Wythe County is strategically located at the crossroads of major interstate systems I-81 and I-77 and the future I-74 in southwestern Virginia. Eighty miles southwest of Roanoke, 70 miles northeast of Bristol, VA/TN, and 300 miles southwest of Washington, DC., the scenic county is located in a valley bordered by the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountain ranges.
The nearly 500-square-mile county with population of 27,700 is seeing growth in manufacturing and expansions among its long-term employers. Residents are working to balance growth in employment with the preservation of the small-town, rural character of the region and its natural beauty through a community vision process with the assistance of Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy.
Expansion from within
Recognized by Southern Business and Development magazine as one of the top markets in the South, the county has seen several major expansions and welcomed Pepsi Bottling Group and its new $65 million state-of-the-art plant in Wytheville, and Gatorade and Amcor PET Packaging to Wytheville's Progress Park.
Other leading employers are Klöckner Pentaplast in Rural Retreat, VA, maker of plastic films; Wytheville Technologies, Inc., maker of precision automotive parts, the first company to locate in the 1210-acre Progress Park, then slated a $31 million expansion for a new 150,000 sq. ft. facility in the spacious park; and Longwood Elastomers, Inc., an established company that makes engineered rubber products for the transportation industry.
Smaller family-owned entrepreneurial enterprises also are seeing success in Wythe County. Musser Lumber Sales, which began as a two-man sawmill in 1967, and Camrett Logistics were honored by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce as two of Virginia’s Fantastic 50 fastest growing businesses.
Both in Rural Retreat, Camrett.specializes in fleet management and dedicated logistics. Musser Lumber Sales, with more than 70 employees in the family-owned business that specializes in kiln dried and green lumber for furniture, flooring and cabinet companies and distribution yards, recently completed a $3 million expansion.
Training, education and quality of life
Diverse training programs are available in Wythe County through Wytheville Community College and four-year colleges that are within an easy commute. The Manufacturing Technology Center, headquartered in Wytheville, a not-for- profit organization dedicated to helping manufacturers in southwestern Virginia to become more competitive, offers companies access to technical expertise, informational resources and training opportunities.
Outstanding recreational opportunities are available in Wythe County and healthcare services are available through more than 80 physicians and Wythe County Community Hospital, a 104 bed facility, and various clinical services provided throughout the county.