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Albemarle County, situated among the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia, boasts strong educational, commercial, and recreational resources for all those who choose to live and work within its borders.  The county is highly accessible, situated 70 miles west of Richmond and 110 miles southwest of Washington D.C. 

Home to a strong business base, Albemarle County offers a range of business support options through the Economic Development Office, the Economic Development Authority, and through regional economic development partners like the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development, as well as a number of workforce training centers, such as the Charlottesville/Albemarle Technical Education Center.  Unemployment rates in the county are consistently lower than state and national averages, and with almost 50% of Albemarle County residents possessing a Bachelor’s degree or higher, the qualifications and skill levels of our workforce are unparalleled.

The county's school system is among the top 10% in the state.  The county’s wide variety of educational opportunities include a public school system that earned the VIP Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence, two of Virginia’s four charter schools, and higher education facilities such as the University of Virginia and Piedmont Virginia Community College. 

Albemarle embraces its vibrant local arts and agritourism scene, hosting the Crozet Music Festival each year, showcasing its artisan breweries, wineries, and craft studios through the Monticello Artisan Trail.  Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway touch the western frontier of the county, and Albemarle itself possess over 4,000 acres within its parks system.  It's easy to see why Albemarle County is the perfect place to start and grow your business:

 STRONG PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM
  • Albemarle County Public SchoolsAlbemarle County Schools are rated among the top 10% of all school divisions in the State 
     
  • All 25 Albemarle County schools are fully accredited by the Commonwealth of Virginia
     
  • Albemarle County Schools were one of only 19 school divisions in the State to earn the VIP Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence
     
  • High on-time graduation rate and number of high school graduates continuing their education 
     
  • Average SAT scores surpass state and national averages by over 60 points per test section (Math, Reading Comprehension, and Writing) 
     
  • Math, Engineering & Science Academy (MESA) program offered in Albemarle High School as a college preparatory pathway to a career in engineering allows for a pool of talented individuals to take college-level engineering courses and undertake independent studies and internships during their high school careers 

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 ADVANCED EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

University of VirginiaThe University of Virginia, ranked as the 2nd best Public University in the nation in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report Rankings, also has internationally recognized medical, law and business schools.  The university is a major resource for businesses located in the region.  Besides collaborative public / private research, the school continues to seek innovative ways to advance the economy of the broader community.

In 2011, the University of Virginia opened a $65 million building center for information technology engineering and the Curry School of Education and Darden School of Business announced a new dual master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and education (M.Ed.) aimed at creating a supply of innovators in education. 


Piedmont Virginia Community CollegePiedmont Virginia Community College has a total annual enrollment of approximately 7,000 students taking degree and non-degree courses.  PVCC works closely with area businesses to design training programs to meet specific operational requirements. State Farm, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, the US Defense Intelligence Agency and SNL Financial are among the companies that have partnered with the college.
CATECThe Charlottesville / Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) offers coursework at the secondary level, and adult education and apprenticeship programs in:
  • Building Maintenance
  • Carpentry
  • Electrician
  • HVAC
  • Machine Tool & Die
  • Maintenance Mechanic
  • Plumbing
     

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 STRONG BUSINESS SUPPORT
  • The Albemarle County Economic Development Authority (EDA) works in partnership with the County Board of Supervisors to promote sustainable and responsible economic development in the county, in an effort to increase the quality of life for all of Albemarle's citizens. They can offer support to local and prospective businesses through funding opportunities, business development experience in a variety of fields, and the ability to connect businesses with an extensive support network including all the resources listed here and many more from the individual experiences of each Director on the EDA. 
     
  • The Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) provides economic development incentives, like offsetting recruitment and training costs incurred by expanding companies, and also offers organizational development workshops.
     
  • Albemarle County’s Economic Opportunity Fund (EOF) strives to combat unemployment and underemployment in the county by matching funds for federal or state economic development projects for businesses working to provide higher-wage permanent positions for the community. View the guidelines for the EOF here.
      
  • The Charlottesville/Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) offers secondary level coursework, adult education, and apprenticeship programs in areas of expertise such as building maintenance, electrician and HVAC work, and plumbing.
     
  • The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce works of behalf of its member enterprises to provide desired networking and development events, as well as act as an advocacy on public policy issues affecting all businesses in the region.
     
  • Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development is a non-profit created to bring new jobs and investment into the Greater Charlottesville Region through site selection assistance, workshops for existing businesses and entrepreneurs, and empirical data on the region and its business climate.
     
  • Central Virginia Small Business Development Center, located in Charlottesville, works to provide professional business consulting, training, and information specifically directed towards strengthening small businesses.
     
  • Central Virginia SCORE is an extensive free mentorship program dedicated to helping your small business start, grow, and succeed.

  • Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) is a local, comprehensive entrepreneur training and business development program. CIC fosters entrepreneurial success through training, next-level growth, and community networking.

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 MULTI-MODAL TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
  • I-64 bisects the entire county, with I-81 only 11.1 miles away from the county’s western border, I-95 37.6 miles away from the county’s eastern border, and I-295 located 45.3 miles southeast of the county’s borderlines
     
  • Charlottesville / Albemarle Regional Airport (CHO) is a non-hub, commercial service airport offering 46 daily non-stop flights to and from Charlotte, Philadelphia, New York/LaGuardia, Washington/Dulles and Atlanta. CHO is served by Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express.  Convenient one-stop international and domestic destinations.
     
  • Amtrak Service / Northeast Regional - The community has multiple passenger trains per day traveling the northeast corridor. Virginia Dept of Rail and Public Transit subsidizes the rail line to lower overall passenger fare costs. The northeast regional travels to and from Lynchburg, crossing into Charlottesville, to Massachusetts twice per day.Freight Rail Services through Albemarle include CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, and Buckingham Branch Short Line
     
  • The center of Albemarle County is located only 85 miles away from the Port of Richmond, 109.6 miles from the Port of Washington-Dulles, 163 miles from the Port of Virginia, and 83.9 miles from the Richmond-Petersburg Port of Entry.
     
  • Both a cross-country bicycle route, the TransAmerica Trail, and a cross-country pedestrian route, the Appalachian Trail, traverse the region
     
  • All Charlottesville Area Transit buses include bicycle racks to allow cyclists to bike from their residence to a transit stop, ride to any part of the region, then complete their trip via bicycle upon disembarking.
     
  • Albemarle County’s Walnut Creek Park boasts 15 miles of single-track mountain bike trails, making it a popular destination for trail enthusiasts from around the state.  The County Parks system also includes 37 miles of walking, running, and hiking trails, spanning all difficulties. 
     
  • Albemarle County is in the process of constructing over 50 miles of greenways, along streams and rivers, to buffer these waterways from damage and disease while supporting a thriving ecosystem and providing alternative pathways of transportation.

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 VIBRANT MUSIC, ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT SCENE
  • Albemarle is home to the Monticello Wine Trail, where 23 local vineyards open their doors to you along this “trail” filled with boutique wineries specializing in the production of small quantities of the highest-quality wines.
     
  • Brew Ridge Trail” – Albemarle County is a proud member of the Brew Ridge Trail,  composed of five award-winning breweries and two cideries within Albemarle and Nelson County.
     
  • Jambeeree from Starr Hill - serving up some of the best IPAs in Virginia and rocking out to live and local music!
     
  • Proximity to the University of Virginia affords opportunities to see one of over 70 concerts per year sponsored by the McIntire Department of Music, visit Oriental, African, and Native American Art at the Bayly Art Museum, or experience the Heritage Repertory Theater at Culbreth Theater every summer. 
     
  • The state-of-the-art John Paul Jones Arena, home to the University of Virginia Men's and Women's Basketball teams, is also host to a myriad of attractions including concerts, family shows, exhibits, trade shows, and community events.
     
  • Home of the Virginia Film Festival, showcasing over 100 nationwide and limited release films, and the Virginia Festival of the Book, which has grown to become the largest gathering of writers and readers on the East Coast over the past 18 years. 
     
  • Enjoy the Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival, hosting over 100 handscraftmen and women from around the nation, and the Crozet Music Festival, a 3-day festival filled with the sounds of country, bluegrass, and gospel. 
       Downtown Mall
  • Neighboring Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall boasts an active shopping scene, located in historic buildings along the pedestrian Main Street, with over 120 niche shops and 30 one-of-a-kind restaurants, as well as an ice rink, a movie theater, the Live Arts community theater, the historic Paramount Theater, the Charlottesville Pavilion and the Jefferson Theater.
     
  • Every Friday during the late spring through late summer, the Charlottesville Pavilion hosts a free concert showcasing local talent in an event called Fridays after Five.  

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 PARKS AND RECREATION
Visit our County Parks & Recreation Department to learn all about the County's amazing 4,100+ system of parks and green spaces.

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 COMMITMENT TO ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
  • Top Five Green Cities, Blue Ridge magazine, 2006
     
  • 17.5% of all land in Albemarle County is permanently protected as conservation easements, This plan allows lower income landowners to protect family farms and open space by selling their land to the county to be held in conservation, while still maintaining exclusive access rights to the land.
     
  • Albemarle is a sponsor of the Better Business Challenge, a friendly competition among local businesses to integrate sustainable initiatives into day-to-day business. The challenge centers on sustainability goals in the areas of Energy, Transportation, Water, Waste, Purchasing, and Leadership.
     
  • Albemarle supports the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) is a community-based nonprofit who supplies local business and property owners with a place to call for all their conservation and environmental sustainability and stewardship needs.  LEAP is the sponsor for numerous energy efficiency programs throughout the area, intending to promote cost savings, job creation, local economic development, and environmental stewardship.
     
  • The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (which includes Albemarle) was awarded a $999,000 grant for the creation of “sustainable communities”, and is using the money to implement sustainable land use, transportation and housing goals, economic development in an environmentally-friendly manner, and air & water quality and energy use regulation.

Albemarle County government is proud to be a leader in green government:

  • We are aggressively working to reduce the energy usage in local government buildings by 30% by the end of 2012.  As of July 2010, energy consumption was down 20.3% when compared to a baseline usage in the year 2005.
     
  • Both County Office Buildings have earned an Energy Star Rating, meaning they perform in the top 25% of similar facilities nationwide with regards to energy efficiency. 
      Albemarle's Green Roof
  • The County Office Building at 5th Street has a green roof, a solar-thermal system which supplements the existing hot water system.
     
  • The County  has implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) to assist in environmental compliance, pollution prevention, and continued environmental improvement.
     
  • The County supports cleaner vehicles through our use of 7 gas-electric hybrid vehicles, as well as several flex-fuel vehicles that are ethanol-capable.
     
  • The Monticello Fire Station uses a 20% blend of biodiesel (B20) fuel in all its fire engines, and the School Division is currently testing the use of B20 biodiesel fuel in 10 of its school buses, hopefully expanding the program to the entire bus fleet
     
  • The Monticello Golf Trail includes premier golf courses at 5 locations both within and a
    short drive from Albemarle County.  The biggest draw is the Trail’s commitment to providing golfers with environmentally conscious, or “green”, properties, promoting environmental stewardship through on-course sanctuaries, preservation efforts of the scenic natural surroundings, water conservation, and organic gardens.  

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 HEALTHCARE FACILITIES

World class medical care is centrally located in Charlottesville.

  • The University of Virginia Health System is among the most comprehensive medical facilities in Virginia. It is a Level I trauma center and is rated one of the top 100 hospitals in the country. The center's hospital includes 591 beds and maintains a special unit for trauma, burns, intensive care, dialysis, newborn, and coronary care.
     
  • The Martha Jefferson Regional Hospital, recently moved to a state-of-the-art facility to continue to best serve thousands in the Charlottesville community, with 201 beds, also provides a full range of medical services and emergency care.
     
  • The Thomas Jefferson Health District administers public health services. Six private clinics provide specialized medical care and counseling.
     
  • Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center provides counseling and specialized care for an expansive range of youth handicaps.
     
  • Albemarle offers a wide range of retirement facilities, catering to clients at every stage of health. From the independent cottages of the Colonnades to the round-the-clock assistance provided for memory care patients at RoseWood Village, the county’s 10 facilities can assist seniors at all levels of wellbeing.

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 HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES
MonticelloMonticello, the only historic house in the U.S. included in the United Nations’ World Heritage List, home to our 3rd president Thomas Jefferson, offers educational tours and exhibitions for all ages.
Skyline Drive, an 105-mile National Scenic Byway, runs the entire length of Shenandoah’s National Park, and provides picturesque opportunities to take in the panorama of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Ash Lawn - James Monroe's HighlandAmerica’s fifth president lived at Highland with his family from 1799 to 1823. Between a fire that destroyed the main residence and enhancements by later owners, mystery and misunderstanding surrounded the site for years—only now are historians and archaeologists peeling back the layers of history to uncover Highland’s—and Monroe’s—true past. 
Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center of Virginia, an interactive and educational museum for youth and adults to explore the legacy of Lewis and Clark’s groundbreaking expedition, which departed from Charlottesville itself. 
Scottsville, the only incorporated township in the county, hosts the Bateaux Festival every June.  This week-long festival celebrates the traditional flat-bottomed boats used to carry dry goods, called bateaux, by sending a fleet down the James River from Lynchburg to Richmond, stopping mid-way in our own Scottsville for music and festivities.
The Hatton Ferry has been traversing the James River from Buckingham County to Albemarle County for 140 years, and is still running, making it the last pole operated ferry in America.

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 AGRITOURISM
Albemarle is home to the Monticello Wine Trail, the crown-jewel of winemaking in Virginia.  Covering the area which many consider to be the birthplace of American wine, 23 local vineyards open their doors to you along this “trail” filled with boutique wineries specializing in the production of small quantities of the highest-quality wines.
The Brew Ridge Trail celebrates the flourishing craft beer industry in both Albemarle and Nelson counties, bringing together five breweries and two cideries that produce only the finest award-winning beer in scenic settings. 
The Monticello Artisan Trail connects Albemarle and Nelson Counties’ many craft artisans with visitors who wish to experience a uniquely local adventure.  Trail sites include local craft artisan studios, agri-artisan gardens, farms, wineries & breweries, galleries, as well as eclectic shops and historic points of interest for the innovative visitor.
The Local Food Hub is a non-profit distribution organization located in Charlottesville that works to strengthen and secure the future of a healthy regional food system by connecting small, local farmers with distribution services that allow their fresh produce to reach large institutions such as UVA Health Services, local area schools, and UVA dining. 
Charlottesville and Albemarle County together boast 9 farmer’s markets per week, forging connections between farmers focusing on growing the freshest and healthiest produce possible and the hungry locals wishing to support local business (and enjoy the taste that only local and organic small farms can provide).
The Piedmont Environmental Council launched Virginia’s Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign in 2006, creating food guides and marketing materials and organizing food events and new market outlets to easily match consumers with locally produced foods. 

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 ALBEMARLE COUNTY AWARDS AND ACCOLADES 

 

Click here for a comprehensive list of Albemarle County accolades (there are quite a few!)...

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