Gov. Northam announces new manufacturing operation to bring nearly 200 jobs to Pittsylvania Co.

AXTON — Gov. Ralph Northam Monday announced that Ison Furniture Manufacturing, Inc., a North Carolina-based furniture manufacturer, will invest $3.5 million to acquire and renovate the recently closed A.C. Furniture Company, Inc. facility in Pittsylvania County, creating 150 new jobs.

The company is also purchasing new equipment for the assembly and full production of its upholstered furniture products.

Virginia successfully won the project after a competition with North Carolina.

The company’s supplier, Dogwood Global, LLC, will locate to a vacant 30,000-square-foot building onsite, investing $500,000 in new equipment and adding 45 new jobs to manufacture high-end wood tables and custom furniture frames that will be upholstered by Ison Furniture, according to a press statement.

Pittsylvania County Director of Economic Development Matthew Rowe said Monday evening that it is "always a great sign, a strong gesture when a company goes in and purchases a facility upfront," which Ison has done, recently closing on the 30,000-square-foot building.

"This facility is no more than 2 miles form the Pittsylvania County/Henry County line," Rowe continued. "Historically, A.C. furniture, which was there previously, employed numerous residents from Marttinsville all the way to Danville and Chatham. The same base of employment will still be in play."

The availability of the work force is the biggest driving factor for this industry to enter Pittsylvania County, Rowe said.

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Governor celebrates large-scale hemp processing facility in South Boston — the first one of its kind in the state — starting operations

Governor celebrates large-scale hemp processing facility in South Boston — the first one of its kind in the state — starting operations

A large-scale hemp processing and cannabinoid (CBD) oil extraction facility, Golden Piedmont Labs, has begun production in Halifax County, playing a key role in Virginia’s No. 1 industry: agriculture. The processing plant is the first of its kind in Virginia.

“This is an exciting day for Halifax County and an exciting day for Virginia,” said Gov. Ralph Northam as he looked out on the crowd of investors, stakeholders, state, county and local leaders gathered at Golden Piedmont Labs’ grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning. The facility is housed in the former Blue Ridge Beverage Company building, at 2525 Houghton Ave. in South Boston.

Halifax Industrial Development Authority (IDA) executive director Brian Brown remarked the opening of the hemp processing facility marks “the beginning of a new day in Halifax County. “We are pleased to celebrate the opening of Golden Piedmont Labs and a new era of hemp production for Halifax County and the Southside region,” Brown said.

Golden Piedmont Labs president Steve Mize told the crowd he envisions the hemp industry as being “very profitable” in Southside Virginia and noted that hemp products have the power to change people’s everyday lives because of their medicinal qualities.

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Call center company to expand Martinsville, Stuart operations

The Results Cos. to add 400+ jobs in Va. by end of year

Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based call center company The Results Cos. announced Friday it would add approximately 288 jobs to its Martinsville location and 118 to its Stuart location by the end of the year.

All positions will be full-time job opportunities in the call centers with wages of $11.50 to $13.50 per hour, dependent upon location and client, according to company spokesperson John Sternal.

The Virginia expansion comes as part of the company’s initiative to fill more than 4,500 jobs across its U.S. locations and increase hourly wages for call center employees by the end of the year. The company currently employs approximately 20,000 people in 30 locations.

“A dependable job and competitive wage rate with a fun, supportive culture is absolutely necessary in today’s economic climate,” Results Cos. CEO Chad Carlson said in a statement. “It is important that we offer these employment benefits to get Americans back to work and incentivize them to build their families through reliable jobs.”

Hiring for call center positions will start immediately, and the company hopes to have it completed by the end of the year, Sternal said. The Results Cos. provides services including analytics, contact center as a service (CCaaS), process automation and SupportPredict, a digital engagement software as a service (SaaS) product.

From Virginia Business

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Pittsylvania economic director recognized in Virginia Business Power List

Pittsylvania economic director recognized in Virginia Business Power List

Virginia Business recognized Pittsylvania County Economic Development Director Matt Rowe in its “2020 Power List,” a recognition of Rowe’s innovative work in recruiting and retaining businesses in Pittsylvania County.

In nearly five years, Rowe has helped fill 13 vacant buildings with top-tier employers and worked on projects totaling more than 1,600 jobs announced jobs and combined investments of around $485 million.

"It's a collective win that our hard work for the county is being recognized on the state level, and it's recognized as having a real impact,” Rowe said.

Virginia Business is a magazine that covers economic issues and progress across the state and across all sectors. The “2020 Power List,” which was released in late August, recognizes 500 Virginia leaders from 20 different sectors, including government, education and economic development.

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IALR awarded $1.78 million Department of Defense contract

IALR awarded $1.78 million Department of Defense contract

The U.S. Army Contracting Command-Rock Island (ACC-RI) has awarded a $1.78 million contract to the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) and Danville Community College (DCC) for a pilot project to develop the prototype training program, Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM). The base year of the contract includes instructional staff and curriculum development to address workforce gaps for Defense Industrial Base (DIB) companies. 

“Thanks to this transformative opportunity from the DoD, the ATDM program will allow us to fill critical workforce gaps while building the capacity of our nation’s Defense Industrial Base,” said Mark Gignac, Executive Director for IALR, the fiscal agent and ATDM program lead. “We are fortunate to be joined by exemplary partners—DCC, a leader in workforce development programs; Phillips Corporation, a champion of next-generation manufacturing solutions; and The SPECTRUM Group, a consulting firm experienced in the defense industry. I look forward to seeing the program grow under the leadership of IALR’s Troy Simpson, and I thank Sen. Mark Warner and other legislators for supporting these efforts.” 

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City of Danville, Pittsylvania County and the SVRA are the winners of the Southern Economic Development Council Award

City of Danville, Pittsylvania County and the SVRA are the winners of the Southern Economic Development Council Award

The Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) has announced that the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance are the winners of its 2020 Community Economic Development Award.

The region won in the SEDC’s large community category for its collaborative efforts to attract new business.

“This recognition reinforces that the right decision was made by County and City leaders many years ago: to adopt a regional approach and work closely together,” said Robert “Bob” Warren, chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors and Danville Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority (RIFA).

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Morgan Olson’s Virginia plant delivering jobs and step vans on time, as promised.

Morgan Olson’s Virginia plant delivering jobs and step vans on time, as promised.

Ringgold, VA – July 30, 2020- In October of 2019, Morgan Olson President & CEO Mike Ownbey publically shared, “Morgan Olson’s Ringgold, Virginia plant will be operational by June of 2020.” Morgan Olson took ownership of the building in March of 2020 and within four months, transformed the previous furniture manufacturing plant into a 925,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing facility that is now operational.

There are not many businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic that are building new plants and providing meaningful, long-term career opportunities. Morgan Olson’s step vans are in demand more than ever, delivering essential supplies and services.

Mr. Ownbey adds, “The step vans we make are delivering life-saving medical supplies to hospitals and homes. Our step vans also deliver food and water to people’s doorstep. Even our municipality step vans are hard at work, providing cities with infrastructure support to power and gas companies all across our nation. Now add that the vast majority of anything ordered online is being delivered by Morgan Olson package delivery step vans. Morgan Olson is growing, and this new Ringgold, Virginia plant is essential to supporting to these many needs.”

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Bobe Named Danville Economic Development Director

Bobe Named Danville Economic Development Director

City Manager Ken Larking announced today the selection of Corrie Teague Bobe as the director of economic development for the City of Danville.

Bobe has served as interim director since the departure of Telly Tucker, who left in January to take a similar position in Arlington County.

“Corrie has done an excellent job leading the department for the past several months,” Larking said. “She has worked tirelessly on behalf of our community for nearly 11 years, and I am thrilled that she will be directing our economic development effort for, hopefully, many years to come.”

Larking said Bobe was selected following a highly competitive national search.

Mayor Alonzo Jones applauded Bobe’s selection, saying, “The City Council has worked with Corrie for a number of years, and we have great confidence in her. Without a doubt, Corrie is the right person to lead our incredible economic development team and maintain the spirit of collaboration in our region.”

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Industrial hemp processing facility — first in Virginia — to locate in South Boston bringing 22 jobs

Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday afternoon announced that BRD Extraction LLC, doing business as Blue Ribbon Extraction, will invest $3.26 million to establish Virginia’s first large-scale industrial hemp processing and cannabidiol oil extraction facility in the town of South Boston.

The project will create 22 new jobs and the company has committed to sourcing over 90% of hemp purchases from Virginia growers, resulting in more than $70 million in payments to Virginia farmers over the next three years. Using state-of-the-art equipment, the company expects to be able to process up to 5,000 pounds of industrial hemp per day, primarily grown by local farmers, most of whom are current or former tobacco farmers.

“Encouraging the development of new markets for Virginia farmers is one of our top priorities for growing the Commonwealth’s agricultural economy,” said Northam. “I am pleased to see that industrial hemp continues to create opportunity and economic vibrancy in rural Virginia, and I congratulate Halifax County, Blue Ribbon Extraction, and all other partners involved in bringing this important new processing capacity to our Commonwealth.”

“There has been tremendous growth in Virginia’s industrial hemp industry, creating new opportunities for rural communities to thrive,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “By locating this large processing facility in an emerging geographic center of industrial hemp production, Blue Ribbon Extraction will create a local market for the crop, addressing one of the biggest challenges currently facing the industrial hemp industry in Virginia.”

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Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, Pittsylvania County, and City of Danville Recognized With Community Economic Development Award (CEDA) By State Association

Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, Pittsylvania County, and City of Danville Recognized With Community Economic Development Award (CEDA) By State Association

The Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) is pleased to announce it has awarded its 2020 Community Economic Development Awards (CEDA), recognizing a multi-faceted collaboration between Pittsylvania County, Danville, and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, that resulted in a regional resurgence of new jobs and investments.

The CEDA awards are designed to recognize outstanding communities in the Commonwealth for efforts in advancing economic viability through economic and community development programs. Entries are judged on factors that include innovativeness, transferability, community commitment, and the benefits derived for each.

There were nine total CEDA entries this year.

VEDA will submit the two winning entries to the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) for consideration it its similar award program that takes place later this year.

"Each year, we enjoy taking the time to recognize and reflect on the outstanding work of economic developers across Virginia and to honor those who dedicate their careers to making our communities thrive," said Bedford County Economic Development Director Traci Blido, chair of VEDA's CEDA awards committee. "Those communities being recognized are effectively using multiple tools in the economic development toolkit to bring in new jobs and investment in Virginia, and others can learn from their best practices."

Pittsylvania County, Danville, and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance were jointly recognized for their efforts to build on a long-term plan to regain jobs and investment in the region. This team of economic developers maximized resources and worked together to lay the framework for collaboration, backed by regional agreements, creative financing and aggressive incentives. As a result, the region has been able to land new deals and deliver workforce programs to serve new and existing industry. New projects to the region include Porcher Industries (BGF Industries), Harlow, Gefertec, Morgan Olson, and Aerofarms.

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