At the heart of it all is Jefferson’s university, and its concept of an "academical village." The village is built around an architecture meant to foster lifelong learning and ensure interaction between students and faculty. Today the university spreads that intellectual spirit to its surrounding city, and the school employs 18,000 people — one-fourth of the local workforce.
But UVA provides Charlottesville with more than employment. The faculty’s research, especially in biotechnology, often results in private spinoff companies, such as former professor Martin Chapman’s Indoor Biotechnologies, which develops allergen-detecting products. And UVA produces fine employees, too. Graduates "provide good intellectual talent," says Michael Latsko, chief talent officer for SNL Financial, a global financial-research firm headquartered in Charlottesville.
The city is a two-hour drive from Washington, D.C., and three hours from the Norfolk naval base. This proximity helped it draw in the U.S. Army National Ground Intelligence Center, which employs 750 people in a variety of fields, including engineering and foreign affairs. Next year the center will add 800 to 1,600 jobs.
You may recall that Kiplinger ranked Charlottesville* in May the fourth-best place to live.
*Point of clarification: When they say “Charlottesville” they mean “Charlottesville MSA.”
h/t: Michael on Twitter.