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Guide To Living overview of Fredericksburg business community
Date published: 9/11/2010
The Fredericksburg and surrounding regions have a diverse economy that has shielded the area from the worst of the economic recession. The region's unemployment rates have stayed well below national levels.
One of the biggest drivers of the local economy is the federal government, both for jobs in the region and employment opportunities for commuters.
Hundreds of millions of federal dollars are spent in the region annually, thanks in large part to the three military bases--Marine Corps Base Quantico in Stafford County, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren in King George County and Fort A.P. Hill in Caroline County.
Terremark Worldwide Inc. has a corporate campus in Culpeper County that protects sensitive federal data and is powered in large part by Dominion Virginia Power's North Anna nuclear power plant near the southern border of Spotsylvania County.
Quantico in particular has seen ample growth of late, a trend that is expected to continue with about 3,000 new jobs coming to the base in 2011. That has fueled the growth of government contracting jobs and commercial real estate projects surrounding the base. Some of the nation's largest defense contractors--including Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin--all have a local presence. The FBI is a big employer in the region, both at Quantico and outside.
Many thousands of Fredericksburg-area residents also travel outside the region for federal and private-sector government support jobs in Northern Virginia. The Virginia Railway Express, which is expanding into Spotsylvania, allows an alternative form of travel to the capital along train tracks owned by CSX Corp.
Health care is another major driver of the local economy. Two new hospitals--Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center and Stafford Hospital--have opened in the past couple of years to join Mary Washington Hospital. Medical office buildings and free-standing medical clinics have been built around the hospitals.
As of the end of 2009, here are the 50 largest employers in the Bay Consortium Workforce Investment Area, which includes all of the Fredericksburg region and Northern Neck as well as the Middle Peninsula and Virginia Eastern Shore.
1. Stafford County Schools
2. Geico, Government Employees Insurance
3. Spotsylvania County School Board
4. U.S. Department of Defense
5. Mary Washington Hospital
6. U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation
8. Perdue Products
9. Food Lion
10. Tyson Farms
11. County of Stafford
12. Accomack County School Board
13. University of Mary Washington
14. County of Spotsylvania
15. Postal Service
16. Caroline County School Board
17. Shore Memorial Hospital
19. Giant Food
20. King George County Public School Board
21. Lowe's Home Centers Inc.
22. Americare Plus
23. Fredericksburg City Public Schools
24. Riverside Regional Medical Center
25. Target Corp.
26. Stafford Hospital Center
27. City of Fredericksburg
28. McLane Mid-Atlantic
30. TRW Inc.
32. Smurfit Stone Container
33. Medicorp Health System
36. Northampton County Schools
37. Snowden Services Inc.
38. Middle Peninsula Northern Neck Mental Health Center
39. Rappahannock Area Community Services Board
40. King William County Schools
41. Rappahannock Goodwill
42. Kings Choice
43. Haynesville Correctional Institute
44. Rappahannock General Hospital
45. Westmoreland County School Board
46. Fredericksburg Auto Auction
47. Essex County School Board
48. EG&G Inc.
49. The Free Lance-Star Publishing Co. Inc.
--Source: Virginia Employment Commission