April 30, 1997

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Virginia Attracts New European Investment
-- Governor Welcomes Three New Companies to the Commonwealth --

Richmond - Governor George Allen today announced that three European companies have decided to locate operations in Virginia, creating approximately 45 new jobs for Virginians. These companies represent three different countries and will provide a variety of products. Harkness Screens will locate a manufacturing facility in Fredericksburg; Trados Corporation will locate a new office in Alexandria; and Digigram SA, will locate its North American headquarters in Arlington.

"Securing international investment confirms Virginia's pro-business climate," said Governor Allen. "These companies represent the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Not only will these businesses increase the Commonwealth's presence internationally; they will help boost local economies and provide quality products to Virginia and the entire nation."

Harkness Screens, a manufacturer of cinema screens based in the United Kingdom, will open its first facility in the United States this summer. A subsidiary of Harkness Hall, Ltd., the company will lease a building in the Fredericksburg Industrial Park to utilize state-of-the-art plastics processes to manufacture movie screens. Harkness Screens also manufactures rigging equipment and components of live theater, sound stages, and television studios. The company will hire 20 employees over the next 18 months and plans to introduce other products related to the film industry on a controlled timetable. Virginia competed against Pennsylvania and North Carolina for this $500,000 manufacturing facility. The City of Fredericksburg assisted the company with its decision.

Trados Corporation, a German computer software development company, will open a new office in Alexandria, creating 15 new jobs for Virginians and a $1.3 million investment. The company has developed numerous software and application products that are marketed worldwide. Washington, DC and northern Virginia also comprise a large segment of its consumer base. Trados considered several sites before selecting Virginia including Maryland, New York and Massachusetts. Close proximity to Dulles Airport and Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology were key factors in the company's location decision. During the site selection process, Trados officials were assisted by the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership.

Digigram SA, a French developer of professional hardware and software for digital audio applications, will launch a United States subsidiary to be located in Arlington. This facility will serve as the parent company's North American headquarters. Digigram utilizes the latest digital signal processing advances to answer the needs of thousands of radio and television stations, recording studios, post production facilities and commercial sound installations around the world. The company plans to hire up to 10 employees with a sizable start-up investment.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership assisted these companies with their location decisions. International investment in the Commonwealth has successfully increased each year since 1994. In 1996, thirty-three foreign-affiliated firms announced $1.2 billion in capital investment and 3,290 new jobs, which originated from 10 countries.

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