YesMontgomeryVA.orgTargeted IndustriesMaterials & Chemistry

Materials & Chemistry 

Recent advances in chemistry enable molecular-level engineering of complex structures such as polymers, metals, ceramics, proteins and genes. Novel electrical, mechanical, optical and catalytic properties of nanostructured materials have garnered worldwide attention.  Montgomery County, Virginia is home to a growing cluster of materials & chemistry firms.  These companies are leveraging our lower costs of doing business, strong entrepreneurial networks, talented workforce, and access to highly specialized equipment and researchers at Virginia Tech to gain a competitive advantage in today's global, knowledge-based economy.  

Regional Cluster:

Industry Cluster



 Avg. Salary

 U.S. Avg.

Advanced Materials





Chemicals & Chemical Based Products





Glass & Ceramics





Total - All





Source:  IBRC, The Role of Regional Clusters, 2009
Note:  Cluster data for New River & Roanoke Valleys

Featured Montgomery County Companies: 

Alliant Techsystems, Inc. (Radford) - It is the largest provider of ammunition to US armed forces, and allied nations around the world. The company is a leading provider of advanced, affordable precision munitions and strike weapons that put firepower where it is needed while limiting the risk of collateral damage to non-combatants.

Corning, Inc. (Christiansburg) - A the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics.

Eaglepicher Wolverine, LLC (Blacksburg) - Produces and sells performance-critical, specialty elastomer coated metals used in gaskets for automotive & industrial applications; automotive brake noise insulators and NVH (noise, vibration & harshness) damping solutions for automotive and NSV (noise, shock & vibration) for consumer electronics applications.

Emisshield (Blacksburg) - Manufactures ceramic nanoparticle materials with high emissivity and heat re-radiation capabilities extending over a wide temperature range up to 3,000°F.

Inorganic Ventures (Christiansburg) - Supplies analytical chemists with high quality certified reference material and quality calibration standards.

Polymer Solutions (Blacksburg) - is an independent ISO 17025 accredited, FDA registered, and DEA licensed laboratory that provides the world with premier technical solutions for molecular systems.

Prochem Inc. (Elliston) - Specializes in industrial water management systems, equipment, and supplies.

NanoSafe, Inc. (Blacksburg) - Helps nanotech organizations navigate emerging environmental health and safety (EHS) issues. We offer consulting, testing, and research and development services designed to accommodate a broad range of client needs.

Schultz-Creehan (Blacksburg) - Addresses complex product development challenges through expertise in materials science and industrial engineering.

Wessex, Inc (Blacksburg) - Commercializes thermal protective coatings that have use in a variey of industries providing energy savings, prolonging the life of substrates, and adhere to many ceramic materials and most metals. 

Virginia Tech Resources

Virginia Tech has high-level activities in the development of sensors for harsh environments, super-sensitive optical sensors, polymers and optical materials, and computer visualization/simulation of material microstructures. The university is a pioneer in developing "smart" materials, nanostructured materials, microelectronic materials, and coatings.

The Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures is focused on the design and modeling of devices to monitor the health of materials used in aerospace and civil structures and reduce vibration through the use of smart structures. Sponsors include NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Lear Corporation, and NSF

The Center for Self-Assembled Nano Devices has achieved international prominence by creating novel molecules for nanotechnology applications. The focus is controlling supramolecular architecture (self-assembly) at the atomic and molecular level. Potential applications include: nano-composites, nano-robotics, new drugs and drug delivery systems, chemical catalysts, opto-electronic devices, biosensors, organic solar cells, and quantum computers. One spin-off company is exploring medical applications, such as more efficient MRI materials — a worldwide billion-dollar industry

Other related centers are:

   Center for Embedded Systems for Critical Applications
   Center for Geotechnical Composites
   Center for Photonics Technology
   Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute
   Sustainable Engineered Materials Institute
   Wood-Based Composites Center

Regional Workforce

Regional Materials & Chemistry Related Occupations (2008)



 Avg. Wage

 U.S. Avg.

Metal and Plastics Related 

Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators




Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders




Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders




Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders




Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders




Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic




Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders




Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic




Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers




Chemistry Related

Chemical Technicians




Water and Liquid Waste Treatment Plant and System Operators




Total - All




Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics     
Note:  Occupational Statistics for Blacksburg & Roanoke MSAs

Materials & Chemistry Related Degrees Awarded from Area Universities and Colleges (2008-2009)






Chemical Engineering





Chemistry, General





Industrial Engineering





Industrial Production Technicians





Materials Engineering





Physics, General





Polymer/Plastics Engineering





Welding Technology/Welder





Total Degrees Awarded





Source:  National Center for Education Statistics                 
Note:  Statistics reflect degrees awarded from Virginia Tech, Radford University and New River Community College.

Contact the Economic Development Department

755 Roanoke St., Suite 2H
Christiansburg, VA.  24073

Phone Numbers:
(540) 382-5732 - Local
(866) 270-9185 - Toll Free

Click Here

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday - Friday

2012 Annual Report

2011 Annual Report - Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department
Back to top