In Virginia, 1985 was a banner year for new and expanded business, which is expected to net the state 20,000 new jobs and increased tax revenues. The year was marked by announcements that several large national and international companies plan to locate major operations in the state:

*Electronic Data Systems Corp., a Dallas-based high-tech subsidiary of General Motors Corp., established its East Coast headquarters in Fairfax County. The company is expected to employ between 2,000 and 3,000.

*Cannon U.S.A. Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the Japanese consumer and business products manufacturer, said it would invest $100 million to $120 million in a new office equipment manufacturing plant in Newport News, creating an estimated 1,000 new jobs.

*J. C. Penney Co. Inc. announced plans to build a regional center for telephone catalogue sales in Chesterfield, employing 1,000 people.

Reflecting a huge increase in the number of nonmanufacturing operations, such as corporate headquarters, administrative offices and distribution facilities, new and expanded business operations announced in 1985 are expected to create 19,439 new jobs, a 47 percent increase over 13,201 for the previous year, the Virginia Department of Economic Development reported. The announcements represent a total expected investment of $621 million.

In nonmanufacturing operations, a record 10,530 new jobs and $168 million in investments are expected to result from business development announced last year. In 1984, 4,200 new jobs and $85 million in investments were announced.

By comparison, 143 new and expanded manufacturing operations are expected to net the state 8,909 new jobs, a decrease from 172 operations and 9,001 new jobs in 1984.

Evelyn M. Glazier, director of marketing for the Department of Economic Development, said that the increase in the total for 1985 was due primarily to the location of a few, very large nonmanufacturing operations in the state. The state's economy in 1985, she said, was "pretty much the same" as in 1984.

Glazier also said development was well distributed around the state, particularly in manufacturing. Nonmanufacturing development, she said, occurred primarily in and around metropolitan areas. Glazier said the developments are expected to generate increased tax revenue for the state, but that exact dollar figures were not available.

Despite the achievements of 1985, Virginia was unable to win the biggest development plum the country had to offer last year: General Motors Corp.'s new Saturn car manufacturing plant. Nearly every state in the union, including Virginia, made a bid for the plant.

"The geographics of Virginia -- being hung out on the East Coast -- was a disadvantage," said Mark Kilduff, the state's deputy director of economic development.

One of the state's biggest development coups of the past year -- the announcement that Cannon would build a $120 million facility in Newport News -- occurred practically overnight and with relatively little effort by the state's Department of Economic Development, which courts prospective new businesses and has an annual budget of about $10 million.

Kilduff explained that Cannon first contacted the state development department, which has an office in Tokyo, in July, and by October the Japanese company had announced the location, after reportedly looking at more than 100 other sites on the East Coast. "They knew where they wanted to work and had a fairly detailed knowledge of Virginia," Kilduff said. "They did a lot of homework."

Syscon Corp., a Washington firm that develops, sells and manages computer hardware and software, has been awarded a five-year, $12.4 million contract to supply production systems of its Naval Tactical Game Training Systems.

BDM International Inc., a diversified technical services firm based in McLean, has won a four-year, $9 million subcontract from Martin Marietta Corp.'s Denver aerospace operations to support the Small Intercontinental Ballistic Missile development program for the U.S. Air Force.