FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 03, 2001

Lila White
www.thedigitaldominion.com
(804) 692-3110


Michael A. Savage
ERNI Components, Inc.
(804) 530-4235
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Erni Components to Invest $98.4 Million in Chesterfield Expansion
-- -Governor Gilmore announces the creation of 550 new jobs - -


Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that ERNI Components, Inc. will expand its operation in the Rivers Bend Center in Chesterfield County. The expansion will create 550 new jobs and the company will invest $98.4 million to complete this project. Virginia successfully competed with Nevada for the investment.

"The Commonwealth's pro-business environment is vital to the satisfaction of our existing companies," said Governor Gilmore. "ERNI's decision to embark on such a major expansion is a testament to Virginia's success in this area."

Governor Gilmore approved a $500,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Chesterfield County with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Chesterfield County assisted ERNI Components with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services. The company also qualified to receive a grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies, in the amount of $500,000.

ERNI is a leading global manufacturer and worldwide supplier of a broad line of interconnect products for the telecommunications, data communications, computer, industrial and medical markets. ERNI has manufacturing and sales operations in both Europe and North America as well as sales offices in over 40 countries. ERNI has participated with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) to strengthen its international trade presence. The company partnered with Old Dominion University in the fall of 1998 to participate in VEDP's International Market Planning program. Company executives also accompanied Governor Gilmore to South America in 1999 for a trade mission.

"Virginia government and business officials have affirmed their support of ERNI through the years. This support has been crucial in our decision to expand our business in the Commonwealth," states Willy Rau, President and CEO of ERNI Components. "The talented labor pool and convenient

accessibility to transportation also played key roles in our decision to commit to this investment in Virginia."

"By expanding here in Virginia, ERNI will be able to take advantage of our high quality workforce," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal. "The company will also significantly increase its capacity to supply its existing and newly developed products to all of its customers."

"We are very excited about this existing industry continuing to expand in Chesterfield County," said Renny Bush Humphrey, Chairman of the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors. "This project reinforces that this area is becoming an emerging high tech, quality-manufacturing center. It will create high paying jobs for our citizens."






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