July 21, 1997

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
BluePrint Automation Breaks Ground in Chesterfield County
-- Dutch Investment is Product of Governor Allen's Trade Mission --

Chesterfield County - Governor George Allen attended a groundbreaking ceremony for BluePrint Automation Group today at the Appomattox Industrial Park in Chesterfield County. Located in an Enterprise Zone which was created with the Governor's approval in 1995, BluePrint Automation's investment of $3 million will eventually create 20 new jobs.

"BluePrint Automation is an outstanding example of the spirit of entrepreneurship and the drive of personal initiative. Foreign investors like BluePrint play an integral role in Virginia's growing economy, and clearly the word is out that Virginia is open for manufacturing business," said Governor Allen. "In our Administration, we have worked hard to create the best competitive environment for expansion and recruitment of new investments and jobs. One key improvement was the doubling of Enterprise Zones, from 25 to 50. I'm especially happy to see this great investment in an Enterprise Zone I approved in 1995. It is already paying dividends."

BluePrint Automation Group was established in 1980 as a one-man operation in Holland to manufacture automatic case packaging machines for consumer goods such as snack foods. In 1987, the company leased space to establish a manufacturing subsidiary in Henrico County. This facility, which employs 59 workers, will be relocated to the new Chesterfield location to accommodate BluePrint's expansion.

"The new facility in Chesterfield County not only reinforces our plans to remain the world leader in our industry, but also signifies BluePrint Automation's strong commitment to our existing customers in the United States," said Martin Prakken, president of BluePrint Automation.

Governor Allen presented the company with a Virginia flag and a historic share of stock in the Virginia Company as a token of the State's appreciation for showing confidence and investing in Virginia. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Chesterfield Department of Economic Development and the Greater Richmond Partnership assisted the company with its decision.

BluePrint Automation joins 24 other Dutch affiliated firms located in Virginia, which have created a total of 1,530 jobs and invested over $206 million in the Commonwealth. Governor Allen met with BluePrint Automation during last month's trade mission to Europe.

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