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Virginia Lost Manufacturing Jobs For The First Time In Five Years

Contact: Jennifer Ratcliff
Manufacturers' News, Inc.
(847) 864-9440 ext. 241
jratcliff [at]

EVANSTON, Ill, February 28th, 2017/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Virginia lost industrial jobs for the first time in five years, according to manufacturing data collected by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI), a publisher of industrial databases and directories for all fifty states. According to MNI, Virginia industrial employment declined by 1,370 jobs in 2016, amounting to a half percent loss.

Virginia’s 6,102 manufacturers employ 336,821 in the state, reports MNI.

Virginia holds great appeal for many industrial companies due to its educated labor pool, solid infrastructure, availability of capital funding, and favorable regulatory environment. The state’s flourishing transportation sector and its stronghold in the food processing industry is evidence of this,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, a strong dollar, global competition, and automation have all put a damper on growth.”

The transportation equipment industry remains the state’s top sector by employment, currently employing 43,124 workers, compared to 36,000 workers just five years ago. Growth in that sector slowed in 2016, however, adding just 106 workers in the past twelve months.

Losses were led by the electronics sector, which declined 6.4% over the year. Other industries shedding jobs included stone/clay/glass, down 3.2%; rubber/plastics, down 2% and textiles/apparel, down 1.6%.

Virginia industrial businesses announcing closures included Alpha Natural Resources, which closed its Bristol, VA location after emerging from bankruptcy; Gannett Co., which shuttered its Springfield printing press; and Ball Corp., which shut down its operation in Bristol.

These declines were offset, however, by employment gains in food processing, which rose by 1.3% to 34,850, and currently ranks second in the state for industrial employment.

Additional gains were reported in the primary metals sector, up 8.1%; furniture/fixtures, up 2.8%; and lumber/wood, up 2.4%.

Several companies announced new operations in Virginia, which may help the state recoup some of the year’s losses. Automotive company ELDOR Corp., announced plans to establish its first U.S. factory in Botetourt County; Peet’s Coffee will set up a new 175,000 square foot roastery in Suffolk; and China-based Shandong Tranlin Paper Company plans to locate its first U.S. production facility in Chesterfield County, eventually employing 2,000.

City data collected by MNI shows Newport News remains the state’s top city by industrial employment, with 27,807 jobs, up a half percent over the past year. Employment in second-ranked Richmond declined one percent to 26,156 jobs, and remained steady at 10,528 workers in third-ranked Lynchburg. Industrial jobs rose 5.4% to 10,002 in fourth-ranked McLean, and jumped 6.7% in fifth-ranked Virginia Beach to 9,864 workers.

Established in 1912, MNI is the nation’s oldest and largest compiler of industrial information, offering tailored solutions to help customers connect with 430,000 manufacturers and suppliers. MNI’s industrial marketplace IndustryNet: is a one-stop resource that connects buyers with suppliers of 10,000 + products and services, and allows users to obtain competitive quotes, create and view company profiles, post company news releases, photos, videos, job openings, and more. MNI’s subscription service EZ Select: provides access to MNI’s live interactive database of manufacturers. For more information, contact MNI at 847-864-7000 or visit
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