This week, VEDP is attending the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta, Georgia. We had the opportunity to partner with our state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Department of Forestry to promote Virginia and its forest products, emphasizing the importance of the industry in the Commonwealth.
More than 31,000 people were employed by over 900 companies in Virginia’s wood products industry in 2015, which had a direct economic output of $10.3 billion and supported an additional output of $7.1 billion.
Virginia’s strategic mid-Atlantic location and superior transportation network provide access to 43 percent of the U.S. population located within a one-day (10 hour) drive. These assets combined with access to the Port of Virginia and a direct connection to over 100 foreign ports make an ideal location for wood industry companies.
Virginia’s higher education system provides education and training programs to bolster the Commonwealth’s workforce and therefore Virginia businesses. Virginia Tech’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation is home to the following research centers: Conservation Management Institute, Center for Geospatial Information Technology and Virginia Water Resources Research Center. Virginia State University partners with Virginia Tech to run the Virginia Cooperative Extension to offer programs such as the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program and the Virginia SHARP Logger Program. Blue Ridge Community College has a Die Cutting and Packaging program to generate skilled technicians for the paperboard packaging industry.
In the past decade, wood products companies in Virginia have announced projects worth $3.8 billion in pledged investment and more than 10,100 pledged jobs. To learn why companies choose Virginia click here.
pany would later become Chesapeake Corp. and the mill would change ownership a number of times before being acquired by RockTenn in 2011. RockTenn is publicly traded (NYSE: RKT) and one of the leading packaging solutions providers in North America.
In 1930, the West Point Mill acquired the first Fourdrinier machine in the South, allowing it to manufacture continuous sheets of paper. The machine initially created a sheet 218 inches wide, running at a top speed of 1,000 feet per minute. The machine has been updated and is still running today at 2,000 feet per minute.
The mill added paper machine No. 2 in 1964 and machine No. 3 in 1985. Today, the mill employs more than 500 Virginians and produces about 900,000 tons of paper products each year.
In October 2012, RockTenn celebrated completion of an 11-mile pipeline to supply natural gas to the West Point mill, in partnership with Virginia Natural Gas, Dominion Virginia Power, New Kent County, King William County, and the Town of West Point. The company also invested in the mill to make it more efficient, reduce emissions and lessen its carbon footprint.
According to RockTenn General Manager Chris Broome, “We are very excited about the investments RockTenn is making in our West Point mill to continue providing our customers with high-quality products and to better support their needs. We are committed to being a good business partner within the community and value the relationships we have developed throughout the years.”
The West Point mill’s 100 years of success is a notable achievement and represents the longevity and prosperity companies experience in Virginia’s pro-business environment. To learn why companies keep growing in the Best State for Business, click here.
A view of RockTenn’s West Point mill on the York River in West Point, Va. Photo courtesy of RockTenn.
The U.S. Department of State recently announced plans to establish its Foreign Affairs Security Training Center, known as FASTC, on 1,500 acres at Fort Pickett in Virginia’s Nottoway County.
U.S. diplomats are currently trained at multiple sites across the nation. In May 2008, Congress identified the need to consolidate training at one facility to improve efficiencies and cost savings.
After a multi-year search, Fort Pickett was selected as the best site over 70 other properties because it met DOS’ operational requirements and offered close proximity to D.C. agencies and the intelligence community.
FASTC will train approximately 8,000 – 10,000 U.S. ambassadors and diplomats sent to foreign countries, sometimes in dangerous locations. The center will initially focus on hard skills training, which includes detecting surveillance, providing emergency medical care, identifying explosive devices, firearms training, and performing defensive driving maneuvers. The 2012 attacks in Benghazi highlight the importance of this training for the U.S. foreign affairs community.
Fort Pickett is the perfect location because the 46,000-acre campus offers plenty of land and a secure environment to build driving tracks, mock urban environments, and firing and explosive ranges. Fort Pickett was established in 1942 and currently serves as the Maneuver Training Center for the Virginia National Guard. While the land is predominantly in Nottoway County, it covers parts of Brunswick and Dinwiddie Counties.
This project is expected to be transformative for the Nottoway County region. The DOS is currently estimating a hard-skills facility will bring $461 million in investment to the area, not to mention additional jobs both onsite and in the community through the multiplier effect.
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and a group of federal, state and local officials recently visited Fort Pickett to tour the future site of FASTC. The Administration continues to work through budgetary issues and must complete an updated master plan and environmental impact study before construction can begin.
Virginia’s selection as the site for the FASTC project illustrates how the Commonwealth provides the right location, infrastructure and workforce for both public and private entities. To learn more click here.
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and a group of federal, state and local officials tour the future site of FASTC at Fort Pickett in Nottoway County, Va. Photo courtesy of Virginia National Guard Public Affairs/Cotton Puryear.
||Virginia, VEDP, site selection, FASTC, Foreign Affairs Security Training Center, Fort Pickett, U.S. Department of State, DOS, Nottoway County, foreign affairs traiing
Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America (SMCA) is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its North American headquarters, located in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Heavy Industries, one of the largest manufacturers of machinery in Japan and the global leader in power transmission knowledge and innovation. SMCA is the premiere power transmission and control solution provider and has customers across the U.S. and globally.
In 1987, Sumitomo relocated to Chesapeake from New Jersey and constructed a new manufacturing facility for the production of its cyclo drive technologies, speed reducers, speed variators, motors and related industrial gears.
Sumitomo has experienced consistent growth since joining the Commonwealth. In 2009, SMCA announced its first Engineering and Service Center would open in Chesapeake, and in 2012, they shared plans for the first phase of a three year investment strategy to transition their 250,000-square-foot facility from an assembly and distribution center to an assembly and manufacturing facility.
In August 2013, the company announced a definitive merger agreement with Hansen Industrial Transmissions Inc., a leading provider of large size industrial gear drives, which operates at the HNA facility in Verona, Virginia.
Since locating to Virginia, Sumitomo has invested over $60 million in the Commonwealth and has 264 employees in Chesapeake, Suffolk and Verona.
Virginia’s strategic central location on the U.S. East Coast and access to the Port of Virginia has made an ideal home for Sumitomo.
To learn why more than 5,500 manufacturing companies like Sumitomo have chosen to locate in Virginia, click here.
Mayor of Chesapeake Alan Krasnoff and Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones recognize Sumitomo leadership during the anniversary event.
Virginia is celebrating Business Appreciation Month by showcasing Georgia Pacific and the 125th anniversary of its Big Island paper mill in Bedford County, Virginia.
Georgia Pacific is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, building products and related chemicals. Located just north of Lynchburg on the James River, Big Island mill is one of four Georgia Pacific locations in Virginia. The other facilities are located in Gladys, Emporia and Ridgeway.
The Big Island mill has been in continuous operation since 1891, when the first roll of paper was produced. The mill has faced ownership changes, fire, floods, and machinery and technological shifts during the past 125 years.
The paper mill’s most recent announcement in 2015 included a $50 million investment to improve reliability and environmental performance and upgrade technology.
To mark the mill’s 125 years of continual operation, Georgia-Pacific has launched a year-long commemoration throughout 2016 to honor the mill’s history, celebrate generations of employees and to thank the community for its enduring support.
The Big Island facility employs about 330 people and is Bedford County’s oldest business. The company credits its success to the community, which helped sustain and support Big Island and generations of families who continue to work at the mill for more than a century.
In addition to a strong manufacturing workforce, Virginia provides Georgia Pacific with a strategic location, offering easy access to the company’s customers. Located on the upper James River, the Big Island location offers employees a high quality of life with close proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains, scenic hiking and biking trails, and numerous national parks.
As we celebrate Virginia Business Appreciation month, Georgia Pacific’s Big Island paper mill serves as a great example of how Virginia can offer long-term prosperity. To learn why companies like Georgia Pacific call Virginia home, click here.
An undated photo of a maintenance crew working at the Big Island paper mill.
This week, for Business Appreciation Month, we’re highlighting Virginia’s distribution industry and celebrating the positive impact these companies bring to the Commonwealth.
Virginia's businesses provide services and manufactured goods to customers throughout the world. Our distribution base remains strong and continues to grow with companies like The Home Depot, Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware and Amazon.com all delivering goods from the Commonwealth.
Increasingly, retailers and distributors are taking advantage of Virginia's proximity to Eastern U.S. and Midwest markets. Millions of square feet of new warehousing space have been added at new distribution centers around the state.
In the past decade, 365 global logistics industry projects have announced capital investment of more than $1.8 billion and the creation of over 16,500 new jobs.
The Commonwealth is within a one-day drive time of approximately 43 percent of the U.S. population and over 186,000 manufacturing establishments. With our central East Coast location, Virginia is an obvious choice for many companies looking to establish or expand distribution centers.
In 2012, The Vitamin Shoppe announced a $39.4 million investment to establish a distribution center and create 174 new jobs in Hanover County. The 312,000 square-foot facility has become the company’s flagship distribution center featuring a state-of-the-art conveyor and picking and packing systems to move products from storage shelves throughout the facility to shipping bays.
McLane Foodservice Distribution, located in Prince William County, services restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic region. With two expansions in the last 10 years, the 223,000 square foot facility has three different temperature controlled areas—freezer, refrigerated and dry—in addition to employing more than 160 people.
As part of Virginia Business Appreciation Month, the distribution and global logistics industry is a great example of success due to the Commonwealth’s premier location and business environment. To learn more about the distribution industry in Virginia, click here.
The Vitamin Shoppe distribution center in Hanover County, Virginia.
It’s Business Appreciation Month in Virginia, and we’re celebrating by highlighting one of the Commonwealth’s top industries, cybersecurity.
With its close proximity to Washington, D.C., Virginia is part of the nation’s Cyber Capital. As the hub of leading-edge intelligence technology, Virginia serves as a fertile ground for the growing cybersecurity industry. Key federal agencies involved with cybersecurity along with the nation’s leading cyber companies, such as Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Corp. are located in Virginia.
The Commonwealth is at the center of the IT industry, with 70 percent of the world’s internet traffic passing through Virginia.
On the heels of California, Virginia has the second highest concentration of technology workers in the nation, with nearly 10 percent of the state’s workforce employed by the information technology sector, according to Cyberstates 2015. As a result, Virginia is home to the headquarters of nearly 40 of the Washington Technology Top 100 federal contracting companies.
Reston’s Carahsoft is one of the most successful, fastest growing technology solution providers in the U.S. Founded in 2004, Carahsoft helps government agencies find the best possible technology solution at the best possible value.
NCS Technologies, headquartered in Gainesville, designs, manufactures, distributes and supports its products from a single location for clients including federal agencies, healthcare and schools. Since its founding in 1996, NCS Technologies has become a leading domestic producer of computers, servers and storage systems.
As part of Virginia Business Appreciation Month, cybersecurity represents the high-growth and technological innovation that is alive and well in the Commonwealth. To learn why these companies have found success in Virginia, click here.
YesVirginia Business Blog | A place for news, opinions, and information regarding the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.