Featured

Plywood manufacturer expands operations in Pittsylvania

Plywood manufacturer expands operations in Pittsylvania

A longstanding corporate citizen of Chatham, Eastern Panel Manufacturing Inc. is investing $1 million to expand its manufacturing operations. The custom plywood manufacturer recently moved from its former 30,000-square-foot site to a 55,000-square-foot facility in the Chatham Industrial Park.

Matt Rowe, Pittsylvania County’s director of economic development, knew Eastern Panel was in growth mode. He contacted the company’s president, Keith Van Asch, as soon as he learned it was looking for a new facility.  

“I knew the company was testing the water to see how the market was building product-wise. They were looking at numerous options,” Rowe says. “I wanted to show him what kind of building product we had. He liked what we put together.”

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Featured

Amthor International announces $7.1 million expansion in Gretna

Amthor International announces $7.1 million expansion in Gretna

Good news for Pittsylvania County: dozens of new jobs are coming to town.

Amthor International, which is a tanker truck manufacturer, has been in Gretna since 1992. Now, they will be expanding, adding 90 new jobs over the next five years, and much more.

"Amthor International, the largest tanker truck manufacturer in North America, is going to invest $7.1 million to expand its operations in Gretna, Virginia," announced Virginia's Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Todd Haymore.

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Intertape Polymer Group Bringing 15 New Jobs to Pittsylvania County

Project Will Also Include $7 Million Investment

Governor McAuliffe announced today that Intertape Polymer Group (IPG) will expand their manufacturing operation in Pittsylvania County. The expansion will include the installation of three production lines at their facility in Pittsylvania County. The expansion will create 15 new jobs and bring $7 million in capital investment.

Tobacco Commission member, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore said, “It is gratifying that Intertape Polymer Group chose to expand its Pittsylvania County operation out of more than a dozen locations around the globe. The Commonwealth’s diverse advanced manufacturing sector employs more than 240,000 Virginians, and our workforce remains one of our greatest assets to help win competitive projects. We look forward to a continued partnership with IPG and to the company’s next chapter of success in Southern Virginia.”

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Governor McAuliffe Announces 35 New Jobs in Danville-Pittsylvania County

Governor McAuliffe Announces 35 New Jobs in Danville-Pittsylvania County

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday that Unison Ltd, a leading global tube bending machine specialist, will invest $5.2 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in the Cane Creek Centre Industrial Park, jointly owned by the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County. Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina and the United Kingdom for the project, which will create 35 new jobs. Governor McAuliffe successfully recruited this project for the Commonwealth during his June 2017 trade and marketing mission to Europe where he met with company officials at the Paris Air Show.

“We are thrilled to add Unison to Virginia’s international corporate roster, and know the company will be a strong addition to the growing manufacturing community in Danville-Pittsylvania County,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at the event. “I met with Unison officials on this important project in June, and am proud the Commonwealth was selected as the company’s entry point into the U.S. market. Strengthening the advanced manufacturing sector is a key component of diversifying and building the new Virginia economy, and we look forward to helping Unison succeed.”

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Commonwealth of Virginia Creates New Workforce

Commonwealth of Virginia Creates New Workforce

Southeast Manufacturing News featured an article on Virginia's workforce development program in the August 2017 issue.

View the virtual edition.

 
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Hiring, Training and Supporting the Workforce in School and on the Job

Hiring, Training and Supporting the Workforce in School and on the Job

Virginia’s Rolls-Royce Crosspointe plant shares its strategies for attracting, hiring and supporting its workers, while Danville Community College excels with its integrated machining education model.

Photo: This worktable demonstrates some of the more interesting parts students are tasked with machining in the Gene Haas Center. Rather than take contracts from customers, the program focuses on giving students work that ensures that they leave with core competencies in milling, grinding, EDM, tool presetting and metrology.

A recurring topic of discussion during my recent trip touring Virginian manufacturing facilities was labor: finding it, hiring it, training it. For some manufacturers, the local reality is that there are not enough already-skilled people looking for work. Hiring under these circumstances entails offering access to technical education of some kind, or a lot of on-the-job training. On the other hand, some other manufacturers have been able to partner with local higher-education institutions in order to establish “pipelines” of people with the skills necessary to begin work with less additional training.

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Improvement Versus Reinvention: Impressions from Virginia

Improvement Versus Reinvention: Impressions from Virginia

A three-day journey through Virginia shows advanced manufacturing’s concern with pursuing lean principles when facing challenges rooted in the past and arriving on the horizon.

Photo: An employee at TMI Autotech looks over a part drawing in the facility’s machine shop. The company is increasingly being asked to machine small batches of parts for clients such as those that supply TMI with car components.

Amid reassurances from our hosts that Virginia’s weather isn’t usually overcast, rainy and chilly in the middle of May, I and three other media guests traveled town to town for three days visiting, all in all, 10 manufacturers, industry education institutes and R&D campuses. Our ebullient hosts from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) drove our party across the leafy (and yes, wet) hills and valleys of central and southern Virginia to meet manufacturers which, despite their various industries and end markets, nevertheless shared some common concerns: finding and training skilled labor, and pursuing lean principles in the face of challenges both rooted in the past and looming on the horizon.

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Purchase agreement signed for $100 million project at Berry Hill Industrial Park

Purchase agreement signed for $100 million project at Berry Hill Industrial Park

A second business has signed a purchase agreement for acreage in the Berry Hill Industrial Park, the Regional Industrial Facility Authority announced at a meeting Monday.

Enviva Development Holdings LLC has signed an agreement to buy a 168-acre tract along Berry Hill Road. The company will conduct due diligence on the site — investigations into the suitability of the site for the project — over the next year, with the right to extend the agreement or terminate it without penalty.

It is expected the company, founded in 2004, will invest more than $100 million in the project and create indirect and direct above-average paying jobs, according to Jesse Barksdale, vice chairman of RIFA.

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Kyocera breaks ground in ‘monumental milestone’ for Dan River Region

Kyocera breaks ground in ‘monumental milestone’ for Dan River Region

Local officials and Kyocera SGS Tech Hub LLC — which announced in September it was bringing 35 jobs and $9.5 million in investment to the Dan River Region — broke ground Monday morning for its planned facility at the Cyber Park.

Company President Jason Wells — speaking to attendees at the event — called the groundbreaking a “monumental milestone” and a representation of progress and opportunity for the region.

Business leaders, Kyocera representatives and elected officials from Danville and Pittsylvania County attended the ceremony across from the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

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Governor McAuliffe Announces 68 New Jobs in Henry County

Starsprings to invest $3.7 million to establish first U.S. manufacturing operation

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Starsprings, a privately-held spring and spring-unit manufacturer based in Sweden, will invest $3.7 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Henry County. The company will supply mattress units used in long-distance trucking. Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina and Pennsylvania for the project, which will create 68 new jobs.

Speaking about today's announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, "This win is a great example of the kind of project we are trying to attract as we build a new Virginia economy. When an international company chooses Virginia as its entry point into the U.S. market, it is a strong testament to the competitiveness that sets the Commonwealth apart and the major companies here that attract suppliers. We are proud to add Starsprings to our corporate roster, and welcome 68 new, much-needed manufacturing jobs to Henry County."

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