The Lynchburg metropolitan area was ahead of larger cities like Roanoke, Richmond, and Northern Virginia for the percentage of jobs added in 2012
When the United States government needs high tech electronic equipment, like circuit boards, one of the manufacturers it relies on is located in Lynchburg.
Advanced Manufacturing Technology, or AMTI, has been based in the city for 10 years.
“This was a great place to start a company and try to catch the resurgence of onshore manufacturing,” said Larry Hatch, president and CEO of AMTI.
The Hill City has proven to be a successful location for AMTI. Last year alone, the company’s workforce grew by more than 10%.
“In the last three months, we have added about 10 to 12 people,” Hatch said.
10 to 12 may sound like a small number of positions, but those are high paying jobs and AMTI is not the only ones hiring.
Babcock and Wilcox is creating 30 new positions in Forest and a North Carolina company will hire 120 people at a plant in Lynchburg.
“Our region’s economy is certainly coming out of the recession,” said Bryan David, Executive Director of the Region 2000 economic development partnership.
According to new figures from the federal reserve, Lynchburg ranks ahead of Virginia’s largest cities for the percentage of jobs created in 2012.
Lynchburg’s payroll employment number increased by 3.17%, while Roanoke’s number went up by 0.45%. Payroll employment is a measure of the number of people being paid as employees by non-farm businesses and units of government. Changes to this number are widely followed as an important measure of economic activity.
Only Blacksburg’s payroll employment figures were higher at 4.76%, but while the New River Valley’s job growth is tied heavily to Virginia Tech, Lynchburg has a wide variety of large employers in areas like nuclear technology, manufacturing, healthcare, and higher education.
Most of the area’s job growth is coming from companies that are already located here. J. Crew expanded its Lynchburg plant last year and added more than 200 jobs. Delta Star, a company that makes transformers, is working on an expansion right now that will add 78 new workers.
“I think we have been and will continue to be on a lot of people’s radar screens as a very good place to do business,” said David.