The Roanoke Region is home to the largest metropolitan areas within Southwest Virginia – the Roanoke MSA and the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA. With a population of nearly 800,000 residents residing in 10 counties and 4 cities, this diverse area is home to a variety of industries and services. The region also offers many notable institutes of higher education, including Virginia Tech, Roanoke College, Hollins College, Washington and Lee University, Radford University, and Virginia Military Institute.
Originally developed around the railroad industry, the Roanoke Region has transformed into a healthcare and medical research hub and serves as the medical center destination for the MSA and Southwest Virginia. With more than 13,200 employees, Carilion Clinic and Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital play a vital role in the local economy and provide essential healthcare services to the community. Roanoke is home to extensive medical research facilities as well as The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Radford University Carilion.
Advanced manufacturing is also a leading industry in the region’s business sectors, ranging from bio-medical to night-vision manufacturing. Notable businesses in the Roanoke Region include: Virginia Transformer’s headquarters, the fourth largest power transformer manufacturer in North America; Eldor, a multinational leader in the automotive industry, which has equipped 400 million vehicles worldwide with their technology; OCC Fiber Optic, a telecommunication company in the U.S. and seventy other countries worldwide for civilian and military applications; Integer Holdings, a world leader in advanced medical device design and manufacturing across four continents; Coca Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, the nation’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler; Elbit Systems of America, manufacturer of night vision devices for the military; and Volvo Group Trucks, which manufactures medium-sized Mack trucks.
Roanoke has received many accolades in recent years, including: “The Best Place to Live in Virginia” by The Apartment Guide in 2020; “Where to Go in the South” by This is My South in 2021; and in 2022, Roanoke was nominated as “The Best Place to Raise Kids” by Smart Asset.
Situated in a prime location, the Roanoke Region boasts strategic accessibility to both the East Coast and Mid-West markets. The region benefits from the presence of major transportation routes with Interstate 81 passing directly through, Interstate 64 located to the north, and Interstate 77 nearby to the South. Included with the interstate highway system, the area also boasts an integrated rail and air transportation network that creates a transportation hub for the general region. The region has shown increased growth over the past several years and Roanoke has positioned itself for additional success in the future.
- Population: 319,688
- Median Age: 44.2
- Median Household Income: $55,078
- Employment: 155,354
- Unemployment Rate: 3.1.%
- GDP: $13.3 billion
Major Employers in Roanoke
|HCA Health System||1,000-2,999|
|Wells Fargo Bank||1,000-2,999|
|Advance Auto Parts||1,000-2,999|