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Sperry Marine, headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, is an integrated worldwide supplier of navigation, communication, information and automation systems for commercial marine and naval markets. With 800 employees at their headquarters location and 1300 worldwide, the company designs and produces technologically advanced navigation systems for a variety of surface ship platforms. Part of Northrop Grumman since 2001, Sperry Marine and its predecessor operations have been located in Charlottesville for fifty years.
GE Fanuc Automation
GE Fanuc Automation develops factory automation solutions designed to help customers better manage their production systems and processes. A joint venture of General Electric Company and FANUC LTD of Japan, the company's 600 employees in Charlottesville are primarily engaged in engineering, systems integration, and the manufacturing of electronic components for automated production lines. Constructed in 1980, GE Fanuc's world headquarters is in Charlottesville, Virginia. The company has numerous other operations located in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Biotage, Inc. began in Charlottesville more than 15 years ago. Today it is part of a multi-national firm created in 2003 when it was acquired by Pyrosequencing. The resulting company, Biotage AB, has its headquarters in Uppsala, Sweden, and offers a complete range of products and services in the areas of genetic analysis and medicinal chemistry. The Discovery Chemistry Division of Biotage AB is located in the University of Virginia Research Park in Charlottesville. Biotage AB employs more than 100 people at this location who design and produce a complete range of purification and separation systems for pharmaceutical companies worldwide.
Other Major Employers
These businesses and the those that are listed below reflect a growing base of employers who take advantage of the strategic location, the technology and research and the quality of life that characterize the Greater Charlottesville Region.
• American Press (Commercial printing)
• Biotage AB (Biotechnology)
• Continental Teves, Inc. (ABS Systems)
• Crutchfield Corporation (Electronics retailer)
• Dominion Virginia Power (Utility)
• GE Fanuc (Factory automation equipment)
• Hyperion Telecommunications (Telecommunications)
• Inova (Healthcare)
• Klöckner Pentaplast of America (Rigid PVC film and sheets)
• LexisNexis (Publishing)
• Luck Stone Corporation (Crushed stone)
• Hyosung (Tire Cord)
• MicroAire Surgical Instruments (Surgical instruments)
• Sperry Marine (Northrup Grumman subsidiary-Marine navigational systems)
• National Card Control Company (Credit card services)
• National Optronics (Lens processing equipment)
• Pharmaceutical Research Associates (Pharmaceutical research)
• Plow & Hearth (Home and garden mail order retailer)
• RIGID Products (Industrial machinery)
• The Rochester Corporation (Marine cable manufacturing)
• SNL Financial (Research and publishing)
• Southern Health (Healthcare)
• Sprint (Telecommunications)
• State Farm Mutual (Insurance)
• Thomasville Furniture (Wood furniture)
• Tovaris (Secure e-mail solutions)
• Tri-Dim Filter Corp. (Air filters)
• University of Virginia (Education)
• Upstate Biotechnologies (Biotechnology)
• Von Holtzbrinck Publishing Services (Publishing)
• Wal-Mart (Food Distribution)
• Wintergreen Resorts (Resort)
A region that has a strong economy, outstanding educational systems, and an exceptional quality of life inevitably possesses a dynamic population. Local employers have access to a workforce of more than 134,000 well-educated, technologically sophisticated, and extremely capable people who can meet a diverse range of recruitment needs.
• The region has experienced significant population growth in recent years, growing by almost 21 percent in the 1990s and by more than five percent since the start of the new millennium.
• A large and diverse pool of highly qualified graduates from the University of Virginia, one of the nation's leading public educational institutions, enters the work force each year.
• A significant percentage of technologically sophisticated workers, with computer literacy well above the national average, is able to adapt to employers' rapidly evolving needs.
• Many workers live in and around Charlottesville and Albemarle County, while others work in surrounding counties or commute to employment centers in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Richmond, or Northern Virginia. Although the regional unemployment rate usually remains at or below three percent, many people regularly commute long distances to fill quality jobs. These workers are readily attracted to job opportunities closer to home.
• The region is characterized by a high level of underemployment. The underemployment rate in the Charlottesville area is calculated to be approximately 10 percent.
The regional business community benefits immensely from the close relationship with area educational institutions. Along with the University of Virginia, a major driver of the region's economy, two community colleges, a vocational technical center and the soon to be built Center for Advanced Technology in Culpeper are available to help meet the needs of employers by providing job and technical training, as well as other post secondary educational programs.
• The University of Virginia: With nationally recognized medical, law and business schools, the university, with an enrollment of almost 19,000, can be a major resource for businesses located in the region. Besides research in medicine and engineering, which is often conducted in consort with area companies, the school continues to seek ways to partner with both the private and public sectors to advance the economy of the broader community.
• Piedmont Virginia Community College: PVCC has a total annual enrollment of approximately 7,000 students taking degree and non-degree courses. The community college works closely with area businesses through such programs as the Business Education Roundtables (BERTs) to identify needed skill sets and then to design the training programs that will meet specific operational requirements. State Farm, Sperry Marine and SNL Financial are among the companies that have partnered with PVCC.
• Germanna Community College: With a total enrollment of more than 5,000 students, GCC serves the northern part of the region from its Locust Grove Campus in Orange County. In the process of fulfilling its mission of providing post secondary education and supporting area employers to meet community needs, the college has initiated a project to construct the Germanna Center for Advanced Technology in Culpeper.
• Germanna Center for Advanced Technology: The 39,000 square foot facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and occupy approximately 34 acres of a 100 acre site to provide high quality conferencing and specialized training for the benefit of both residents and employers. Occupancy is expected to take place in the spring of 2006.
• Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC): CATEC provides technical training to area high school students and offers career academies in partnership with PVCC and other groups and organizations in the region.
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