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Bringing the world to their doorstep

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, a Roanoke-based partnership between Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech, is busy building the future, but it’s making substantial economic contributions right now. In an area where the average income is $44,170, the institute’s average salary is more than $92,000. Most of the people earning those salaries don’t come to Roanoke alone.

“That’s … what I kind of call the shadow economy,” says Michael Friedlander, the institute’s executive director. “We have this second wave of affiliated family members or partners with people that come in, and they often bring a lot to Roanoke. They’ll bring their own businesses or they bring their own expertise that works for another business. That’s, I think, very powerful.”

The Fralin Research Institute marries the region’s largest university, Virginia Tech, and the region’s largest employer, Carilion Clinic, a nonprofit health-care provider. Carilion has 13,230 employees working at 225 sites throughout much of Southwest Virginia. It had revenues of $1.8 billion in 2018

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