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.
“We’re excited to write the next chapter of success stories with our new economic partner, Danville, Virginia,” Wells said in a prepared statement. “The support and investment elected officials have [put] into developing a skilled workforce and engineering technology hotspot truly differentiates Danville and makes it a great place to plant roots and drive innovation.”
The company announced in September it was bringing 35 jobs and $9.5 million in investment to the Dan River Region and would open up in its own facility in the Cyber Park in early 2018. The company currently has a limited operation in the Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining, where it produces solid carbide rotary tools.
The new facility in the 330-acre Cyber Park will be visible from U.S. 29 and will sit across from the Institute’s campus.
Wells said after the ceremony the company has five employees at its operation now and plans to have about 10 at the end of the year. He hopes to move into the facility in May 2018 and hire the final 25 employees.
Danville and Pittsylvania County — which jointly own the Cyber Park through the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority — competed against localities in Ohio and South Carolina for the project.
The arrival of Kyocera SGS Tech Hub LLC will include construction of a new 30,000-square-foot facility in the park by 2018. The average annual salary for the positions will be $65,000, Alan Pearce, CEO of Kyocera SGS Tech Hub LLC, told the Register & Bee in September.
Kyocera SGS Tech Hub LLC is a subsidiary of Kyocera SGS Precision Tools Inc., which is owned by Kyocera Corp. in Kyoto, Japan. KSPT is known for its solid carbide high-performance end mills, drills, stainless steel medical tools and PVD coatings.
The company supplies Rolls Royce and serves three main markets: aerospace, airplane companies and medical products.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Danville, Pittsylvania County and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing to secure the project for Virginia.
Delegate Danny Marshall, R-Danville, reminded everyone of the precision machining programs at schools in the Dan River Region, including Danville Community College, that provide local workers for the jobs offered.
“We have set the process in place to provide you with skilled workers,” Marshall said during the event.
“We appreciate Kyocera’s decision to select our area for its U.S. site and wish them the greatest success,” Marshall said in a prepared statement.
State Sen. Frank Ruff, R-15th District, also spoke at the event.
Mayor John Gilstrap said of the groundbreaking, “The dirt is being moved and this site is being prepared for a building that is no longer a conceptual drawing, but a finished architectural and engineering design for the actual structure which will rise on this site.”
Danville City Councilman and RIFA Board Chairman Sherman Saunders said the region is seeing the benefits of its efforts in Kyocera’s investment.
Bob Warren, chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors, said, “Kyocera is not only bringing good jobs to our region, but is also becoming part of a city and county reinventing themselves to meet the demands of 21st — century business.”
The RIFA board approved Blair Construction’s presentation of the site plan and design of the new facility, which sits on 10 acres along Slayton Avenue.