The workforce is the bedrock of our communities. Described as hardworking, adaptable and loyal, the traditional agricultural work ethic is carried on by those now working for manufacturers, distribution centers, and by those in the professional, scientific, and technical service industries.

Virginia is a right-to-work state. At 4.3%, Virginia has the 3rd lowest unionization rate in the country (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018). On average, wages are lower than or competitive with similar markets in other areas of the country.


Labor Force


Total workforce within
60 minutes




Adults with a High
school Diploma or

The Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA MSA has an above-average concentration of workers in occupations such as:

  • Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders
  • Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers
  • Adhesive Bonding Machine Operators and Tenders
  • Chemical Equipment Operators and Tenders
  • Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
  • Electrical and Electronics Repairers
  • Industrial Machinery Mechanics
  • Stock and Order Fillers
  • Chemical Technicians
  • Materials Engineers

What Our Employers Say About Our Workforce:

They're resourceful.
They're experienced.
They're hard-working.
They're talented and smart. They can figure out complicated challenges.
They have an exceptional work ethic.
They have a strong moral ethic.
They want to work.