by James A. Bacon
Tired of reading about COVID-19 and the culture wars? I’m sure tired of writing about them. For a change of pace, let’s focus on something positive. While the coronavirus-related shutdown continues to depress employment in Virginia — and crowd out good economic news — Virginia has landed a slew of economic development projects in the past month. Here’s a list.
June 15, 2020
ASGN Incorporated, a Fortune 1000 IT provider, will invest $12.4 million to move its corporate headquarters from Calabasa, California, to Henrico County and grow operations in Virginia Beach, Roanoke and other Virginia communities. The company expects to add 700 jobs.
June 16, 2020
S23 Holding LLC, a ship repair company, will invest $64.4 million to establish a corporate and industrial campus for ship repair, manufacturing, and pier rehabilitation in Newport news. The project is expected to create 332 jobs.
BRD Extraction LLC
June 18, 2020
BRD Extraction, LLC, doing busniess as Blue Ribbon Extraction, will invest $3.26 million to establish Virginia’s first large-scale industrial hemp processing and cannabidoil extraction facility in the town of South Boston. The project will create 22 jobs. Also, the company has committed to sourcing more than 90% of hemp purchases — more than $70 million over three years — from Virginia farmers.
June 22, 2020
Drake Extrusion, Inc., a subsidiary of Sweden-based Duroc AB and a manufacturer of colored filament yarn and stable fiber, will invest $6.9 million to expand its operation in Henry County. The project will create 30 jobs.
June 24, 2020
Metalworx, Inc., a manufacturer of highly engineered and precision-manufactured components and assemblies, will invest $7.6 million to relocate its headquarters and manufacturing functions from South Carolina to the former Core Fitness Complex in Grayson County. The project should create 59 jobs.
Ashton Lewis Holding Company
June 26, 2020
Ashton Lewis Holding Company will invest $11 million to establish a specialty southern yellow pine sawmill in Ruther Glen, Caroline County. The company recently acquired the assets of W.T. Jones & Sons, Inc., a family-owned pine sawmill, saving 44 jobs. The company has committed to source 90% of all pine lumber purchases from Virginia forestland owners.
The Hershey Company
June 30, 2020
The Hershey Company will invest $135 million to expand its manufacturing plant in Stuarts Draft. The Augusta County facility, the second largest U.S. plant in the Hershey enterprise, will create 110 jobs.
June 2, 2020
Fleetwood Homes, a builder of manufactured homes, will invest $2.1 million to renovate and expand its Rocky Mount facility, creatnig 60 new jobs in Franklin County.
Shore Breeze Farms
July 2, 2020
Shore Breeze Farms will expand operations at it s hydroponic greenhouse facility in Northampton County, increasing its production of Virginia-grown leafy greens by 30%. The company provides lettuces to Virginia public schools, local restaurants, and farm stands. The company did not specify the size of its investment or the number of jobs created.