ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – Several economic experts say the Roanoke Valley is in a much better position to handle the Norfolk Southern job losses than 10 years ago.
That’s in large part due to the medical industry, which now employs more than 25,000 employees in the Roanoke Valley.
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is contributing to that growth.
Since opening in 2010, VTC has created more than 250 jobs with 50 more expected to be added over the next two years.
“The greater and growing health and medical community is definitely happening and we’re part of it,” said Michael Friedlander, the executive director of VTC. “It really extends into the scientific and research communities at large in this entire area.”
While any job loss hurts, Friedlander said Roanoke is well positioned to change its identity from an industrial town to one focused on technology and medicine.