December 09, 2009

Gordon Hickey
(804) 225-4260

Howard Bartholomay
Universal Fibers
Christie Miller
(804) 545-5805
-Company to invest $13 million and create 84 jobs-

RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that Universal Fiber Systems, a leading producer of fibers and yarns for carpet, upholstery, automotive, industrial and other textile applications, will invest $13 million to expand its production facility in Washington County. The project will create 84 jobs. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project.

“Universal Fibers’ remarkable success in Virginia is evidenced by their expansion in Washington County and shows yet again that Virginia is the premier business location in the United States,” said Governor Kaine. “I know the jobs and investment announced today will be a win for both the company and the community.”

Universal Fibers has had a presence in Virginia for nearly 40 years. This project marks the company’s second expansion in less than five years and will meet growing demand domestically and internationally. The company produces solution-dyed fibers for the flooring, transportation, and industrial fiber and textile markets and was the first to introduce solution-dyed nylon to the world. Most recently Universal Fibers has won several environmental awards for its branded EarthsmartTM products and practices, some of which includes the process of taking used commercial carpet fluff and converting it back into high-quality recycled nylon.

“Washington County, Virginia is our company headquarters so it only makes sense for this location to be our first choice for this exciting expansion,” says Marc Ammen, CEO of Universal Fibers, Inc.? “Our workforce here is skilled and has proven to be committed, hard-working and capable. This expansion will increase our capacity to help us meet customer demands.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Washington County and Virginia’s aCorridor to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Kaine approved a $150,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Washington County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $300,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. The company also qualifies for a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“The jobs being created through this expansion are high tech, highly skilled jobs,” said Kenneth Reynolds Chairman of the Washington County Board of Supervisors. “The research and development of fiber products and especially the new recycled fiber products will help Universal Fibers compete in the global marketplace. We are proud to support this expansion.”

“Southwest Virginia has been thrilled to host Universal Fibers’ headquarters and production facility for years,” said Senator William Wampler, a Commissioner of The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. “I am glad that the Tobacco Commission was able to play a role in another company expansion, and look forward to Universal’s continued success in Washington County.”


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