October 09, 2009

Gordon Hickey
(804) 225-4260

Caroline Evans
Christie Miller
(804) 545-5805
-Japanese company to open facility and create 39 new full-time positions and 150 seasonal jobs -

RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Leaf Services (US) plans to invest $19.5 million to establish a tobacco processing facility in the City of Danville, creating 39 full-time jobs and 150 seasonal positions when fully operational. The local company, JTI Leaf Services, will process both flue-cured and burley tobacco in the United States and ship to international markets.

“In these tough economic times, this multimillion dollar investment and the jobs it creates are especially significant in Southside Virginia,” Governor Kaine said. “Even as we continue to diversify the region's economy, we're pleased by the opportunity to build on traditional industries that have historically been important in the Commonwealth.”

JTI is the international tobacco division of Japan Tobacco Inc., the world’s third largest global manufacturer of tobacco products. The company produces two of the top three worldwide cigarette brands: Winston and Mild Seven. Other international brands include Camel, Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut, Sobranie of London, Glamour and LD. With headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, JTI has more than 23,000 employees and sales activities in 120 countries.

“Virginia was a natural choice for our facility given its rich history in the tobacco industry and the seasoned workforce who reside here,” said Steven Daniels, President of JTI Leaf Services. “We look forward to building long-standing relationships with both the Danville community and the Commonwealth.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Danville to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Kaine approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Danville with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved up to $250,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“JTI Leaf Services will offer a tremendous opportunity in Danville for our workforce,” said Mayor Sherman Saunders. “Our history is rich with a tobacco heritage, and with all of the available expertise in the area, JTI should have no problem finding competent and productive employees. This is an exciting project – one that capitalizes on the agricultural strengths of the area and increases our presence in the global marketplace.”

“The Virginia Tobacco Commission was happy to offer assistance to ensure that JTI Leaf Services could take advantage of the region’s natural resources and create new jobs and investment,” said Delegate Danny Marshall, a member of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. “We are pleased that the Tobacco Commission could help bring these new jobs to Southside.”


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