In 2006, AE was retained by the Winchester-Frederick County Economic Development Commission to identify target industries and businesses that will lead to a thriving and diverse economy over the near and long-term. Winchester-Frederick County, Virginia – located 50 minutes west of Washington D.C. – is the thriving regional economic epicenter of the Northern Shenandoah Valley made up of small entrepreneurial enterprises, high-quality manufacturers, and a number of technology-based businesses. Even with near-record unemployment levels over the past three years, existing and new businesses have invested nearly $200 million and created over 1,000 jobs in the Winchester-Frederick County community. The results of the study will guide the EDC’s business attraction, and more importantly retention efforts. Project implementation began in January 2006 and is currently underway. In March 2006, Winchester-Frederick County received one of four Community Economic Development Awards by the Virginia Economic Developers Association for business retention and expansion for an area with a population range of 40,001 to 100,000.