Onward NRV Investor Luncheon Addresses State of the Region

Onward NRV hosted their quarterly investor meeting at Radford University to address the state of the region.

In celebration of Onward NRV’s 30th birthday, public leaders from the New River Valley came together to address the needs and successes of the region. On February 12, 1990 Virginia’s New River Valley Economic Development Alliance, Onward NRV’s original name, was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia as a not for profit corporation through the efforts of the New River Valley Regional Commission and our five founding members: city of Radford and the counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski. These communities banded together to form our organization because they recognized the importance of working together regionally as their communities were becoming ever more interconnected economically and socially. Our originally stated purpose was “to promote the development of the economy of the Valley to its fullest potential while diligently preserving and promoting the high environmental quality and unique cultural environment.” While our name has changed, our mission has updated, and our strategies have evolved to align with the economy of the 21st century, our values have stayed true to our original purpose.

Over 80 individuals from around the region gathered to hear status updates on the goals of Onward 2023, Onward NRV’s five-year strategic plan, as well as heard from panelists on the state of their community and the NRV as a whole. Panelists included:

Teri Morris | Floyd County Administrator
Chris McKlarney | Giles County Administrator
Craig Meadows | Montgomery County Administrator
Jonathan Sweet | Pulaski County Administrator
Kim Repass | City of Radford Economic Development Director

All the community leaders have a great relationship and are constantly reaching out and supporting each other, which is not common across other regions. The common message across the panel focused on how the entire region is and needs to continue to work together in order to meet the needs of the region, especially in regard to talent and housing. In the past year and a half, the NRV has had over 1,500 jobs announced with an unemployment rate of 2.8%. The community leaders recognize that in order to fill those jobs they need to work together to recruit talent, develop the workforce, and share what the region has to offer as whole, especially when it comes to housing availability.

The event was sponsored by the Radford University Davis College of Business and Economics.


Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

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