How can you or your student get involved in Virginia TOP?

As a Virginia student, there are a variety of things you can do to participate in Virginia TOP, such as:

  • Connect with participating employers regarding work-based learning opportunities
  • View upcoming internship fairs and other opportunities from higher-ed institutions
  • Participate in ongoing VTOP programs and meetings


Why Stay In Virginia for Work-based Learning or After Graduation?

Virginia is home to the largest data center market in the U.S., the 3rd-largest port on the East Coast, the 2nd-highest concentration of tech workers in the country, according to VEDP. Below is a list of top industries in Virginia according to VEDP:

Virginia’s depth of talent, top 10 ranking as a place to do business, and exceptional livability, make it a location of choice for companies’ corporate services functions. There are 35 Fortune 1000 companies with headquarters in Virginia, and an educated pipeline of employees ready to support additional growth in business services and operations centers of excellence. Virginia’s middle-market cities and rural locations also serve as attractive options as companies look to relocate operations out of higher-cost areas.

A central location on the East Coast with convenient access to major population centers via a well-developed network of interstates makes Virginia a logical choice for food and beverage processors. Well-known companies have chosen Virginia and continually expanded in a location that provides access to raw materials and a large customer base at competitive costs. Household food and beverage brands are made and distributed daily from Virginia.

Virginia stands ready to push new boundaries as a U.S. leader in information technology. Already at the forefront of emerging sectors like cloud computing and cybersecurity, Virginia is committed to technology and innovation. Virginia is the leading data center market in the U.S. and has the 2nd-highest concentration of high-tech workers in the nation. The Commonwealth is preparing for future growth for IT companies through its top-ranked higher education system to build a pipeline of technology talent.

Virginia is home to many federal labs, with 11 federally funded R&D Centers and 23 FLC Laboratories and internationally recognized R&D facilities such as SRI International and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Located in the middle of the Mid-Atlantic’s booming life sciences cluster, Virginia gives companies access to key federal agencies and policy decision-makers. Virginia’s leadership position in technology also provides a launch point for growth in emerging disciplines like health IT and personalized medicine.

Virginia’s strategic East Coast location connects companies to the U.S. and the world with exceptional road, rail, and port infrastructure, making it a desirable location for manufacturers. Virginia’s robust manufacturing sector spans a wide variety of products – from craft beer and snack cakes to steel beams and wood flooring, to semiconductors and rocket engines. Virginia’s manufacturing base is substantial, with concentrated industry populations found throughout the state supported by a skilled and dedicated talent pool.

Home to the 3rd-largest port on the East Coast, Virginia serves as a world-class transportation and logistics hub. Access to 47% of the U.S. population is available within a one-day drive through an advanced road and rail network, offering distributors close proximity to customers. Leading retailers have chosen Virginia as the East Coast base of their supply chain operations, including Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Dollar Tree, Lidl, and Lumber Liquidators.

Virginia’s collection of assets related to unmanned systems in the air, on land, or at sea the uniquely positions the Commonwealth to serve as a leader in this emerging industry. Home to the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), one of six FAA-designated UAS test sites, and two NASA facilities focusing on UAS research, Langley Research Center and Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia is poised as a frontrunner in this promising disruptive technology industry to expand unmanned systems manufacturing and testing.