Bob Maki, Plant Manager
Utility Trailer, Atkins, VA
Governor Gilmore Announces Utility Trailer's Selection of Washington County for New Facility
--New facility will create 300 new jobs in Washington County, save 900 jobs in Smyth County- -
Washington County - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company will locate its newest dry freight trailer facility in Washington County. The company's decision will create 300 new jobs for Virginians through a $14 million investment. An additional 900 jobs will be retained at the company's existing refrigerated trailer manufacturing operation in Smyth County. Virginia competed with Arkansas, Indiana and Ontario, Canada for the investment.
"Utility Trailer's decision to expand its operations here in Virginia demonstrates our commitment to ensuring a positive business climate," Governor Gilmore said. "This major job creation announcement is great news for the people of Southwest Virginia. My administration will continue to assist all regions of the Commonwealth in their economic development efforts, so that no region is left behind."
Utility Trailer designs, engineers, builds, and services practically every kind of trailer in five manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S. Utility Trailer is the largest manufacturer of refrigerated trailers in the United States and the country's third largest dry trailer manufacturer. Based in City of Industry, California, the company is privately owned and recently celebrated its 85th anniversary in May 1999. The Washington County facility will serve the Northeast market and produce 7,000 trailers per year. The company's Smyth County facility will also be modernized.
"Utility has been very pleased with the teamwork and support shown to our company by all levels of government from the Governor's office down to the local county level," Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company President Harold C. Bennett said. "We are also very pleased with the quality, attitude and work ethic of the 900 Virginians we employ in Smyth County, and we are excited about this opportunity to expand our Virginia partnership with a second facility."
"Utility Trailer's decision further positions Virginia as a strategic location for automotive and truck assembly facilities," Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal said. "This project resulted from a major team effort between the localities involved and several state organizations."
Governor Gilmore approved a grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund in the amount of $500,000 to assist Washington County with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Mount Rogers Partnership and the Washington County Board of Supervisors and Industrial Development Authority assisted Utility Trailer with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services. The Virginia Department of Transportation is assisting in the project by improving the roads and intersections at the site assuring smooth traffic flow and optimum safety.