Blacksburg metro named a 2012 "Leading Location"

June 26 2012


Montgomery County, Va.
Economic Development Department

Montgomery County, Va. - The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has made Area Development Magazine’s list of the top 100 "Leading Locations for 2012.” The MSA ranked 6th within the South-Atlantic Region and 64th nationally out of 365 MSAs. Within the Mid-Size Cities category – MSAs with populations between 160,000-600,000 – the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA ranked 25th overall and 20th for “Economic Strength.”

Leading Locations Rankings,
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA:

National Ranking - Overall: 64th  

South-Atlantic Ranking - Overall: 6th  

Mid-Size Cities Ranking - Overall: 25th

Mid-Size Cities Ranking - Economic Strength: 20th 

Notes:  Mid-Size Cities are defined as MSAs with populations between 160,000 and 600,000.  The South-Atlantic region is defined as VA, NC, SC, GA and WV.

The 2012 Leading Locations were recently released through the Summer Issue of Area Development Magazine.  The "Top 100 List" was compiled using two dozen different economic and workforce indicators to rank the nation's 365 MSAs.  With its 64th national ranking, the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA outranked several larger, well-known metro areas including: Chattanooga, TN (68) Greenville, SC (69); Boulder, CO (71); Raleigh-Cary, NC (82) and Charlotte, NC (118).

The Summer Issue also included the 2012 Gold and Silver Shovel Awards which spotlighted Virginia and Montgomery County. Area Development recognized eighteen states “for their achievements in attracting big investment projects during 2011 and creating value-added jobs.” The magazine awarded Virginia a Silver Shovel based on its top 10 job-creation and investment projects of 2011. 

Montgomery County contributed to Virginia’s Silver Shovel award by posting the 6th top project in the state. In October 2011, announced its plans to establish an East Coast fulfillment center in Christiansburg. The company is investing over $20 million to construct the 315,000-square-foot facility in Falling Branch Corporate Park and expects to employ more than 200 people.

The “Leading Location” accolade adds to the growing list of recognitions received by the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA. Here are a few that the MSA has received over the past year:

  • Forbes names the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA the 5th “Best Small City for Jobs” (2012)
  • Southern Living facebook fans vote Blacksburg the "Best College Town in the South" (2011)
  • Bloomberg Businessweek names Blacksburg the "Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids" (2011)
  • NAMM Foundation designates Montgomery County Public Schools a “Best Community for Music Education” for fourth consecutive year (2011)
  • Sporting News names Blacksburg the 57th “Best Sports City” in America (2011)
  • Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford Metro named 4th “Top Metro by Number of Projects” (2011)
  • Bleacher Report ranks Lane Stadium - home of Virginia Tech Hokie Football - the18th "Top Stadium in the Country" (2011)
  • Aquatics International Magazine designates the Christiansburg Aquatic Center one of 13 "World-Class Aquatics Facilities" (2011)
  • Blue Ridge Country Magazine names several Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA outdoor amenities to its 2011 "Blue Ridge Outdoor Bucket List," including: New River Junction (tubing), Appalachian Trail (hiking), New River Trail State Park (biking) and the New River (canoeing/kayaking)
  • View Full List of Accolades at

About Area Development Magazine

Founded in 1965, Area Development magazine is considered the leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation. Editorial coverage provides valuable information pertinent to the factors, key issues and criteria that affect a successful decision.  Area Development is published bi-monthly and has more than 45,000 executive subscribers. It also has a very active custom publishing group that has produced many award-winning magazines, inserts, and brochures on behalf of its clients.

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