Governor Allen Announces Second Korean Investment in Virginia
-- Governor Says Foreign Trade Missions Will Pay Long Lasting Dividends - - KMC America to Invest $5 -
Richmond - Governor George Allen today announced a major economic development deal related to his October 1997 trade mission to Korea. The Governor announced that KMC America, Inc., will invest $5 million and create 60 jobs in Portsmouth. KMC is one of only three companies worldwide that manufactures ball valves which are used in gas and waste pipelines, oil rigs and shipbuilding. KMC America is Virginia's second Korean investment. Dongsung America, the Commonwealth's first Korean company, has invested $9 million in Stafford County since 1996.
"Our trade mission to the economic powerhouses in East Asia, bolstered by the dedicated groundwork of Hampton Roads' economic development leaders, will pay long lasting benefits for the people of Portsmouth and Virginia," said Governor Allen. "Now that we have personally opened relations with the leaders in the Korean private sector, I am confident more discerning Korean business leaders will appreciate Virginia's pro-business climate by bringing more investments and jobs here."
KMC America, Inc., is a subsidiary of KMC Corporation, based in Seoul, Korea. Annual sales for the company owned by President C.M. Jung reached $10 million in 1997. The company will construct a 124,000-square-foot building in the Portsmouth Commerce Park. KMC America will hire skilled welders, machinists and assemblers at the Hampton Roads facility. The Port of Virginia will allow KMC to export its products to Europe and South America.
"The Commonwealth of Virginia is a great state to do business in. We received outstanding cooperation from Governor Allen as well as state and local officials," said Mr. Michael Oh, CEO/President of KMC America. "KMC is proud to be the second Korean company to invest in Virginia."
"We look forward to having KMC America join the Portsmouth family as our newest international corporate citizen," said Portsmouth James W. Holley, III. "We are extremely excited about the opportunities that this announcement creates for KMC America, the City of Portsmouth, the Hampton Roads region and the Commonwealth of Virginia."
Company officials said Virginia's skilled workforce, excellent transportation system, strategic location and quality of life were vital keys to their decision. Virginia was in competition with North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida for the investment.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, the Department of Economic Development for the City of Portsmouth, and the Portsmouth Industrial Development Authority assisted with the company's decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services in addition to financing through industrial revenue bonds from the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority.
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