December 30, 1997

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Reynolds Metals to Expand Wheel Plant in Russell County
-- Governor Allen Hails Decision and 67 Jobs for Southwest Virginia - -

Town of Lebanon - Governor George Allen today announced the decision by the Reynolds Metals Company to locate its new forging and finishing operations at the company's existing wheel manufacturing plant in Southwest Virginia. The Fortune 500 Virginia-based company will invest $26 million in the facility creating 67 new jobs for Russell County. Virginia successfully competed with Wisconsin and Canada for the investment.

"This major investment will double the size of Reynolds' existing building - strengthening and enhancing one of the region's most forward-looking innovative flagships of free enterprise - and we hope to see even more investments and jobs in the future. Reynolds Wheels are rolling in the right direction and I want to help clear the way for continued success and growth," said Governor Allen. "The people of Russell County are very fortunate to have an exemplary corporate citizen like Reynolds Metals in Southwest Virginia. The decision of Reynolds to locate their new operations here is a great vote of confidence in our people."

Governor Allen approved and presented a $250,000 Governor's Opportunity Fund grant for Russell County to assist with site construction of the 150,000 square-foot addition, which will house the two new forge lines and related equipment. In addition, the Governor authorized the provision of workforce training services for Reynolds Wheels through the Virginia Department of Business Assistance.

The new forging and finishing facility will service Reynolds' existing wheel plant which manufactures forged aluminum wheels for the company's automotive customers in the United States, Canada and Europe. As Reynolds' second wheel plant in the U.S., this facility was the first to feature a near net forged wheel manufacturing process. The process combines Reynolds computer-controlled, flow formed casting technology with forging to produce an even lighter wheel with added styling flexibility.

"Near net forging has already helped to strengthen our leadership position as a premier global aluminum wheel supplier," said Eugene M. Desvernine, Senior Vice-President for Global Transportation at Reynolds Metals. "These new wheels are extremely popular with our customers and demand far exceeds supply, which is why we're here today announcing this expansion."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Russell County Board of Supervisors, the Russell County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and the Town of Lebanon to assist the company with its decision.

Founded in 1919, Reynolds Metals is the world's third-largest aluminum company employing 27,000 people in 24 nations. The company manufactures, distributes and markets fabricated aluminum and plastic products for industrial and commercial use.

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