In the early 1900’s, half a million apple trees dotted the landscape in and around Waynesboro. The City was the epicenter of processing and distribution, including the seven-story cold storage building capable of holding 55,000 barrels. In addition to fresh apples shipped throughout the east coast, notable products included apple butter, canned goods, cider, and vinegar, plus supply chain industries of barrel making, transportation maintenance, and agriculture support products.
Today, organic tortillas and kombucha fill natural food shelves in Virginia and beyond, with nearby industry giants Hershey Chocolate, McKee Foods, and Shamrock Farms providing the “milk and cookies” plus significant employment opportunities. Within the region, nearly 40% of the manufacturing workforce are engaged in food and beverage processing in all aspects of the supply chain. Eleven of the top 100 food and beverage companies in the United States and Canada (Food Processing Media Group) are located in the region and produce chocolate, snack cakes, potato chips, poultry, livestock, fruit-based foods, milk, non-dairy creamer, beer, and more.
Uniquely positioned on the I-81 corridor in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Waynesboro is the hub of transportation with road and rail access to major population centers plus advanced fiber communication. The city has a strong heritage of innovation and manufacturing excellence with a commitment to the future. Waynesboro also serves as a regional retail center and gateway to outstanding cultural and recreational amenities
In 2019, the region’s concentration of 39 colleges and universities within a 2 1/2-hour drive graduated over 67,000 students in a wide variety of degrees and courses of study.
Locally, Blue Ridge Community College, Mary Baldwin University, and James Madison University offer credit and noncredit programs as well as collaborative workforce development solutions, including specialized training, apprenticeship, bootcamps, and more.
The award-winning “InDemand” Jobs Campaign markets high-demand, high-growth and high-wage occupations and accompanying educational opportunities for occupations requiring more than high school but less than a 4-year degree.
Transportation and Infrastructure
Waynesboro’s strategic location makes it easy to do business and take advantage of an exceptional quality of life. The City is centrally located along the I-81 corridor in the eastern portion of Virginia’s scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley. Our convenient location along I-64 provides easy access to major locations in the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard, with one day truck delivery to Boston, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, and Jacksonville.
In addition to the outstanding highway system, four railroads, five airports, and two ports provide access to the world. View transportation infrastructure map. Dominion Energy provides electricity at rates below the U.S. average at 5.7 cents per kilowatt hour vs. 7.01 cents nationally; Columbia Gas delivers natural gas at selected industrial sites; City of Waynesboro provides award winning water and wastewater services. Multiple telecommunications providers serve the area with fiber connectivity.
Although Waynesboro is in close proximity to major east coast locations, its cost of living and cost of doing business are less than the national average. View comparison table.
Waynesboro offers significant multiyear incentives for eligible projects based on job quality and quantity, capital investment, and other criteria. Job creation and capital investment grants are available if located in an Enterprise Zone; federal tax benefits if in an Opportunity Zone; and HUBZone benefits in certain census tracts.
Cultural and Recreational Amenities
The only place on the planet where the Shenandoah National Park/Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail intersect, Waynesboro has a wealth of cultural and natural amenities. The wide variety of outdoor recreational activities including hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, horseback riding, and bicycling combined with cultural gems such as historical venues, art galleries, and a newly restored vaudeville era preforming arts center provide endless opportunities for adventure. Such attractions paired with our national brand restaurants and shopping, as well as unique local breweries and dining, give Waynesboro a vibrant quality of life.
Greenway – The picturesque 1.2 mile paved Greenway Trail follows the South River though downtown. Take a walk, ride your bike, or try your hand at fly fishing in one of only two urban trout fisheries in the state.
Festivals — Waynesboro’s annual events and festivals bring pleasure to the whole family. There’s is something for everyone; art, chili, races, fireworks, soap box derby, concerts, and kite flying – there’s always something on the calendar.
National Treasures – Travel north or south on a scenic drive, visit a national forest, or take a hike on the famed Appalachian Trail. These national treasures are located just outside of downtown.
Waynesboro VA – uniquely positioned for prime business opportunities.