Tuesday marked the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Innovation Center in Floyd County. By this time next year, the Innovation Center is expected to be open and home to five high-tech companies.
"We're really targeting innovative companies and leading edge companies," says Jack Russell, a chairman for the Floyd County Economic Development Authority. "We could be talking about biomedical and higher engineering, higher applied sciences, and advanced manufacturing."
BC Genesis, a medical device company, has plans to open in the new space. CEO Eric Gatenholm says the choice to move his business to Floyd County was an easy one.
"You have Roanoke, which is the closest big airport, Virginia Tech, which is the largest university in the area, and you have Floyd County, which is a great place for new companies to move out to," Gatenholm says. "Being about 45 minutes from all these resources is phenomenal. And you can be supplied with all the resources companies need to grow."
Russell says seven out of 10 people in Floyd County have to leave the area to find work, something the EDA would like to change.
"I would hope we could bring some home," Russell says. "We're hoping to create some of those jobs here, so they don't have to make the commute each day."
These new companies are likely to hire Floyd County residents, and could also be a new home to Virginia Tech graduates.