Technology came to Waynesboro in 1897 with the communication advancement of local telephone service. Fast forward 120 years, and the Clifton Forge Waynesboro (CFW) telephone company has become Segra, one of the largest independent telecommunications companies in the U.S. Marketed locally under the legacy “Lumos Networks” brand, Segra maintains a regional headquarters in downtown Waynesboro. Just north of Waynesboro, Farmers Mutual Telephone System (FMTS) began in 1902 and has since become Shentel, which maintains an office and wireless switch here.
Today, Segra and Shentel along with Comcast provide telecommunications services throughout the City. Our local companies have made significant infrastructure investment to build reliable, high-speed broadband services which connect Waynesboro to the world for both the global business enterprise and the remote worker.
The combination of local higher education programs for talent, our redundant and reliable connections, investment partnerships in technology zones, low cost of business and living, and high quality of life, enables Waynesboro to be a key player in the digital age of tomorrow.
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
The regions concentration of 39 colleges and universities within a 2 1/2-hour drive provides graduates in a wide variety of degrees and courses of study as well as collaborative workforce development solutions, including specialized training, apprenticeship, bootcamps, and more.
In 2019, 4,300 students graduated from these 39 institutions with data science related degrees. Locally, James Madison University offers a wide range of technology related degrees in their College of Integrated Science and Engineering; Virginia Military Institute’s Computer and Information Sciences with a minor in Cyber Security; Bridgewater College’s degree in Computer Science; and Blue Ridge Community College’s Cyber Security program convey a strong message that tech talent pipeline is robust. Nearby, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Liberty University all boast multiple data science related programs and along with JMU account for 82% of the technology graduates.
Additionally, the Commonwealth’s Tech Talent Investment Program is a $1.1 billion investment in computer science education that will transform Virginia’s tech talent pipeline for the next two decades.
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 not only provides easy access to major markets, but offers efficient commuting for employees and remote workers with Washington, DC 2.5 hours to the north and Richmond 1.5 hours to the east. The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD) offers convenient access to United’s global network through two major hubs: Washington-Dulles and Chicago O’Hare as well as general aviation services for corporate aircraft.
Multiple telecommunications providers serve the area with fiber connectivity. 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.
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 located in one of the three Technology Zones, plus data centers may be eligible for Virginia’s retail sales and use tax exemption on qualifying equipment. Current legislation provides a state sales tax exemption for computer equipment provided the data center has a new capital investment of at least $150 million and creates at least 50 new jobs with average annual wage 1.5 times the locality average wage. This exemption expires June 30, 2035. Additional state and local incentives may also be available.
The city’s technology zones are strategically located to optimize the intersection of fiber, electricity, and water offering a variety of downtown storefront, suburban office park, and greenfield site locations. There are two greenfield locations located in the city. Both are located within the federal Opportunity Zone and one is located within the Commonwealth’s Enterprise Zone, which reduces the minimum new jobs requirement for sales tax exemption to 25.
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.