Washington County is located along Interstate 81 in southwestern Virginia. Bordering Tennessee, the county is part of the Tri-Cities TN/VA region that was recognized in 1999 as the first region in America to be named an All-America City.
With a population of 51,000, this growing county provides easy access to the amenities of a collective MSA area of nearly 500,000 that includes the Tri-Cities – Bristol, Kingsport, Johnson City, TN – and a neighboring Virginia county.
The county is situated near major U.S. connecting routes - I-77 to the north and I-26 to the south – and within easy driving distances to Roanoke and Richmond, VA, Atlanta, Winston Salem and Charlotte, NC, Knoxville and Nashville, TN, Lexington, KY and Washington, D.C.
Washington County and Smyth County welcomed a significant tenant to their jointly developed Highlands Business Park in May 2007. Gates Corporation, North America's largest non-tire rubber manufacturer of automotive and industrial products, announced the location of its first Virginia facility in a shell building of the 300-acre park located near Glade Spring, Va., Exit 29 of I-81.
AFG Industries opened a new $30 million glass coating plant in 2004 in the Oak Park Center for Business and Industry in Abingdon. In the same business park, another leading employer, Universal Companies, Inc., the nation's largest single-source supplier of spa supplies, built its new $5 million corporate headquarters, training facility and state-of-the-art distribution center.
Other leading employers include Bristol Compressors, K-VA-T Food Stores/Mid Mountain Distribution, CAMAC, Columbus McKinnon, Emory & Henry College, Virginia Highlands Community College and Johnston Memorial Hospital.
In another joint venture, Washington County teamed up with the Town of Abingdon to build a 40,000-sq.-ft. Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator. This facility is located in the Stone Mill Business and Technology Park located adjacent to the Southwest Virginia HIgher Education Center in Abingdon at Exit 14 of I-81..
Abingdon is home to the world renowned Barter Theatre, the state theatre of Virginia, and the Virginia Highlands Festival, which bring in tourism dollars and provide cultural opportunities for the region’s residents. With easy access to the Tri-Cities, aCorridor residents also can take advantage of symphonies, theater, quality country and bluegrass music as well as NASCAR events at the well known Bristol Motor Speedway.