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Norfolk, VA

Norfolk is a thriving city of almost 250,000 residents, serving as the regional center for healthcare, arts and culture, business, higher education, professional sports, innovation and entrepreneurship. A city of international commerce and trade, we have specializations in a wide variety of industries, including shipbuilding and repair, distribution and logistics, information technology, and defense.

Industry Highlights

Norfolk is the most multi-modal city in Virginia. Transportation assets include a global port, Norfolk International Airport (ORF), Half Moone Cruise Center, Amtrak service, and light rail.  A Norfolk Naval Transit Corridor project is under study to evaluate future high-capacity transit services leading to the Naval base.

Businesses seeking collaborative opportunities for innovation find a business community ripe with university research and innovations centers with linkages to sister international organizations addressing problems and finding entrepreneurial solutions. Due to our maritime/coastal, healthcare and military concentration, our technologies are often shared across these platforms.

The region’s largest redevelopment project area, St. Paul’s, encompasses 350-acres adjacent to Downtown, is in 3 of Norfolk’s 16 Opportunity Zones. This area is embracing transformational investment and sustainable environmental efforts. Home to the largest collection of naval operations in the world, touching every branch of the armed services, and home to the future of global security, NATO Allied Command Transformation, Norfolk is known throughout the world as a center of prowess. Progress in the offshore wind industry, and high-speed fiber-optic access connections, as well as installation of 5G, is feeding new opportunities for new and expanding companies seeking scalability and working with an internationally recognized leader in coastal resilience.

Healthcare and medical insurance continues to thrive.  Norfolk is the headquarters of Sentara Health Systems and Optima health. In support of these and many other interests, our centers of excellence expand into studies of reproductive health, autoimmune diseases, medical reporting and diabetes.  In 2020, more than half a billion dollars in hospital expansion projects will be completed.  One expansion is The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, an excellent institution and one of the only children’s hospitals in Virginia.  

Quality of Life

The Norfolk lifestyle is centered on waterfront recreation and conservation. The Elizabeth River and the Lafayette River wind through many neighborhoods, and the Chesapeake Bay brings 7.5 miles of pristine beach, making Norfolk’s downtown one of the most beautiful waterfront cities on the East Coast.

In addition to outdoor activities, Norfolk also has many other recreational activities, including a vibrant arts and dining scene. Furthermore, a newly announced addition to our community, the Pamunkey Indian Resort Hotel and Casino, will provide another attractive option for things to do in the Norfolk area.

Industry Employment Breakdown

Source: EMSI


Sources: U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, November 2019; Esri Business Analyst Online, 2024 Forecast; Esri Business Analyst Online 2019 Detailed Age Profile; Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), 2019 Forecast

Key Companies

Automatic Data Processing, Inc (ADP)

BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair

Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters

Eastern Virginia Medical School

Sentara Healthcare

Norfolk Department of Economic Development

Mr. Sean Washington, Interim Director