Newport News is home to two national laboratories, a network of academic programs and research centers, and a technology-focused business sector are supported by a skilled workforce, an exceptional quality of life, and all the benefits of a major metropolitan area at a very modest cost. The city’s largest employers are Canon Virginia, Inc.; Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.; Newport News Shipbuilding; Riverside Health System; and the U.S. Department of Defense
The Newport News economy, anchored by Northrop Grumman Newport News (Newport News Shipbuilding), is the turbine which powers the Virginia Peninsula's regional economy. Strategic planning and a pro-business atmosphere have primed Newport News for a bright economic future in the 21st century and beyond. The Newport News economy possesses a healthy mix of manufacturing, defense, research and technology, and office-based industries. The Oyster Point business park is the central business district for the entire Virginia Peninsula region. Newport News also leads the region in retail sales.
Traditionally, the defense sector has controlled the Newport News economic base. However, the City, over the last twenty years, has made tremendous strides in diversifying this economic base. The defense sector, which includes shipbuilding, military bases and related support industries accounts for about 33% of the employment in the City and about 25% of the employment in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News MSA.
The technology sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Newport News economic base. Technology-oriented firms are attracted to Newport News by the unbeatable combination of a highly skilled workforce, the low cost of doing business, and a pleasant and exciting array of lifestyle amenities. The nearby NASA Langley Research Center and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) are two major high-tech drawing cards. Firms such as Canon, Continental AG, Alion Science and Technology, C² Technologies and Triumph Aerospace Systems produce electronic automotive components, precision machinery and instrumentation, nuclear components, precision engineering models, industrial controls, electronic testing equipment, software, and computer systems and peripherals.
Newport News is an eastern terminus of the CSX, the nation's largest rail system. A main line terminating at the Newport News ports and several rail spurs carry goods and commodities between Newport News and CSX's vast market. Rail spurs enter Oakland and Peninsula industrial parks. Siding is available to firms located along the CSX main line and spurs. Small loads can be picked up at your company's freight dock by a CSX delivery truck. CSX's service area includes the industrial Mid-west, the South, and parts of Canada. CSX has more than 47,500 miles of track. Besides containers and other general cargo, a tremendous amount of coal moves over the CSX tracks to the Newport News ports. The CSX is the nation's largest coal-hauling line. Rail passenger service to Newport News is provided by AMTRAK. Daily service between Newport News, Washington, D.C., New York and Boston is provided from a new, modern passenger station opposite Huntington Park.
The Port of Hampton Roads has now become the mid-Atlantic load center, and has the deepest channel on the East Coast, with both inbound and outbound lanes dredged to fifty feet. The unified ports operated by Virginia International Terminals, Inc. are shipping more than 14 million tons of general cargo annually and growing. More than 75 shipping lines sail to more than 330 ports of call throughout the world. Hampton Roads is a world leader in coal export shipments. Other bulk cargo includes grains and petroleum. More than 50 million tons of bulk cargo is shipped through Hampton Roads annually. The 45-foot channel depth is currently being deepened to 50 feet.
Newport News is served by one local and two regional airports. Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport is one mile from I-64 and no more than 15 minutes from any point in the City.
Interstate 64 and its Downtown link, Interstate 664, are the vital freeways that supercharge the Newport News motor transportation system. The interstates bring everything closer together and cut down transit time for your products. Interstate access in Newport News benefits your local, metropolitan and national transportation movements.