Washington County, Virginia, is now in the running for more than 600 jobs, and the goal is to incorporate a regional effort between Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
This is an effort to attract the United States Department of Agriculture headquarters to the region to the former Alpha Natural Resources building.
Jason Berry, an official with Washington County, Virginia, stated a press conference will be held November 15 at Bristol Motor Speedway as a way to attract over 600 jobs from the USDA and promote why the region is the “best location for these jobs.”
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced in August that the USDA is undergoing reorganization to improve customer service, strengthen offices and programs, along with saving taxpayer dollars. The Economic Research Service, currently under USDA Research, Education and Economics mission area, will realign again with the Office of the Chief Economist under the Office of the Secretary.
Most ERS and National Food and Agriculture employees will be relocated outside of the National Capital Region. The movement of employees outside Washington, D.C., is expected to be completed by the end of next year.
The federal government has made no official decision on where these jobs will locate. Washington County, Virginia, is one of 136 expressions of interest by USDA for relocation.
The government will make a decision in early 2019.