Waynesboro’s unique attributes combine to create a perfect location for business, recreation, and culture. Some say it is the quality of life that makes a location what it is. Our safe neighborhoods, abundance of outdoor recreation, and quality of education at all levels contribute to Waynesboro being a great place to live, work, and play—and Where Good Nature Comes Naturally.
- Community Profile
- COVID Response
- Key Industries
- Pre-K to 12 Education
- Natural Environment
- Cost of Living
- Things to Do
- Public Safety
The present City of Waynesboro was included in the 118,491-acre Beverley Patent of 1736, issued to William Beverley by Governor William Gooch under the direction of King George II of England. Joseph Tees purchased 465 acres from Beverley in 1739. His widow operated a inn, the Tees’ (or Teas’) Tavern, a widely known landmark. As the settlement developed, Samuel and Jane Teas Estill and the developer James Flack promoted the area, which was named Waynesboro as early as 1797 in honor of the Revolutionary War hero General “Mad” Anthony Wayne. The town was officially established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1801.
Waynesboro flourished during the following decades. It was incorporated as a town in 1834. Twenty years later, the east-west railroad reached Waynesboro, which accessed major trading markets with the completion of the Crozet railroad tunnel through the Blue Ridge Mountains in 1858. Waynesboro was reincorporated in 1874. In 1881, the north-south railroad reached the area, crossing the east-west line at Waynesboro Junction, east of the river, at a place promoters called the “Iron Cross,” which formed the nucleus of the new boomtown, Basic City, incorporated in 1891.
For 32 years the two towns enjoyed a remarkable period of rivalry and expansion, often punctuated by recession and depression. They finally consolidated under the name of Waynesboro-Basic, following a referendum in both towns in 1923. Renamed Waynesboro by the legislature the next year, the consolidated town soon experienced industrial investment that brought unparalleled growth.
DuPont opened its doors in the 1920s to produce acetate rayon fibers. By the 1950s, General Electric moved a facility into Waynesboro, and both plants continued to have a significant and growing presence in the city. Together along with other manufacturers, they employed thousands. However, the nature of manufacturing gradually changed. Some companies relocated to less expensive labor sources, others shifted to reliance on robotics. Some began to substitute materials. As a result, manufacturing employment in Waynesboro declined.
In response to the loss of major manufacturing employers, Waynesboro transitioned from its previous and vulnerable reliance on manufacturing to an economically more diversified community. Today, with The Lycra Company (formerly the DuPont and Invista facility), Berry Plastics, and Lumos on one hand, and Target, Lowes, and Home Depot on the other, the greater Waynesboro region has a diversity of well-paying jobs and a sizable source of public revenue from retail sales taxes and the taxation of tools and machinery. The city’s efforts to incentivize the development of the Town Center and surrounding commercial real estate have paid dividends. The city’s creative work within the Downtown Enterprise Zone continues to transform Broad Street, just as Waynesboro’s investments downtown are showing results. The city’s commitment to continue to develop its industrial park has attracted new employers and means it has the potential to fully leverage its rail lines and location on I-64. New high-quality housing is being developed in Waynesboro. Older traditional neighborhoods are slowly being rediscovered. Small businesses are successfully operating downtown.
While our industrial make-up has evolved over the decades, the city continues to have a strong heritage of manufacturing excellence, and is a regional retail center and cultural and recreational hub. We also boast incredible natural assets, including a less-than-four-mile traveling distance between our downtown and the Shenandoah National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail. We have one of only two urban trout fisheries in the state, and a downtown waterway navigable by canoe and kayak. An emerging artistic, craft beverage, local food, outdoor recreation, and entrepreneurial cluster is nascent in our economy and particularly strong in our downtown. Successes like the redevelopment and reopening of the Wayne Theatre Performing Arts Center, the expansion and redevelopment of the Shenandoah Valley Arts Center, and the opening of the P. Buckley Moss Gallery in our historic district serve as jewels of our renaissance.
–Portions Excerpted from the City of Waynesboro Comprehensive Plan
Small Business Grants
Small business is essential to the Waynesboro community and to the success of our economy. They represent steadfast commitment by owners to provide goods and services to citizens and visitors while offering vast employment opportunities. There are over 5,000 business establishments in the Staunton Waynesboro MSA, almost all of them considered a “small business” using the SBA definition of having less than 500 employees. In SAW, 86% of our businesses have 19 or fewer employees. The effect of COVID-19 closures on all businesses combined with our two largest employment sectors being hospitality/accommodation and retail have had a significant impact on our economy.
An April 2020 survey of Waynesboro businesses indicated that 63% of the respondents will face a “severe impact” due to business closures or other adjustments to their normal business operation. When asked what assistance would be helpful to the business owner, 58% responded that cash flow assistance would be most helpful.
The CARES Act of 2020 provides funding assistance to state and local governments for the direct impact of the COVID -19 pandemic. A component of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) is the “provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.” The Waynesboro City Council responded to the need and ultimately allocated $600,000 or 15% of the total CARES funds received to meet the needs of small business. In total, four grant programs were created and administrated by the Waynesboro Economic Development Authority.
Waynesboro’s strategic location makes it easy to do business and take advantage of an exceptional quality of life.
The City of Waynesboro 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.
Exit numbers to the city from I-64 are: exit 99 to 250 West, exit 96 to Delphine Avenue, and exit 94 to Rosser Avenue and from I-81, exit 222 to 250 East.
Our location in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley provides access to a variety of employment opportunities within an easy 45-minute commute and ample recreational assets, including Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Trail, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forests and an urban trout fishery in downtown.
Washington, DC is located 2.5 hours to the north, Richmond 1.5 hours to the east, and the County Seat, Staunton eight miles to the west.
Waynesboro City Schools
|School Name||Grades||Enrollment||Student/Teacher Ratio|
|Berkeley Glenn||K to 5||261||24 to 1|
|Wenonah Elementary||K to 5||251||20 to 1|
|Westwood Hills Elementary||K to 5||440||24 to 1|
|William Perry Elementary||K to 5||424||22 to 1|
|Kate Collins Middle||6 to 8||679||NA|
|Waynesboro High School||9 to 12||827||NA|
|Wayne Hills Center||Pre-K to K||120||17 to 1|
|TOTAL:||3002||21 to 1 average|
|Info provided by Waynesboro City Schools 2018-19|
VOCATIONAL, TECHNICAL, SPECIALIZED
|Valley Career and Technical Center||Fishersville||Valley Career and Technical Center is part of the public school systems of Augusta County, Staunton, and Waynesboro. Our students gain technical skills in a variety of career areas designed to prepare them for entry level positions or acceptance into post-secondary education. In addition to the many high school programs, the Center offers career and technical training for adults interested in apprenticeship programs, basic skills training or a GED.|
|C.F. Richards Junior Academy||S||Pre-K to 8||56||$5,050/yr|
|Fishburne Military School||W||7 to 12||170||$18,200-$37,500 depending on boarding status|
|Good Shepherd School||W||Nursery to 8||180||$154-$185/week|
|Grace Christian School||S||Pre-K to 12||310||$1,800-$7,750 depending on grade|
|Montessori School of Waynesboro||W||2-6 year olds||17||Varies depending on length of day.|
|Pilgrim Christian School||D||K to 12||30|
|Ridgeview Christian School||D||Pre-K to 12||152||$4,800/yr|
|Staunton Montessori School||S||Pre-K to 9||80||$4,900-$8,900 depending on grade|
|Stuart Hall School||S||Pre-K to 12||300||$8,100-$51,000 depending on boarding status|
|*Location Code: W- Waynesboro; S – Staunton; F – Fishersville; D – Stuarts Draft|
|Source: Chamber of Commerce and Waynesboro ED|
Nestled comfortably in the Virginia Shenandoah Valley, Waynesboro has a beautiful four season climate with warm summers and mild winters.
- July average temperature is 71.5
- January average temperature is 37.3
- Average annual rainfall is 34.1 with an average 5.3 inches of snow
Waynesboro is located in the Valley and Ridge Physiographic Province with elevations ranging from 1,050 feet to 1,800 feet above sea level. The average elevation of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail is 2,200 feet. The South River, a south fork of the Shenandoah River, runs directly through the City at an elevation of 1,250.
From the comfortable surroundings of a vintage home in the famed Tree Streets, to a downtown condo, to residential neighborhoods, or the spaciousness of a home on acreage, Waynesboro and the surrounding area provides many options.
Cost of Living Index — Annual Average 2018
Urban Area and State
|100% Composite Index||13.40% Grocery Items||29.34% Housing||8.94% Utilities||9.22% Transportation||4.26% Health Care||34.84% Misc. Goods & Services|
|Harrisonburg VA Metro
Staunton-Waynesboro VA Metro
Lexington-Bueno Vista-Rockbridge VA
|Winchester VA-WV Metro Winchester VA-WV||97.4||97.8||96.8||94.7||88.7||104.5||100.0|
|Richmond VA Metro
DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Division
Augusta Health, an independent and community-owned health system that employs more than 2000 residents, has focused on bringing high quality, nationally-recognized healthcare close to home since opening its doors in 1994.
Its mission ‘to improve the health and well-being of our community through access to excellent care’ is realized through providing vital, comprehensive services to the region:
- The Augusta Health Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders, a DukeHealth affiliate, has full cancer accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer with additional recognition as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Center provides chemotherapy, hematology and infusion services, and state-of-the-art radiation therapy along with the supportive services that make it a truly comprehensive cancer center: a dedicated dietitian, a social worker and support groups, an onsite pharmacy and nurse navigators to help patients through their journey.
- The Heart & Vascular Center provides high quality diagnostic and therapeutic care—angioplasty and stenting, cardiac catheterization, cardiac stress testing, non-invasive testing (EKG, Echocardiograms and Dopplers), electrophysiology (ablation, pacemakers, treatment and management of Atrial fibrillation), cardiac rehab and full-service cardiology care and management.
- The Joint Center offers patient-focused total knee and total hip replacements with excellent patient outcomes.
- A Robotic Surgery Program for minimally invasive surgery in areas such as urology, gynecology and general surgery. Advantages of robotic surgery are fewer complications, shorter hospital stays, less pain and blood loss and a quicker recovery for patients.
- An employed physician group, Augusta Medical Group, with primary care and specialty physician offices throughout Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County. One practice, Workplace Wellness, provides occupational health services in office and onsite at businesses.
- An Emergency Department that cares for approximately 60,000 patients each year.
- Four Urgent Care Centers in Staunton, Stuarts Draft, Waynesboro and Weyers Cave, to provide care for unplanned, but non-emergency, injuries and illnesses every day.
- An active Community Outreach to address the region’s greatest health needs with innovative programs such as the AMI Farm at Augusta Health, an on-campus working farm that provides fresh vegetables and produce for patients, staff and special programs.
- Additional facilities and services, including a Fitness Center, a robust rehab and therapy division, an Intensive Care Unit and Skilled Nursing Unit, Hospice of the Shenandoah and the Shenandoah House, and the Augusta Health Sleep Center to deliver needed services to the community.
For information about all Augusta Health services and facilities, please visit their website, www.augustahealth.com.
Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) is one of only eight state-operated comprehensive vocational rehabilitation centers in the nation. The center’s vision is to be the preferred provider for vocational rehabilitation for Virginians with disabilities. WWRC provides comprehensive medical- to-work, assessment, transition, and training services to individuals with various disabilities to help gain independence through employment. WWRC has emerged as a vital role in assisting the DARS agency in reaching WIOA measures such as measurable skill gains and workforce credentials. WWRC operates on a campus that is over 200 acres, providing residential housing in both the dorms and attendant care unit and maintain and average daily census of more than 330 consumers per day.
For information about all Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center services and facilities, please visit their website, www.wwrc.net
Link to Waynesboro GIS : layers include tax parcels, zoning, water, sewer, storm water, flood plain, topo, aerials, school district, and wards.
City Map with Census Tracts
Commuting to Waynesboro
Waynesboro has a wealth of cultural and natural amenities, not the least of which is its proximity to Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail. Hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, horseback riding, and bicycling opportunities abound.
Another appealing element of the City is that its small-town charm is paired with big-city conveniences, such as national retail and restaurant outlets. Within city limits, shoppers will find Target, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart and more. This commercial district, located at exit 94 off I-64, also offers restaurants like Outback Steakhouse, Panera Bread, Five Guys, Cracker Barrel, and Plaza Azteca.
Waynesboro’s historic downtown is situated alongside the tranquil South River, one of only two urban trout fisheries in the state. Try your hand at fly fishing or merely enjoy the paved Greenway Trail that follows the bends of the river for a lovely one-mile walk. Within downtown, explore the work of regional artists at the Shenandoah Valley Art Center, P. Buckley Moss Gallery, and the historic Wayne Theatre. History buffs will enjoy the Waynesboro Heritage Museum and Plumb House Museum, which saw action during the Civil War. When you’re ready to recharge, locally owned restaurants and coffee shops are close at hand. In the evenings, catch national and regional performances at the newly renovated vaudeville-era Wayne Theatre. Tapping into Waynesboro’s rich natural history, the proposed Virginia Museum of Natural History campus will also occupy space downtown in the near future.
Waynesboro’s annual events and festivals bring pleasure to the whole family—from Riverfest, which celebrates the beauty and ecology of the South River, to the Fall Foliage Art Show, which turns the streets of downtown into a gallery for over 150 artists. Waynesboro is also home to the Virginia Chili, Blues & Brews Festival, now in its second decade, and the Blue Ridge Classic Soap Box Derby, now in its sixth decade. Waynesboro Parks Department, which manages the six municipal parks including a leash-free dog park, makes sure there are plenty of family-friendly events year-round. Run the Valley races, outdoor concerts, fireworks, a kite-flying day—there’s always something on the calendar to look forward to.
Visit the City Tourism website to learn more.
The City of Waynesboro provides outstanding public safety services for it’s citizens and businesses through four departments: Emergency Management, Police, Fire, and Sheriff.
Receives and dispatches 911 calls and is responsible for the coordination of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and for Emergency Management (disaster preparedness/planning, response, recovery, and mitigation) and local Homeland Security initiatives.
The department has 33 paid fire fighters and a volunteer unit. ISO rating is 4.
The department has 44 sworn officers, civilian staff, and a reserve unit.
The sheriff’s office is responsible for all matters relating to the courts.
Located in the I-81 corridor of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Waynesboro is strategically located to provide exceptional access to major markets via road, rail, and air. Our location at the crossroads of two interstate highways enables quick and easy access to major East Coast and Midwest markets. Every industrial area in the City is five minutes or less to I-64. One-day truck distance reaches Boston, Ottawa, Detroit, Nashville, Birmingham, and Jacksonville. See table of distances to major cities below.
Global connectivity via air is available from a number of easy-to-reach airports, including nonstop jet service on a United affiliated carrier to Chicago and Dulles from the Shenandoah Valley Regional airport (SHD). SHD is just 30 minutes from the CBD and offers free parking, quick check-in, and general aviation services.
Waynesboro sits at the intersection of the Norfolk Southern and CSX rail lines. Short line service is provided by Buckingham Branch. The Norfolk Southern main line bisects Nature’s Crossing Technology Center industrial park.
|I-81||8 miles to the west|
|I-64||3 exits provide access to City|
|US 250||Main Street|
|US 340||Intersects with US 250|
|Norfolk and Southern||north/south on eastern side of City|
|CSX||east/west on northern side of City|
|Buckingham Branch||operates CSX line, connects with short line|
|Rail, Passenger||Amtrak||Charlottesville, 30 miles east|
|Shenandoah Valley (SHD)||30 mins north of City – daily service to Dulles & Chicago|
|Charlottesville (CHO)||60 mins east of City|
|Richmond (RIC)||2 hrs east of City – international|
|Dulles (IAD)||2.5 hrs north of City – international|
|Shenandoah Valley (SHD)||30 mins north of the City|
|Eagle||adjacent to City|
|Virginia Inland Port||Front Royal – 94 miles|
|Newport News||177 miles|
|Crosby Trucking||Mt. Sydney- 27 miles north|
|Meade Trucking||Verona- 22 miles northwest|
|Houff Trucking||Weyers Cave- 28 miles north|
|Lawrence Transportation Systems, Inc||South Oak Lane|
|Reo Distribution||1 Solution Way|
|William Edwards, Inc||Verona- 27 miles north|
|Wilson Trucking||Fishersville- 7 miles west|
The City of Waynesboro is accessible via two major interstate highways, 81 and 64.
- Exits 94, 96, and 99 off I-64, with exits 94 and 96 within City limits, and 99 five miles to the east
- Exit 222 off I-81 is five miles to the north west
Two major VA highways, 340 and 250 intersect in the City and provide excellent access to local businesses and surrounding communities.
Waynesboro is the gateway to the world famous Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. These byways meet five miles to the east of the City and provide a multitude of recreational opportunities.
Distance to major cities:
Virginia Regional Transit offers M-F, 6:30am-6:22pm, bus service within Waynesboro and connections to Blue Ridge Community College.
AmTrak Passenger service is available in Charlottesville, 29 miles to the east.
Greyhound Bus service is available in Charlottesville, 29 miles to the east.
Five airports provide global access with commercial and general aviation service.
- The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD) is located approximately 30 minutes from Waynesboro. Offering commercial airline service via United Express, SHD connects Waynesboro to 87 destinations around the world with just one stop. The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport offers competitive fares, short check in lines and free parking. With a over 6,000 foot runway, it can accommodate a fully loaded 757 or any other narrow-body aircraft. SHD is also provides awarding winning FBO services to corporate and private aircraft including fuel services, conference room, sleeping quarters and more.
- Eagles Nest Airport (W13), located adjacent to the City operates a 2,000 foot runway and provides general aviation services, flight lessons, and aerial photography. FBO services include pilots lounge, briefing room, restrooms, courtesy van, and vending machines. 100 LL-fuel, maintenance, and flight instructors are available on the field.
- Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (CHO)
- Dulles International Airport (IAD)
- Richmond International Airport (RIC)
The Norfolk and Southern and Buckingham Branch rail lines intersect in the northeast quadrant of the city. Amtrak passenger service is available in Charlottesville, 29 miles to the east via I-64 or VA 250.
Norfolk and Southern line runs north and south along the eastern side of the city, including bisecting the City industrial park at Exit 96 off I-64
CSX operates trains on the Buckingham Branch line, along the northern border of the city.
Six sea ports including Virginia’s Inland Port, are within 200 miles of Waynesboro.
The Port of Virginia is the nation’s sixth largest port and is composed of four general marine cargo terminals in the Hampton Roads Harbor (Portsmouth, Newport News, Norfolk International Terminal, APM), the Port of Richmond and the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal, VA. Virginia’s 50-foot-deep ship channels make it the only East Coast port capable of handling the biggest ships afloat. Moreover, The Port of Virginia is the only East Coast port that has all of the necessary rail, road and cargo handling infrastructure necessary to accommodate those big ships. The Port of Virginia is the first major East Coast port to be ISO certified for environmental management practices which is proof of a commitment to responsive, sustainable, environmentally friendly growth which ensures that the Port can expand services along with the Commonwealth, our community and the diverse needs of business transportation providers to move cargo as efficiently as possible.
- Virginia Inland (85 miles)
- Richmond (103)
- Norfolk (189)
- Newport News (177)
- APM (190)
- Portsmouth (192)
NORFOLK INTERNATIONAL TERMINALS: NIT
Located in the heart of the Hampton Roads area on 648 acres, Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) is the Port of Virginia’s largest terminal. NIT is home to fourteen of the biggest, most efficient cranes in the world. These ZPMC cranes are the only cranes capable of handling the “ships of tomorrow”. With a reach stretching 245 ft, the cranes will be able to offload ships loaded 27 containers wide with cargo. The main channel leading to the terminal is 50ft deep and the Virginia Port Authority has the authorization to dredge to 55 feet when needed.
NIT has 5 berths, 14 container cranes, 3 finger piers, a RO/RO berth, covered and container storage, and now 89,300 feet of direct rail access, which will soon connect directly to the Commonwealth Railway Project. NIT has the capacity to efficiently handle all types of cargo. The Port of Virginia: One Stop. America and the World.
A.P. MOLLER TERMINALS, VIRGINIA: APMT
On July 6, 2010, the VPA executed a 20-year lease with APM Terminals North America, allowing VPA to assume operations at its facility in Portsmouth, Virginia. VPA will manage all aspects of the Portsmouth terminal through its private operating company, Virginia International Terminals, Inc. (VIT)
The 576 acre terminal is heralded as the most technologically advanced marine cargo facility in the Americas. With 4,000 linear feet of berth and 3.3 miles of on-site rail with links to NS and CSX, the highly automated facility boasts a current capacity of 1.4 million TEUs annually, with room for further expansion.
PORTSMOUTH MARINE TERMINAL: PMT
Slightly down the river from NIT, on 219 acres, sits our second largest terminal, Portsmouth Marine Terminal. With of 3,540 feet of wharf, 3 berths, and 6 cranes, PMT is able to handle container, break-bulk and RO/RO cargo. PMT also has direct access to both CSX and NS railways, and will soon connect to the Commonwealth Railway.
Chief among PMT’s features is it’s highly automated 30+ lane transfer zones and automated live e-gates.
NEWPORT NEWS MARINE TERMINAL: NNMT
Located in Newport News, Virginia, the 140.64 acre Newport News Marine Terminal (NNMT) is the Port of Virginia’s main break-bulk terminal. Despite its size, the facility boasts 42,720 feet of direct rail access/rail track provided by CSX. With 3,480 feet of total pier space serviced by four cranes, direct cargo loading on and off ships to and from the CSX break bulk rail service, covered storage, container storage, and accessibility from 3 major Virginia roadways, NNMT provides a prime venue for shipments through the Port of Virginia.
VIRGINIA INLAND PORT: VIP
Just west of Washington, D.C., in Warren County, VA, is the Virginia Inland Port. Cargo from the other three state-owned terminals travels to VIP five days a week, bringing the Port of Virginia 220 miles closer to the U.S. Market, and 75 international shipping lines. The facility also contains 17,820 of on-site rail serviced by Norfolk Southern. It is within 1 mile from I-66 and within 5 miles of I-81.
VIP is also a U.S. Customs-designated port of entry, and the full range of customs functions is available to customers.
PORT OF RICHMOND:
Managed by the Virginia Port Authority — Operated by PCI of Virginia, LLC
- Twice weekly Marine Highway service from Hampton Roads to Richmond via James River Barge Line
- Superior distribution and rail transshipment location at I-95 / I-64 / I-85 convergence.
- Efficient, damage-free cargo handling by dependable and experienced labor force.
- Prime development opportunities within a secure facility.
International Trade Services
Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) promotes international trade for companies throughout Virginia. Their mission is to increase the number of Virginia companies selling overseas and their volume of international business. They assist both new and experienced exporters enter international markets. They identify new markets, develop market strategies and locate distributors and representatives for products or services-all at little to no cost. Virginia businesses interested in increasing international sales benefit from our export development programs, publications, resources, and market research.
The MidAtlantic Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (MATAAC) is chartered by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce with responsibility for the management of Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms. The Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) program is a federal program that provides financial assistance to manufacturers that are negatively impacted by imports. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, this cost-sharing federal assistance program pays for up to half the cost of third-party consultants and industry-specific experts for knowledge-based projects that improve a firm’s global competitiveness.