September 10, 1997

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Ontario Store Fixtures Arrives in Blackstone
-- Governor Allen Welcomes 250 Jobs From Canadian Manufacturer - -

Blackstone - Governor George Allen today welcomed Ontario Store Fixtures (OSF, Inc.), North America's largest integrated store fixture manufacturer, at the company's new plant in the Town of Blackstone, Nottoway County. OSF's $5 million initial investment will create 250 to 300 new jobs over the next three years, with future expansion possible. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama for the investment.

Governor Allen exclaimed that he was pleased to approve and hereby present a $150,000 check from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to help prepare the shell building for Ontario Store Fixtures and authorized the Virginia Department of Business Assistance to provide workforce training services to help Ontario Store Fixtures and their employees succeed together.

"The relocation of Ontario Store Fixtures from Ohio to Virginia makes this a great day of progress for the people of Blackstone, Nottoway County, and all Virginians, and I'm pleased to welcome and congratulate our new neighbor and partner in free enterprise, Ontario Store Fixtures," stated Governor Allen. "Like other prospering enterprises across Virginia, Ontario Store Fixtures can take advantage of our competitive, pro-growth business climate, positive tax and reasonable regulatory policies, strategic location on the mid-Atlantic seaboard and our most valuable asset -- our people."

Based in Weston, Ontario, Canada, OSF now occupies an existing 104,000-square-foot building in Blackstone and will begin operations this fall. OSF's customers include The Limited, Levi's, 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."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Nottoway County Economic Development Committee and the Town of Blackstone assisted the company with its decision.

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