FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2009

Gordon Hickey
www.governor.virginia.gov
(804) 225-4260


Karen L. Howard
Columbus McKinnon Corporation
(716) 689-5550
Christie Miller
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
GOVERNOR KAINE ANNOUNCES 70 NEW JOBS IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
-Columbus McKinnon Corporation to invest $5 million in Damascus operation-


RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that Columbus McKinnon Corporation, a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of material handling products, plans to invest approximately $5 million in its Damascus Hoist Division operations in Washington County. This investment is part of a corporate restructuring that will consolidate certain of its hoist operations to the Damascus plant. The project expects to create approximately 70 new jobs and retain 174 current positions. Virginia successfully competed against three other states for these jobs.

“Retaining the Columbus McKinnon Hoist Division operations in the region is crucial,” Governor Kaine said. “The company is the largest employer in Damascus and the fourth largest employer in Washington County. The strong workforce and cost benefits of operating this plant in Virginia enabled Columbus McKinnon to continue employing 174 County residents and add 70 new jobs.”

Columbus McKinnon is a leading worldwide designer, manufacturer and marketer of material handling products, systems and services, which efficiently and ergonomically move, lift position or secure material. Key products include hoists, cranes, actuators, chain and forged attachments. The Company is focused on commercial and industrial applications that require the safety and quality provided by its superior design and engineering know-how.

“Our Virginia plant has been a very safe, productive and progressive plant that knows how to build high quality products and take good care of our customers,” said Gene Buer, Columbus McKinnon vice president. “The products being added to this operation complement the products currently produced in Damascus very well, and we were very impressed with the level of support we received from the local community, Washington County and the state of Virginia.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Washington County and Virginia’s aCorridor to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Kaine approved a $140,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Washington County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $283,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“The vitality and growth of Columbus McKinnon is of great importance to Washington County and the Town of Damascus,” says Kenneth Reynolds, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “They have been operating here since 1958 and are now the fourth largest employer in the county.”

“On behalf of the Virginia Tobacco Commission we congratulate Washington County on a great win for the Southwest Virginia region,” said Charles R. Hawkins, Chairman, Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. “We are pleased that the Tobacco Commission could offer assistance to ensure that Columbus McKinnon’s Hoist Division will stay and thrive in Damascus, Virginia.”

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