August 12, 1997

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Announces $20 Million Deal, 175 Jobs for Mecklenburg County
-- Approves $75,000 from Governor's Opportunity Fund and Workforce Training --

Richmond - Governor George Allen today announced that Jones Apparel Group, Inc. has decided to locate a new distribution center in the Town of South Hill in Mecklenburg County. This $20 million investment will create 175 new jobs over the next two years. The 500,000-square-foot facility, which represents the company's first investment in Virginia, will locate in the Mecklenburg County/LaCrosse/South Hill Enterprise Zone. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina and South Carolina for the investment and jobs. Governor Allen approved a $75,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist South Hill with the project.

"I am pleased to approve $75,000 in Governor's Opportunity Funds to assist with the Jones Apparel project as well as workforce training services. These workforce training services will allow Jones Apparel's employees to gain the appropriate specific skills to help them be successful," said Governor Allen. "Their decision to establish this distribution center is a testimony to Virginia's pro-business tax and regulatory policies, as well as the Commonwealth's most valuable resource -- its people. This new investment will enhance the optimism and outlook of people in Mecklenburg County and throughout Southside Virginia, and increase opportunities for more families to thrive and prosper."

Based in Bristol, Pennsylvania, Jones Apparel manufactures women's clothing and distributes its products to major department stores across the United States. Prospective employees include those with warehousing and material handling experience. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

"We felt very comfortable with the people of South Hill and Mecklenburg County," said Doug Means, director of distribution for Jones Apparel. "Virginia's quality workforce and its proximity to our vast customer base will greatly contribute to our distribution success."

Jones Apparel plans to begin operations in April. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Lake Country Development Corporation, Mecklenburg County and the Town of South Hill assisted the company with its decision.

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