Discovering opportunities in manufacturing

On December 5, the Roanoke Regional Chamber proudly partnered with Ardagh Group to host “Can Camp,” a program to expose fourth and fifth grade students to the manufacturing industry. Students from Hurt Park Elementary School and Big Brothers Big Sisters after-school programs participated in Can Camp.

During the event, students went on facility tours to see first-hand how cans are produced, learned about the science, technology, and history behind packaging production, and were made aware of future career opportunities in manufacturing.

Can Camp was made possible through the generous support of the Louise R. Lester Foundation.

CTB Approves I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan

Last week, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan. Highlights of the Plan are listed below. Click here for VDOT’s Executive Summary – I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan.            

The Roanoke Regional Chamber supports dedicated funding to support improvements to I-81 and will continue to advocate for solutions to our transportation infrastructure needs.

Operations Plan

  • $43 million in immediate operations and incident management improvements
  • Changeable message signs and cameras, expanded safety service patrols, contract emergency clearance, detour routes and improvements to parallel facilities, truck parking enhancements.

Capital Improvements

  • Problem areas identified by performance measures: crash frequency, crash severity, person-hours of delay, and incident/crash lane closure >1 hour. Determined contributing factors and developed potential solutions.
  • Developed package of potential improvements and prioritized recommendations based on person hours of delay, change in crash frequency, and change in access to jobs.
  • Salem district: 13 capital improvements recommended for funding ($875.3 million)
  • Projects include widening, acceleration and deceleration lane extensions, and curve improvements
  • Corridor-wide: 63 capital improvements recommended for funding (~$2 billion).
  • Projected reductions of 6 million vehicle hours of delay and 450 annual statistical crashes resulting from improvements

Financing Options

  • SB971 required VDOT to analyze truck-only tolling, prohibited consideration of commuter tolling, and allowed for evaluation of other financing options.
  • Regional Tax Option:
  • Increase fuels tax by 2.1% in Planning Districts 3-7. Projected to generate $60 million
  • Increase retail sales and use tax by 0.7% in Planning Districts 3-7. Projected to generate $105 million
  • Tolling Option:
  • Time-of-Day Tolling: varying rates for trucks (15 ¢/mile daytime and 7.5 ¢/mile nighttime) and autos (7.5 ¢/mile daytime and 5 ¢/mile nighttime)
  • Daytime: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm; Nighttime: 9:00 pm – 6:00 am
  • I-81 Auto Annual Pass: Autos can purchase a $30 Annual Pass for unlimited use of the corridor.
  • Six toll gantries corridor-wide with closest assumed locations approximately 40 miles apart. Considering locations at intersections with other interstates, near state borders, and between urbanized areas. Commuters travel first two gantries free.
  • Time-of-day tolling and I-81 commuter pass projected to generate $135-$155 million annually
  • Economic Impact: Analyzed reduced transportation costs due to implementation of the Plan and tolling costs for Virginia trucks
    • Specifically assessed impact to Virginia agriculture, logistics and manufacturing companies

Contact Rebekah Gunn (rgunn@roanokechamber.org) with questions or for additional information.

Chamber News December 2018

New members, upcoming events and more! Check out your Chamber’s latest newsletter to see what your #ChamberSquad is up to. For  information about sponsoring this newsletter in 2019, please contact Starr Anderson at SAnderson@RoanokeChamber.org.


Thank you for your support

Happy Chamberversary

Happy Chamber anniversary to these members. Thank you for your membership renewal this month.

  • American Red Cross
  • Anstey Hodge Advertising Group
  • Blue Ridge Endodontics
  • CCR (Commonwealth Care of Roanoke, Inc.)
  • Center In The Square
  • Chateau Morrisette Winery and Restaurant
  • Christmas Decor of Roanoke, VA
  • CINTAS Corporation
  • Community School
  • Davenport Energy, Inc.
  • David James Homes
  • Dugwell Pest Control
  • Elk Hill Advisors, Inc.
  • Erie Insurance Group
  • First Citizens Bank
  • Floyd & Varney, LLC
  • GEICO Roanoke
  • Good Samaritan Hospice, Inc.
  • Graybar Electric Co., Inc.
  • Guelich Capital Management, LLC
  • Haywood’s Jewelers
  • HopeTree Family Services
  • Jack St. Clair, Inc.
  • Jamison Electrical Co., Inc.
  • Lionberger Construction Co.
  • Longreach International, LLC
  • Mincon, Inc.
  • Montano’s International Gourmet
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • OpX Solutions, LLC
  • R & K Solutions, Inc.
  • Radiant Physics Inc.
  • Realstar REALTORS
  • Revlon/Elizabeth Arden Inc.- Roanoke Logistics Centre
  • Roanoke Valley – Alleghany Regional Commission
  • Roanoke Valley SPCA
  • Robertson Marketing Group
  • Security Scale Service, Inc.
  • Sir Speedy Printing & Marketing Services
  • South Roanoke Apartment Village
  • Stonewall Jackson Chapter, Association of the US Army
  • SyCom Technologies
  • Taubman Museum of Art
  • The Great 611 Steak Company
  • The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center
  • Virginia’s Blue Ridge Works
  • Wells Fargo
  • Wood’s Service Center, Inc.