The Virginia Tech Center for Economic and Community Engagement worked with Onward NRV to create a set of 12 profiles that overview important trends in the New River Valley. Housing, colleges and universities, and cost of living are just some of the profiles’ focuses. The data profiles are available as PDF downloads and will be updated twice a year.

To create the profiles, CECE staff incorporated U.S. census data and made use of resources such as Emsi. They also collaborated with Carrie Woodring, director of real estate at the Virginia Tech Foundation, who helped find information on industrial space and office space availability in the area.

“It was a great feeling to see all these people from different university departments coming together on one project,” said William Ferris, student researcher at the center.

Staff also compiled a list of higher education institutions that exist in and around the area – using a metric of 150 miles away from any New River Valley zip code – as well as data on commuting patterns.

 “It was so inspiring to see all these folks from around the country choosing to make our area home,” said Ferris. “And I understand why! This is a great area, and it was heartwarming to see people giving it the recognition it deserves by choosing to spend their time here.”

“Onward NRV was impressed by the knowledge and professionalism that CECE staff brought to this project,” said Katie Boswell, executive director of Onward New River Valley. “These NRV data profiles will provide relevant information about demographics, employment, and wages to site selectors and businesses who are looking to locate in our region.”

“I enjoyed the energy that Onward NRV brought to the project. I hope these data profiles will help Onward NRV develop a better understanding of trends in its economy and I predict that they will be able to use this information to help bring solid, well-paying jobs to our region,” Ferris said.

Written by Julia Kell