August 01, 1997

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Allen Announces Expansion for Creative Playthings
-- Emporia Manufacturer to Create 55 New Jobs --

Richmond - Governor George Allen today announced that Creative Playthings, Ltd., a wooden swing-set manufacturer, will expand its existing manufacturing and distribution facilities in Emporia, creating approximately 55 new jobs over the next three years. The expansion will occur in three phases, generating $3.5 million in new capital investment.

"Creative Playthings' decision to expand its operations is a tremendous vote of confidence in the strong work-ethic of the people of Emporia and surrounding areas," said Governor Allen. "With this new investment and jobs, Creative Playthings will swing into the 21st Century as it continues to thrive in our prosperous Virginia economy."

Headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, Creative Playthings opened a manufacturing facility in the Emporia Industrial Park in 1988. Phase One of the company's expansion will consist of a new 75,000 square-foot manufacturing and warehouse building adjacent to the company's existing plant. Construction on this building will begin next week. Phase Two will consist of a new feed-through dry kiln to be installed in the summer of 1998. During Phase Three, a plastic molding facility will be constructed to convert a portion of the company's wood waste into plastic wood products.

"The workforce in Emporia has been very dedicated and productive," said Don Hoffman, president and chief executive officer of Creative Playthings. "The support we received from the State and city governments also played a pivotal role in this decision."

"Today's announcement represents Virginia's and Emporia's strong focus on working with our existing industries to encourage investment and job growth," said Emporia Mayor Sam Adams.

Governor Allen approved a $70,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Emporia with the project. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Emporia Industrial Development Authority and the Emporia-Greensville Industrial Development Corporation assisted the company with its decision.

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