Businesses do not locate their facilities at random, by throwing data at a map or looking at just the sources of labor and raw materials. State, county, and city governments are active players in attracting private sector businesses and non-government organizations to locate in a particular area.Your tax dollars are also used to retain jobs and property taxes, when other governments try to entice existing companies in Virginia to move to another location. For example, Virginia's A.L. Philpott Manufacturing Extension Partnership (VPMEP) was described in a news release1 as follows:
The Certified Business Location program, begun in the latter half of the 1980s, required each locality to establish an Industrial Development Authority, formalize their industry targeting activities, and establish other processes in support of industrial development. However, the Virginia Department of Economic Development no longer offers the certification. (What's the point of a certification if everyone has received it?)
A snapshot of Virginia's economy, from the 1992 Economic Census Area Profiles - Virginia:
|Sector||Number of estabs||sales or Receipts
|Number of Jobs||Output per capita||Jobs/1000
(% of US)
(% of US)
If you look at the Jobs/1000 population column, you can see that Virginia had 23% more Construction jobs than the nationwide average. Nationally, the average was 18 jobs in construction/1000 people - Virginia had 22 jobs/1,000 in that sector. Virginia's economy produced significantly more jobs than the national average in Communications as well, but the state economy was weak at creating jobs in the Finance, Transportation, Wholesale, and Insurance sectors. In Manufacturing, Virginia had only 70% of the jobs that would be expected, according to the manufacturing relative to population ratio of Plants Sites & Parks magazine.