Smyth County, with a population of 33,200, is centrally located along Interstate 81 in southwestern Virginia, less than 25 miles from the crossroads with Interstate 77, and within 30 miles of the Tri-Cities TN/VA region of a population of nearly 500,000.
Rich with manufacturing experience
Smyth County offers a workforce that has been recognized for its productivity, trainability and work ethic by automotive employers such as TRW, Dana and Utility Trailer, and by a leading employer Merillat Industries, whose 500 employees received a national award, the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing.
Other leading employers in Smyth County include Royal Mouldings, a Georgia Gulf Corporation company, and General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, which has moved its resin transfer molding operations to its plant in Marion, VA.
Adding resin transfer molding – a unique process for manufacturing lightweight, high-strength composite structures for advanced aircraft - created nearly 120 jobs at the Smyth County facility that employs 650 and includes three manufacturing sites totaling more than a million square feet.
Smyth County lists a variety of available buildings and industrial parks in Enterprise and Technology Zones, including its joint project with Washington County, the Highlands Business Park at Exit 29, I-81. This 114-acre park includes an 87,500-sq-.ft. shell building that is the newest location for the Gates Corporation, North America's largest non-tire rubber manufacturer of automotive and industrial products.
Tourism is a growing industry
In Smyth County two major attractions draw thousands of visitors to the region each year. Hungry Mother State Park in Marion offers year-round accommodations, various outdoor recreational opportunities, a restaurant and meeting facilities.
About 15 miles from Marion is the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, 154,000 acres located in the Jefferson National Forest. Centered around Mount Rogers, the highest point in Virginia, this recreational area provides hiking and camping opportunities year-round and a chance to view exquisite scenery and wild ponies roaming the mountainside.
Another growing attraction is the Museum of the Middle Appalachians in Saltville which is the repository for the paleo-archeological findings from annual digs in the region, documenting the presence of Saltville’s earliest visitors (between 15,000 and one million years ago) who were drawn by the saline springs and their need for salt.
One Smyth County landmark in Marion, the historic Lincoln Theatre has been restored as a community cultural arts center. The Lincoln, a movie house that opened in 1929 and closed in 1977, was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. In 2000, The Lincoln Theatre was designated an official project of Save America's Treasures, a public-private partnership between the White House Millennium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Lincoln Theatre is a thriving venue for arts and musical performances year round.
Wellness and top-notch healthcare services are available through Smyth County Community Hospital, a 170-bed facility located in Marion.The Lifetime Wellness Center, open to the community, is a modern 54,000 sq. ft fitness and educational facility located on the hospital campus.