The Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) region possesses a wide variety of attractive economic strengths that can be used to advance the region as well as weaknesses that could hold the region back. Knowing the area’s strengths and weaknesses is critical to unlocking economic growth and sustainability.
The following section outlines the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats facing the Heartland region. Strengths are positive indicators present within the region. Weaknesses are deficiencies or problems that are also present within the region. Opportunities and Threats represent positive and negative outlooks that are outside of the region, either in time (future) or physically.

The SWOT Analysis was developed through a hands-on exercise with the CEDS Committee as well as an in-depth analysis of Economic Assets and Regional Conditions.

Read the Economic Assets and Regional Conditions Analysis.

Strengths

Fiber Network: Existing and Planned
Atlantic Coast Pipeline
Water Infrastructure/Sandy River
Transportation Infrastructure Connections
Higher Education Presence
Location: Proximity to Larger Metro Areas
Sense of Place
Rural Nature
Land Prices & Available Sites

Weaknesses

Last mile broadband access
Lack of skilled workforce
Low educational attainment
Export-oriented economic activity
Poverty
Localized economic clusters
Regional fragmentation
Inter-regional Transportation
Public Services

Opportunities

The Port of Virginia Expansions and Improvements
Retiree Attractions
Agricultural Potential
Nearby Economic Clusters

Threats

Public Spending: Federal and State Funds
Brain Drain - Young Educated Professionals Don't Remain in Region after Graduation

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