July 30, 1997

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Ontario Store Fixtures to Locate Plant in Blackstone, Virginia
-- Governor Announces 250-300 New Jobs, $5 Million Investment --

Richmond - Governor George Allen today announced the decision by Ontario Store Fixtures (OSF, Inc.), the largest integrated store fixture manufacturer in North America, to locate a new facility in the Town of Blackstone in Nottoway County. The company will create 250 to 300 new jobs over the next three years with an initial investment of more than $5 million, while positioning itself for expansion in the future. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama for the investment.

"The people of Virginia and the United States share a longstanding cultural and economic relationship with Canada. In fact, during my first trade mission as Governor, I traveled to Canada to promote the tremendous trade opportunities in our Commonwealth," said Governor Allen. "Virginia businesses and families are still reaping the positive results of our efforts. I am pleased Ontario Store Fixtures is continuing our success by 'setting up shop' in Nottoway County."

Based in Weston, Ontario, Canada, OSF will occupy an existing 104,000 square-foot building in Blackstone and will begin operations this fall. OSF counts among its customers such companies as The Limited, Levis, Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica. The company plans to hire production workers, supervisors and managers.

"With the growth in demand for our products in the U.S. and the world, it was inevitable that we had to expand our facility in the United States," said Harry Shier, president and chief executive officer of Ontario Store Fixtures. "We feel that Virginia combined with Nottoway County and the Town of Blackstone offer a great deal to OSF and we look forward to continued expansion."

Governor Allen approved a grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund worth $150,000 to assist Nottoway County and the Town of Blackstone with the project. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Nottoway County Economic Development Committee and the Town of Blackstone assisted the company with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

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