Joe Geiger, President
Governor Gilmore Announces Orca Yachts Relocation to Virginia
-- Yacht-maker to create 350 jobs over the next three years - -
Chesapeake - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that Orca Yachts will relocate its headquarters from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Chesapeake. The yacht manufacturing company will initially provide 110 jobs and create $5.8 million in capital investment. The company will hire up to 350 employees by 2001. Virginia successfully competed with Florida, Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina and North Carolina for the investment.
"Orca Yachts is a company which strives for perfection in its work," said Governor Gilmore. "They will make an excellent addition to Virginia's manufacturing community and provide many quality jobs."
Orca Yachts, and more specifically the Orca 37, are stand-up fishing boats that are known for their innovation and overall efficiency. The boats are built from Corcell and Kevlar, which reduce excess weight. They also have the ability to travel from Virginia Beach to Bermuda. Orca will hire engineers, yachtsmen, woodworkers and fiberglass high-tech facility craftsmen. The company plans to build 32 yachts its first year here, and double that number in 1999.
"We were highly impressed with Virginia's strategic East Coast location," said Joe Geiger, President of Orca Yachts. "The Commonwealth of Virginia reacted faster and with more expertise than any state we worked with."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance and the City of Chesapeake assisted the company with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.
"The Hampton Roads area is the ideal location for Orca Yachts," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal. "I am proud to welcome this company to the Commonwealth."
"The City of Chesapeake's partnership with Orca will create job opportunities for our strong shipbuilding labor pool and provide for Orca a strategic location along the Intercoastal Waterway," said Chesapeake Mayor William E. Ward. "Orca will become part of a thriving waterfront community that encompasses more than 30 miles along Chesapeake's waterways."
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