go Cross cyclocross race.