Plastics & Advanced Materials

Industry Overview

Virginia's strategic Mid-Atlantic location, superior transportation network and competitive operating costs make it an ideal location for plastics & advanced materials companies. Virginia understands that plastics manufacturing has a robust future, as its products touch virtually every area of daily life around the world. Virginia's plastics and advanced materials companies include plastics material and fiber manufacturers, film/sheet manufacturers, blow molders, injection molders, pipe/profile manufacturers, thermoformers, composites and equipment manufacturers.

Virginia's Plastics and Advanced Materials Industry

  • Virginia is home to over 200 plastics companies employing more than 20,700 people
  • Since 2006, plastics firms have invested over $1.08 billion and created more than 4,200 jobs
  • To view the complete Plastics and Advanced Materials Industry Profile, click here
  • To view the complete Advanced Manufacturing Industry Profile, click here

Key Companies

  • BGF Industries
  • Celanese Acetate
  • CP Films
  • DuPont
  • General Dynamics
  • Honeywell
  • IAC Strasburg
  • Invista

  • Klockner Pentaplast
  • O'Sullivan Films
  • Presto
  • Rubbermaid Inc.
  • Strongwell
  • TREX
  • Universal Fibers
  • Variform

Assets/Virginia Advantages

  • Virginia's central East Coast location and premier transportation network allow companies to reach customers anywhere in the world with ease.
  • Virginia's corporate income tax rate of 6% hasn't changed since 1972. Companies also benefit from tax exemptions on purchases of machinery, tools, replacement parts and raw materials used in production, as well as all utilities delivered through pipes, mains and lines for any purpose.
  • The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is the Commonwealth’s leading agency for international transportation and maritime commerce and manages Virginia’s six general cargo terminals: Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminals, Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth, Newport News Marine Terminal, the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal and the Port of Richmond.
  • The Port of Virginia is one of the three busiest container ports on the U.S. East Coast and a leading gateway for the entire U.S. market. The Port boasts the single best infrastructure on the East Coast with a 50-foot ice free channel, no overhead obstructions, on-dock rail service (two Tier 1 railroads), easy access to ocean lanes, and is the only East Coast port with Congressional authorization to dredge to 55 feet.
  • Ten railroads operate on the state’s network of nearly 3,400 miles of railway (excluding trackage rights). Two of the nation’s largest railroads, CSX Corporation and Norfolk Southern Corporation, are located here. Commuter rails near the larger cities allow workers to traverse efficiently.
  • Workers' compensation and unemployment insurance are among the lowest in the nation. The unemployment tax burden is approximately 20% lower than the national average, and right-to-work laws allow individuals to work regardless of membership in a labor union.
  • Virginia offers low electricity rates, state-of-the-art utilities and telecommunications infrastructure, and construction costs nearly 14% lower than the national average.
  • Virginia Tech is home to the interdisciplinary Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute (MII), integrating macromolecular and interfacial sciences and engineering. It is consistently ranked as a leading institution in polymer research and education.
  • The Center for High Performance Manufacturing (CHPM) at Virginia Tech works to help manufacturing firms stay competitive via research and development of tools. The research, development, and education are managed through specific areas of specialization.
  • The Virginia Community College System, with 23 colleges on 40 campuses across Virginia, offers Career Studies Certificates as well as diplomas and associate degrees through a variety of programs and curricula.
  • Danville Community College in Southern Virginia offers Manufacturing Technician and Polymer Processing Technician Certificates through its Workforce Services Programs. Its Regional Center for Advanced Technology and Training (RCATT) includes polymers laboratory space, a rapid prototyper, an injection molder, an extruder, and auxiliary equipment for hands-on training.
  • Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Western Virginia offers an Advanced Manufacturing Technology curriculum at its Virginia Packaging Applications Center (VAPAC). This state-of-art training lab gives students an extensive, hands-on experience.
  • The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) in Danville researches biomass crops and technologies for biopolymers. More than 4,000 square feet of dedicated lab space is available to characterize, analyze, develop and manufacture materials.
  • ChemQuest Technology Institute is a state-of-the-art facility in Southern Virginia providing coatings suppliers the ability to test their products in a controlled environment that replicates a range of production conditions. The lab offers a wide selection of technologies, 6-axis robotics, electrostatic and wet spray, flat and hang lines, IR, UV,convection curing, and an automobile sized cross-ventilated spray booth suitable for robotic or manual equipment.
  • The Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing located in Martinsville offers a 28-credit program through Patrick Henry Community College and the New College Institute. The curriculum includes solar control films, photovoltaic frontsheets and backsheets, precision coating, laminating and industrial dyeing. Students are offered a hands-on or paid internship at Eastman or Commonwealth Laminating & Coating as part of the curriculum.


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