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.”
Unison Ltd. is a United Kingdom-based manufacturer of electronically actuated pipe bending and automation machinery used in aerospace, automotive, marine, military, oil and gas and general engineering applications. The company’s machines are of the highest accuracy and quality deploying patented electronic actuation technology, which is more precise than the industry standard hydraulic actuation.
“When an international company chooses Virginia as the location of its first U.S. manufacturing operation, it demonstrates the strengths of our infrastructure, education system, skilled labor pool, and overall competiveness on a global scale,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “With more than 240,000 Virginians working in the manufacturing industry, Unison will benefit from a pipeline of talent as the company expands its footprint. Danville and Pittsylvania County, working collaboratively, have made strategic investments in resources to build its manufacturing workforce, and it’s exciting to see those efforts rewarded by attracting this great project.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County, and Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $105,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Danville and Pittsylvania County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $330,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. Unison is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will also be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
Julian Kidger, Joint Managing Director of Unison, said, “We are thrilled to be announcing this expansion with a community that understands our vision of education and industry working in partnership. The business environment Virginia is creating around advanced manufacturing was a key driver in our choice of location. Real investment in attracting the right sort of business to the area is supported by an equal drive and investment in education. This is key to the long-term success of any business. The professional and financial support available through the Tobacco Commission, the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund and the local municipalities further enhanced an already compelling case.”
“The City of Danville is delighted to welcome Unison Ltd. to Southern Virginia,” said Danville Mayor John Gilstrap. “This region has an affinity for advanced manufacturing and has built an extraordinary workforce training capability that will support Unison’s growth in the U.S. market. We believe that Unison will add tremendous value to this rapidly growing regional economy and will help diversify the region’s industry base. It’s very encouraging to know that international companies, like Unison, have confidence that they can be globally competitive operating in Danville Pittsylvania County.”
“By Unison Ltd. locating its U.S. manufacturing facility in Ringgold, it’s evidence that Pittsylvania County and Danville’s joint efforts in creating a precision machining workforce pipeline is paying dividends and is very attractive to high-quality advanced manufacturers,” added Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert “Bob” Warren. “The Board warmly thanks Unison Ltd. for choosing Danville-Pittsylvania County, and is committed to maintaining a positive business environment that will promote future success for the Company in the Dan River Region.”
Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission member, Senator Bill Stanley said, “I am pleased that Unison chose Danville-Pittsylvania for its first U.S. manufacturing facility. This goes to show that Southside Virginia has the workforce, infrastructure and facilities to compete worldwide for top-quality businesses. This is great news for the region, and I am pleased that the Tobacco Commission chose to invest in this project.”
"It is a great day in Southern Virginia as we welcome Unison Ltd to our community," stated Delegate Danny Marshall, a Commissioner of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. "It is exciting to be chosen as their first manufacturing location in Virginia and in the United States. The Tobacco Commission is pleased to present a check for $135,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds in support of Unison and the 35 new jobs they are bringing to our region. We believe this is a win-win for Unison and for our workforce. We wish them great success."