The Western District of Virginia comprises approximately sixty percent of the land area in the Commonwealth of Virginia and approximately 2.2 million of its citizens. The district covers a large geographic area. While the northern corner is less than fifty miles from Washington D.C., Lee County, the western tip of the district, is farther west than Detroit and is closer to six other state capitols than it is to Richmond.
The Western District is fortunate to be home to 18, four-year higher education institutions and 12 of the 23 colleges in the statewide Virginia Community College System.
Our economy is diverse. Farming is prevalent throughout the district, including tobacco in the south and southwest regions of Virginia and apple orchards and poultry farms along the Shenandoah Valley. Textile manufacturing in the south is less prevalent now than in previous years. Southwest Virginia has a significant coal mining presence.
Areas such as Roanoke and Lynchburg have mixed economies of service, manufacturing and marketing industries while Charlottesville and Blacksburg, due in large part to the presence of major universities, have seen an increase in the number of high-tech firms moving into the area.