Guatemalan technology company seems to click with Danville

By Tara Bozick - Work It, SoVa

Web Parts LLC moved from Guatemala to Danville to develop software add-ons and operate a data center.

The company will start with 10 employees and plans to employ 260 people within three years, said owner and founder Brad Mainland. One-third of those positions would be programmers and two-thirds would be various support staff. Overall, Mainland estimates an average employee salary of around $65,000.

Web Parts is currently seeking anyone with proven Java or PHP computer programming skills as the company makes "parts" or add-ons for free downloadable software that may not offer everything a customer needs, Mainland explained.

"We're really just enhancing the free stuff," he said.

The firm's primary clients are website developers, yet Mainland would like to develop add-ons for software used by academic institutions in the long term. Web Parts also plans to do web hosting and other services with the data center to provide its clients more flexibility in saving their work or website "frameworks" for future website projects.

Web Parts, which formed three years ago in Guatemala where Mainland met wife Priscila Del Cid, had considered growing in Michigan, Florida, West Virginia and Hawaii, but chose to invest $10 million in Danville because of the city's high-speed broadband fiber network, which is connected to Washington D.C and Atlanta through Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative infrastructure.

A $1 million grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission will help Web Parts buy necessary equipment to get started. The company is currently housed in the former Masonic Temple on Union Street for one year as it considers a permanent location.

Danville Mayor Sherman Saunders and Delegate Danny Marshall, a tobacco commission member, noted the region is becoming a technology hub for information technology companies. Danville has also attracted EcomNets' data center operations and a supercomputer.

If interested in applying for a job, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information, search "Web Parts, LLC" on Facebook.

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Candle maker bringing jobs to Pittsylvania County

The consolidation will bring about 50 jobs to the Dan River Region on June 1, with the number of jobs reaching about 150 during the holiday season, said Jim Ramaker, president and CEO of Virginia Candle Company.

Virginia Candle Co., a Lynchburg business that makes and sells WoodWick and Ribbonwick candle brands, is bringing its distribution and warehousing operations — and some light manufacturing — to the former eToys location.

Company and Pittsylvania County officials announced the company's plans during a ceremony at the facility Wednesday at 9141 U.S. 29 in Blairs.

"This is a big announcement for us in Pittsylvania County and the region, Danville included," Pittsylvania County Economic Development Director Ken Bowman said to attendees. Officials from the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors, Danville and Chatham were among those who attended.

Virginia Candle Co., started in 1990 in a garage in Lynchburg, will provide about 50 jobs in Pittsylvania County. That number will grow to about 150 during the Christmas season.

"This is just overwhelming," Virginia Candle Co. CEO and president Jim Ramaker said of the welcome and support the business has received in the community. "We've always been proud of our homegrown status in Virginia."

Ramaker said he expects operations to begin June 1.

The company's top-selling brands include Ribbonwick candles that "offer truly revolutionary innovation with a proprietary, patent-pending wick design that creates a beautiful, mesmerizing flame," according to a news release from Virginia Candle. Its WoodWick brand "features a clean, contemporary look with a natural wooden wick that creates the soothing sound of a crackling fire, while fragrancing a room with genuine, true-to-life scents."

The manufacturer had looked at other locations, including those in Bedford and in North Carolina, before choosing the Blairs site. The business will start out using about a third of the 435,000-square-foot facility, which it will lease, said Angela Bateman, the company's customer service director.

The move consolidates three facilities — two distribution centers in Lynchburg and its light manufacturing that had been done by an outside contractor, Bateman said. The company will manufacture its packaging for candle fragrances at the Blairs location, she said.

During an interview after the ceremony, Ramaker said the Blairs site is accessible from the company's Lynchburg location and has space for expansion. Virginia Candle Co. employs from 150 to 400 in Lynchburg, he said.

Jobs at the Blairs location will include those for pickers, packers, inventory control, assembly workers and forklift operators, Bateman said. The pay will start at slightly above minimum wage, Bateman said.

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ICF praised for rapid success

Gov. Bob McDonnell (left) presents a gift to ICF International Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sudhakar Kesavan during Monday's grand opening ceremony at the company's Martinsville facility.

By MICKEY POWELL - Martinsville Bulletin

State officials praised ICF International's rapid success in Henry County during a dedication ceremony for its new building on Monday.

Thirteen months ago, ICF announced it would open a business operations center in an approximately 100,000-square-foot building in the Patriot Centre industrial park, representing a $15 million investment. The building has since been erected, and 173 people work there. The company expects to have more than 500 on its payroll within two years.

"ICF has significant plans to utilize this facility for the long term," Sudhakar Kesavan, chairman and CEO of the company, told several hundred people gathered outside the facility Monday.

"This is a cause for tremendous celebration," Gov. Bob McDonnell said before he and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling took part in a ribbon-cutting.

ICF could have expanded anywhere, but it chose Henry County because its executives "know this is a great place to do business," Bolling said.

When high-tech firms based in Northern Virginia — such as ICF — look for places to expand, "there is no better place for them to go" than Southside, McDonnell said.

That is due to factors such as a good quality of life, support from state and local officials, and efforts by area schools and higher education institutions to ensure the local work force is well trained, state and ICF officials said.

Virginia is regarded by many in the economic development field as the best state in which to do business, McDonnell said.

Henry County-Martinsville has a "terrific business climate," Kesavan said after the ceremony. He mentioned low real estate costs and "the people here" — a quality work force — as factors.

Also, "the enthusiasm that government officials exhibit (to help businesses locate) here is extraordinary," he said.

State officials "work hard ... on a regular basis to try and convince companies to come here," McDonnell said.

In doing so, "we really want to replicate this model" in which a company such as ICF can build a new facility and get it up and running quickly, he said.

Kesavan said ICF is "proud to (help) provide for the continuing revitalization" of the Henry County-Martinsville economy.

Based in Fairfax, ICF provides various professional services to its clients, ranging from market research to processing energy-efficiency rebates.

McDonnell said ICF's success locally can serve as a blueprint for other high-tech companies to set up operations in Southside and improve the region's economy, which he said has faltered in recent years because of the loss of many textile- and tobacco-related jobs.

Del. Don Merricks, R-Pittsylvania County, recalled that Southside "once carried the state" economically.

Bolling called Mark Heath, president and CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp., "one of the best economic development directors you'll find anywhere in the state."

With help from Heath and other officials, "we've been able to accomplish some good things" already in terms of attracting businesses and industries, "but we're just getting started," Bolling said.

"The more we can get companies to invest in this region, the more we can get other companies to consider investing in this region," he said.

Bolling noted that when McDonnell became governor 27 months ago, the statewide jobless rate was 7.2 percent. Since then, state and local officials statewide have closed more than 700 economic development deals that brought more than 120,000 new jobs to Virginia, he said.

The unemployment rate has since fallen to 5.6 percent, he said.

Yet Martinsville's unemployment rate is roughly triple that so economic development efforts must not stop, officials said.

"We must not become complacent" in economic development efforts, said Merricks. In improving the local economy, he said, "we may have won a few battles, but the war is not yet won."

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Hybrid vehicle company hopes to bring 150 jobs to Danville

By: Tara Bozick | GoDanRiver

Hybrid Vehicles of Danville, Inc to build and retrofit vehicles in Danville, creating 150 jobs within three years.A hybrid vehicle maker announced in May it would build and retrofit vehicles in Danville, creating 150 jobs within three years.

Hybrid Vehicles of Danville, Inc. entered into a joint venture with Danville’s Advanced Vehicle Research Center, where the new company operates temporarily on Stinson Drive. Hybrid Vehicles will initially hire 25 people and plans to invest $1.5 million within three years.

A $420,000 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission got the ball rolling so the company could purchase equipment and begin hiring, according to a city news release.

The company has secured orders for mild hybrids, where an electric motor assists the conventional combustion engine. Founder and CEO Jim Bailey said the company can make a variety of vehicles, including buses and armored vehicles. In partnership with the AVRC, the firm can also taking existing vehicles — “anything from a scooter to a semi-truck” — and retrofit them to become mild hybrids, he added.

Hybrid Vehicles will also install proprietary solar-powered cooling systems into most of the buses and armored vehicles it builds. Bailey said the company plans to do work for school buses and delivery, transit, SWAT and defense vehicles. The company will also use AVRC’s military off-road test and training site and testing equipment to collect data on vehicle propulsion and fuel economy performance.

This was the type of work the late founder of the AVRC, Richard “Dick” Dell, envisioned when he set up shop in Danville in 2009, said son Richard D. Dell Jr. For Danville, Dell said it’s creating a “stable long-term growth engine for job creation,” as he sees the start of a local defense cluster.

Hybrid Vehicles would need to employ fabricators, welders, mechanics and machinists, Bailey said.

That gives Danville Community College students enrolled in welding, machining and automotive programs another option for jobs, said DCC vice president for academic and student services Christopher Ezell. Most graduates of those programs find jobs as their skills are in high demand.

“This is very important to us. It just shows the economic development efforts that are certainly paying off,” Ezell added.

Bailey and his wife moved from East Helena, Mont., to open the facility and headquarters in Danville.

“We are pleased with the growing alternative vehicle sector that we are attracting to our region. Danville offers an attractive operating environment and a growing number of entrepreneurs that collaborate together on projects to create better paying jobs for our citizens,” said Danville Mayor Sherman Saunders in a statement.

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With new world of technology, biomass company grows in Danville

By Tara Bozick - Work It, SoVa

Brendon Stout shows Linda Green and Fred Shanks the Process Devloping Unit, (PDU) during a tour at SENTEC . The machines perform reaction and purifying processes, which is part of the process to convert biomass to cellulosic sugars. photo Steven Mantilla, Work It, SoVaOne wood sugar producer invested about $10 million at the Institute's Sustainable Energy and Technology Center as it works to scale up to commercial production.

Virdia recently finished construction of its automated demonstration facility at the new "Sentec" building at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. The company, founded in Israel five years ago, is fine-tuning its process to extract plant sugars from trees so they can be used in renewable chemicals or plastics, biofuels and nutritional products. The lignin, or carbon framework of the wood, can be burned for energy or heat or used as carbon fiber to make lightweight materials.

"We're trying to make a new type of economy emerge," Virdia CEO Philippe Lavielle told attendees of the Sentec ribbon-cutting on Wednesday.

Lavielle envisions building an economy on grown renewable resources rather than on polluting fossil fuels. Virdia would produce and ship a liquid plant sugar solution to be used as feedstock for multiple applications.

Virdia already employs 34 research chemists, engineers and other staff in Danville. That number could reach 50 as the Redwood City, Calif.-based company plans to start building its first industrial-scale facility next year, Lavielle said. Virdia hasn't located a site for the manufacturing facility yet, but would place it near forestry resources.

Product samples from the Danville pilot center will be sent to Virdia's partners. Already, Virent Inc. in Wisconsin used Virdia's sugars in high-performance jet fuel.

The flagship tenant of the Sustainable Energy and Technology Center exemplifies what investors envisioned for the region, said Institute Executive Director Liam Leightley. The Virginia Tobacco Commission, City of Danville and the Higher Education Trust Fund invested $8.5 million in Sentec.

The center is poised to lead marketable research, inventions and start-up companies in Southside as it serves as a "catalyst for developing a bio-based industry that engages the agricultural community as a partner and supplier of biomass," said Virginia Secretary of Technology James Duffey.

Duffey and Mary Rae Carter, deputy secretary of commerce and trade for rural economic development, agreed the project will help fulfill the governor's mission of making Virginia the "energy capital of the East Coast." The energy sector, which employs 30,000 Virginians and has a direct economic output of $17.5 billion, shows incredible growth potential, Carter explained.

"You're seeing a whole new world of technology and capability," said Tim Manning, Virdia senior vice price of operations, during a tour.

The facility

About the Sustainable Energy and Technology Center:

  • 25,000 square feet
  • Rooftop solar panels
  • Solar thermal panels
  • Vegetated roof
  • Rainwater cistern
  • Recycled content in building products
  • Energy-saving lights and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
  • Bio-based floor tile and cork flooring
  • Native drought-tolerant landscaping
  • Designed by Dewberry in Danville and constructed by New Atlantic Contracting Inc. of Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Anticipates LEED Gold certification

(Source: Dewberry)

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GSI to expand, add 61 jobs

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng (left) shakes hands with Mike Bomba, vice president of fulfillment services for GSI, as they hold a check for $75,000 in grant funds to assist with the project.

GSI will receive state and local incentives as part of agreements company officials signed Monday. The agreements call for GSI to create 61 jobs by Dec. 31, 2014.

According to a performance agreement signed with the state, the jobs are to have an average annual wage of at least $24,315.

Some of the new positions are posted online now at jobs.ebaycareers.com, and the company will begin the interview process to fill those positions within the next two weeks, Feury said.

Training is anticipated to begin soon thereafter, and the new facility is expected "to go live by the end of April," he said.

The 400,000-square-foot facility formerly served as a distribution center for Bassett-Walker, said Henry County Administrator Benny Summerlin.

Since textile jobs went offshore, the building has represented the downside of Henry County, said Mark Heath, president and CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. (EDC). But with GSI's announcement, the building "is being brought back to life," he said.

It will house GSI's fulfillment center for Hanover (called The Company Store), according to Heath and Mike Bomba, GSI's vice president of fulfillment services.

From the new location, employees will pick, pack and ship orders, said Bomba. The first product is expected to be shipped from the new facility in May, he said.

The facility also is large enough to handle any future expansion, said Bomba, who anticipates "some annual growth. ... We don't see a problem with achieving" the job creation goal outlined in the performance agreements.

The company's two facilities in the Bowles Industrial Park will remain open, Feury said. Those two facilities "are totally full," he said. "This is going into a new, start-up facility."

Heath said Kentucky was the primary competitor for the project, mainly because there is a UPS hub there, Bomba said. Bomba attributed the company's decision to expand in Henry County to Feury's capabilities and leadership.

Overall, Bomba said, he is excited about GSI's local expansion because of "the people, the work ethic and the commitment. It is phenomenal."

Gov. Bob McDonnell approved a $75,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to help with the project, and Henry County provided a matching $75,000 grant to help offset the costs of improving the building.

The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funds and services to support the company's recruitment and training activities through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, according to a news release from McDonnell's office.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Henry County, the EDC and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to secure the project for Virginia, the release said.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng said he was glad to visit the area Monday to participate in the announcement, which he said will "add to the momentum that is continuing to build here" after two companies — LamTech and Commonwealth Laminating — recently announced plans to expand or locate in the area.

GSI, with headquarters in King of Prussia, Pa., operates more than 3 million square feet of fulfillment space across seven facilities with the aim to serve customers as quickly and efficiently as possible, the release said. The company has the ability to process more than 30 million packages annually, it added.

Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Rural Economic Development Mary Rae Carter; Leigh Ann Cockram, director of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance; and representatives of U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt also attended Monday's event.

The announcement followed a joint meeting of the Henry County Board of Supervisors and the Industrial Development Authority to approve the performance agreements.

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Danville Supercomputer Up and Running

Danville is now home to a new Noblis supercomputer, located at the Noblis Center for Applied High Performance Computing.

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LamTech to create 30 jobs

Laminate Technologies announced Monday that it will open a local plant and create 30 jobs. Above, Mary Rae Carter, deputy secretary of commerce and trade for rural economic development, presents a check for $50,000 to Henry County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim Adams (right) to assist with the LamTech project. Fred Zoeller, co-founder, president and CEO of LamTech, is at center. (Bulletin photos by Mike Wray)

Ohio company to invest $3 million in Henry County

By GINNY WRAY - Martinsville Bulletin Staff Writer

The improving economy, the skills of Henry County-area workers and the assistance of governments and the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. were the key factors in Laminate Technologies' decision to open a plant in Henry County that will create 30 jobs.

In addition, "the people have been overwhelming ... like family," said Fred Zoeller, co-founder, president and chief executive officer of the company, which goes by "LamTech."

On Monday at the Henry County Administration Building, Zoeller announced that LamTech plans to invest more than $2 million to establish a local plant and create 30 jobs in the former Owens-Corning building in the Martinsville Industrial Park south of the city.

Mark Heath, president/CEO of the EDC, and County Administrator Benny Summerlin each said LamTech paid about $1 million for the Owens-Corning building, for a total expected investment of $3 million.

Owens-Corning closed here in 1998, resulting in a loss of 117 jobs. The plant has been used for storage at times since then.

LamTech manufactures customized laminated panels and fabricated components. It supplies many kitchen cabinet manufacturers, including MasterBrand Cabinets in Henry County, Summerlin said. LamTech also serves furniture and store-fixture customers.

This is the first supplier for MasterBrand to locate here that he knows of, Summerlin added.

Fred Zoeller, co-founder, president and CEO of LamTech, said LamTech has bought the former Owens-Corning plant (above) in the Martinsville Industrial Park. (Bulletin photos by Mike Wray)LamTech hopes to begin hiring for maintenance work immediately and hopes to be doing assembly work in late summer or early fall, according to Randy Wiser, vice president of operations.

Lisa Lyle of the EDC said LamTech will work with the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce's Business Services Department on employee recruiting.

Zoeller said in addition to maintenance workers to be hired this month, LamTech will look to add five to seven employees at the end of March and 10 more at the end of April. It will take eight people to run its line on one shift, he said, adding that support people will be added gradually.

LamTech will be looking to hire operators, mechanical, electrical and laminating staff, and others, Wiser said. Zoeller added that employees — who are called team members — need a good work ethic and little or no absenteeism.

The average annual wage will be $27,892, Summerlin said.

Workers without skills will be hired at around $11 or $12 an hour, Zoeller said. CNC (computer numerical control)-skilled employees will be hired in the $13- to $15-an-hour range, and operators can earn $18 to $20 an hour after a probationary period, he said, adding that the company tries to pay slightly above the middle level of wages in an area.

LamTech, with corporate offices in Tiffin, Ohio, conducted a three- to three-and-a-half-year search for its fourth location. The company "waited until the economy got right" to expand and spent a lot of time looking for a site in North Carolina, where it does a lot of business, Zoeller said.

Before making a final decision, Zoeller said, he told his staff to "turn over every stone" to make sure they had the right location.

"Martinsville was the one last stone," he said, praising the help the company received from the EDC and others.

Originally, Bob Elmore of MasterBrand Cabinets put LamTech in touch with Jim Frith of Frith Construction. When Frith's facility did not work for LamTech, Jim and Jay Frith suggested the company talk to Larry McDorman, who owned the Owens-Corning building, Heath said. That, he added, illustrates the community's team approach to making a deal work.

Zoeller agreed.

Butch Hamlet (center) of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission presents a check for $110,000 to Henry County Supervisors Chairman Jim Adams (left) to assist with the LamTech project. Fred Zoeller, LamTech president, CEO and co-founder, is at right. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray) "Because of the team effort of Henry County and Virginia, LamTech is very pleased to call this home," he said, adding that the business is run like a family. "I can see that Martinsville and Henry County are our kind of folks."

LamTech also needs rail access, and it is working with local officials to find a place where it can unload product and transfer it to trucks. Henry County has agreed to pay up 50 percent of the cost of constructing a platform for a site, up to $25,000, Summerlin said. He added that constructing such a platform could cost the company $50,000 to $100,000.

Zoeller said that rail access will allow LamTech to expand its markets, which could lead to an expansion of the employment of the Henry County plant. He added that he hopes to double the plant's capacity and its number of employees in five years.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the EDC to secure the project for Virginia. Gov. Bob McDonnell approved a $50,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund (GOF) to assist Henry County with the project, and the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $110,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for LamTech.

Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services for LamTech's recruitment and training activities.

Mary Rae Carter, deputy secretary of commerce and trade for rural economic development, presented the ceremonial oversized GOF check to Zoeller, and Butch Hamlet of the tobacco commission presented its check to LamTech's president. Carter also gave him a state flag.

Carter observed that in her two years in office, she has been to more announcements in the Henry County-Martinsville area than any other area in rural Virginia. Heath also noted that in his six years at the EDC, the Governor's Opportunity Fund and tobacco commission have contributed a total of $20 million to projects here

The Henry County Board of Supervisors and Industrial Development Authority unanimously approved performance agreements for the grants earlier Monday.

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Faneuil announces 150 new jobs for Dominion Virginia Power call center

Faneuil announces 150 new call center jobs for Dominion Virginia Power call center

From The News & Record

If Southside Virginia painted Gov. Bob McDonnell as a green Grinch for announcing the closing of Mecklenbrg Correctional Center last week, it surely saw Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling as bright-red Santa Claus himself today as he announced that the 150 new workers would be employed by … Dominion Virginia Power.

Bolling made the announcement at Riverstone Centre on Thursday morning before a buoyant audience of community leaders, some wearing festive touches for the season.

"What a great time," said Bolling, citing the pre-Christmas date. Halifax County has known for months about the jobs – most of the community just didn't know exactly who the employer would be, as economic developers had wanted to keep the name under wraps.

Faneuil's first South Boston VA employee, Virginia SpragginsIncoming calls will be from customers reporting an outage, paying a bill or wanting to turn on or off their electricity. The call center will be among four in Virginia (joining Martinsville, Richmond and Norfolk) and it and the Martinsville office replace one in Texas. Dominion Virginia Power has 2.4 million customers and receives about 7 million calls per year, many during major storms and other outages.

The jobs come "OUT of Texas and INTO Halifax County, Va." crowed Bolling, taking a subtle jab at Texas Gov. Rick Perry. "Just a little joke," he quipped. Bolling is the state chairman for the Mitt Romney campaign; both Perry and Romney are seeking the Republican nomination for President.

Operating the call center will be Fanueil, a Virginia-based company. Virginia Spraggins was introduced as its first local hire.

The good news also comes on the heels of Dollar General's announcement late last month that it will add 50 new jobs to its distribution center, right across U.S. 58 from Riverstone. Also this morning: Amazon.com announced two new distribution sites near Richmond that will employ about 1,400.

Recently, the Southside Economic Development Committee of the Virginia TobaccoAnna Van Buren, CEO of Faneuil, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Paul Koonce, CEO of Dominion Virginia Power Commission backed a $500,000 grant award to prepare space for a call center for the company at the Riverstone Technology Park on the upper floor of Building One.

The money will be used to prepare general office space and a call center environment with staff cubicles, equipment, training rooms and other amenities. The company asked that the space be available by the end of December in order to start operations in late January.

Fanueil CEO Anna Van Buren said she was taken with Riverstone: its exercise room and walking trails. IDA Executive Director Mike Sexton presented Van Buren and Dominion CEO Paul Koonce with a small sculptures by Vernon Hill artist Matt Stafford, who works for Carlbrook School.

The company has agreed to a five year lease in Riverstone, according to officials.

Members of the Halifax County IDA Board are recognizedThe company has indicated it will hire 100 employees initially, ramping up to 150 employees by July. It reports a starting average wage of $10 per hour plus benefits. A pre-hiring blitz took place in October, when the then-unnamed call center took applications. At the time, officials said positions require a high school diploma or equivalent, knowledge of Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, and Outlook) excellent interpersonal communications both in writing and on the telephone and proficiency in keyboarding/data entry.

A clearly delighted and unusually animated State Sen. Frank Ruff, a Clarksville Republican, also took the podium, contrasting today's news with the prison-closing of last week.

Congressman Robert Hurt, a Chatham Republican, also spoke.

Interested workers can apply on-line at the Virginia Employment Commission (http://www.vawc.virginia.gov) or in person at the South Boston One-Stop 2506 Houghton Ave, South Boston, VA 24592.

Photos: First, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling announces 150 jobs will be located at Riverstone with the relocation of Dominion Virginia Power's call center from Texas. Second, Faneuil's first local employee Virginia Spraggins. Third, From left, Anna Van Buren, CEO of Faneuil, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Paul Koonce, CEO of Dominion Virginia Power. Bolling presents a Virginia flag that had flown over the Capital. Fourth, Halifax County IDA Board members are recognized; from left, Garland Ricketts, Butch Blanks, John Cannon, Lisa Kipps-Brown, Ted Bennett, Chris Lumsden. (David Conner II photos)

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SVRA Holds Second Annual Primland Resort/Martinsville Speedway Event

Linda Burns, with Burns Development Group from Dallas, Texas, who participated in the SVRA's weekend said, "I was honestly amazed at not only the venue for the weekend, but the many attributes Southern Virginia has to offer my clients. I look forward to working with the SVRA on projects in the future."

The Southern Virginia Regional Alliance's mission is to accelerate the job growth and increase the tax base for the counties of Halifax, Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania, as well as the cities of Danville and Martinsville. The SVRA will be responsible for marketing the region globally as a great place to live, work and play. The SVRA will have a coherent message inclusive of all regional data and will be solely focused on the recruitment of new industries into the regional footprint. Hosting events such as the Primland Resort/Martinsville Speedway weekend, will help achieve the mission to bring new opportunities to our communities.

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