Virginia gained 284 industrial jobs over the past year according to the 2013 Virginia Manufacturers Directory published by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports Virginia is now home to 6,420 manufacturers employing 329,788 workers.

"The state continues to see its manufacturing sector improve," says Tom Dubin, president of Manufacturers' News Inc. "Virginia has fared very well economically compared to most other states in the region."

Several manufacturers operating in Virginia announced expansions over the year, including Rolls Royce's site in Prince George County, Kraft Foods in Frederick County, Utility Trailer in Marion, Sabra's snack dip plant in Chesterfield County, M&H Plastics in Winchester and Hanes Brands fabric plant in Patrick County. In addition, nutrient manufacturer Balchem announced plans to establish a new manufacturing facility in Covington, and RTI Metals opened a new plant in Martinsville.

Industrial locations announcing closures in Virginia included Berry Plastics' location in Henrico, Brooks Food Group's plant in Bedford and Duro Bag Manufacturing's factory in Richmond.

Transportation equipment manufacturing ranks as the state’s top sector by employment with 37,323 jobs, while food products accounts for 33,758 jobs. Printing and publishing is the state’s third-largest sector by employment with 28,790 jobs.

Additional sectors that gained jobs within the past year included electronics and industrial machinery and equipment. Losses were seen in furniture/fixtures, fabricated metals, stone/clay/glass, lumber/wood and textiles/apparel.

MNI's city data shows Richmond is Virginia's top city for manufacturing employment with 28,063 jobs. Newport News ranks second with 25,499 jobs, while Roanoke accounts for 10,508 manufacturing jobs.

For more information, visit www.manufacturersnews.com.