Last Thursday, Ace Hardware held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of its East Coast import center at the Centerpoint Intermodal Center in Suffolk, Va.
The project, which includes a 336,000-square-foot facility, was announced last fall and is expected to bring a $14 million investment and 75 new jobs to the Hampton Roads region.
The East Coast import center builds upon the company’s existing Virginia presence, which includes 275 employees at its regional distribution center in Prince George County, and many more Virginia employees at the 54 independently-owned stores located across the Commonwealth.
As Ace Hardware’s first and only import center on the East Coast, the facility will allow the company to optimize its supply chain to retail locations. It also validates the Hampton Roads region as a center of international trade.
Virginia was selected for its strategic location and premier transportation system, which includes access to the international Port of Virginia, one of the largest intermodal facilities on the East Coast and the only U.S. East Coast location able to handle post-Panamax vessels as first port of call. Virginia also offers 14 railroads, an inland port, six major interstate highways and nine commercial airports.
To learn more about Virginia’s burgeoning logistics industry and why companies have invested more than $1.6 billion in logistics projects across the Commonwealth over the last 10 years, click here.
Representatives from Ace Hardware Corporation, the City of Suffolk and the Commonwealth of Virginia celebrate the grand opening of the company’s new East Coast import center.
||virginia, economic development, ace hardware, east coast import center, centerpoint intermodal center, suffolk, hampton roads, supply chain, logistics, port of virginia, post-panamax vessels, virginia logistics
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On Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Secretary Todd Haymore attended Enviva’s ground-breaking ceremony at the Southampton County Commerce and Logistics Center in Franklin, Va.
Enviva began construction on its 454,000-metric-ton wood pellet manufacturing facility after announcing this project would bring a $75 million investment and 64 new jobs to Southampton County last November. The facility is expected to support more than 100 additional jobs through the company’s logging supply chain.
As a leading biomass fuel supplier, Enviva’s commitment to sustainable practices is evident in its location requirements. To minimize its carbon footprint, the company seeks strategic locations offering close proximity to both biomass sources as well as waterways and ports, for easy shipment to international customers.
Southeastern Virginia is uniquely positioned to meet the company’s needs on both counts. According to Enviva Chairman and CEO John Keppler, “Southampton County has all the elements essential to our success: a rich wood basket, a strong and seasoned timber industry, a skilled and experienced labor force, and is logistically advantaged to our Port of Chesapeake export terminal.”
This past New Year’s Eve, Enviva opened its deep water terminal at the Port of Chesapeake. The company selected Virginia’s Port of Chesapeake for its deep water capacity and ability to handle a variety of vessels. The company’s inaugural shipment consisted of 28,000 metric tons of wood pellets destined for Europe aboard the MV Daishin Maru.
With the Commonwealth's “all-of-the-above” approach to energy, this investment continues Virginia’s quest to lay claim to the title “Energy Capital of the East Coast.” From conventional fuel mining to renewable energy producers, Virginia provides energy companies with the resources for success.
To learn why energy companies have invested more than $4.6 billion in Virginia over the last ten years, click here.
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Enviva CEO John Keppler (center) join state, local and company officials at the Enviva ground-breaking ceremony in Franklin, Va.
||virginia, economic development, lieutenant governor bill bolling, secretary todd haymore, enviva, southampton county commerce and logistics center, franklin, wood pellet manufacturing, biomass fuel, port of chesapeake, virginia energy
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On August 15, the Virginia Polymer Coalition will commence with its inaugural meeting at The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) in Danville, Va.
Southern Virginia has seen a growing cluster of polymer technology and manufacturing companies, and a recently commissioned study from the Southside Business Technology Center confirms the need for better industry collaboration and research.
With rising raw materials costs, polymer manufacturers are looking for ways to manage costs as well as find better methods for product testing, materials analysis and recycling.
Sustainability is also a frequent topic in the industry, augmented by customer requests for biodegradable products. Increased interest in Biopolymers as a possible solution has led to the need for additional research in this field.
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research is an ideal location for this industry hub, offering an existing polymer lab, onsite scientists, and a strong partnership with Virginia Tech faculty.
“Polymer manufacturers represent an important industry in Southern Virginia with products ranging from packaging, including tubes, tape, film and bags to fibre and tires,” said IALR Executive Director Liam Leightley. “One way for the Virginia Polymer Coalition to support the cluster is for it to regularly host a network meeting for regional polymer companies to be able to meet, discuss and share their business challenges, R&D needs, best practices and industry solutions.”
To learn more about The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research and Virginia’s broad selection of world-class research institutions, click on the highlighted links.
A view of The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, Va.
International Paper recently announced it began manufacturing operations at its Franklin Mill in Isle of Wight County. In May 2011, Governor McDonnell announced the company’s plans to invest $83 million to repurpose a portion of its closed mill and create more than 200 new jobs in the region.
After closing the paper mill in 2009, International Paper has upfit a portion of the plant to manufacture fluff pulp, a key component in absorbency products such as diapers and hygiene products. The company expects to produce 840 tons per day of high-quality fluff pulp once it ramps up to full production.
“This is a wonderful turnaround story for Isle of Wight County—to have some recovery of the jobs lost in 2009 and repurpose a facility is great news for the region,” said VEDP Managing Director Brent Sheffler.
The company’s familiarity with the assets of the region—including a strong wood basket supply chain and a skilled and dedicated advanced manufacturing workforce—helped Virginia win this project.
Logistics infrastructure was also a critical deciding factor, as the company expects to export a substantial amount of its product. Access to existing rail service and close proximity to the international Port of Virginia made the Franklin Mill the clear choice.
As the third largest global supplier of fluff pulp, this investment allows the company to expand its footprint in this growing market and continue its strong legacy in Virginia’s pro-business environment.
With more than 6,000 manufacturing companies located in the Commonwealth, click here to learn why leading companies like International Paper continue to invest in Virginia.
On Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling attended an event to announce that Big R Bridge, a national leader in developing engineered solutions for steel bridges, corrugated metal structures, retaining wall systems and corrugated pipe, will establish its first Virginia location in Washington County.
The $1.9 million investment will be used to convert the former Lynchburg Steel Facility into a manufacturing operation for the company’s prefabricated bridge parts, bringing 32 new jobs to Southwest Virginia.
Big R Bridge has been supplying prefabricated bridges and custom engineered products for more than 40 years, handling more than 10,000 installations to date and creating more than 300 bridges each year.
The new facility in Washington County will allow the company to expand its U.S. footprint and more easily access East Coast markets. Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina for the project.
The Commonwealth was chosen for its strategic location and premier logistics network, offering easy access to Interstates 81 and 77. Virginia was also selected for its exceptional workforce with the advanced manufacturing skills needed to produce the company’s highly engineered solutions.
With names like DuPont, Honeywell, Owens & Minor, Merck and Rolls-Royce, Virginia continues to attract top tier manufacturing companies. To learn why more than 6,000 manufacturers call Virginia home, click here.
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) honored Virginia Delegate R. Steven Landes as its State Legislator of the Year at the recent 2012 BIO International Convention in Boston, Mass.
Delegate Landes was recognized for his efforts in advancing the field of biotech and supporting legislation to make Virginia a top state to attract and retain life sciences businesses.
BIO is the world’s largest biotech organization and the BIO International Convention is the largest global event for the biotech industry with 15,000 attendees at its annual conference.
Delegate Landes was given the award in the Virginia Pavilion, a 1,500-square-foot space organized by VEDP. The Pavilion showcased Virginia’s universities, companies and local economic development groups in the Commonwealth’s major life science clusters: Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Charlottesvit" style="float:right">
The Center for Coatings Application, Research, and Education (C-CARE) was unveiled this Monday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in South Boston, Va.
C-CARE’s mission is to help commercialize solutions in the field of surface engineering and attract advanced manufacturing companies to the region by providing workforce training, R&D, and improved links between educational institutions and industry partners.
The 12,000-square-foot, climate-controlled facility includes a lab equipped with advanced robotics, reciprocating spray equipment, and virtual reality training systems. C-CARE’s lab will be used to test new coatings technologies and design solutions that increase product quality and efficiency for applications in the aerospace, automotive, construction, food, manufacturing and wood industries.
This two-year project is the result of collaboration between Halifax Industrial Development Authority, the Riverstone Energy Center, and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.
The American Wood Finishing Institute (AWFI) will operate and staff the facility. As a leading provider of coatings technology training and consulting, AWFI will offer C-CARE access to subject matter experts with real-world experience applying coatings to metal, wood, plastics and other composite materials.
C-Care augments Virginia’s existing strength in the advanced manufacturing sector, as leaders such as the Altria Group, DuPont, Honeywell, MeadWestvaco and Rubbermaid have all established operations in the Commonwealth.
To learn why Virginia is home to more than 6,000 manufacturing establishments, click here.
Virginia Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Rural Development Mary Rae Carter (center) joins members of C-CARE, industry partners, and state and local officials at the ribbon-cutting ceremony in South Boston, Va.