FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2001

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


Bill Wagner
LaJobi Industries
(732) 346-5150
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces New Company For Nottoway County
-LaJobi to create 110 new jobs -


RICHMOND - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that LaJobi Industries, Inc. will locate a manufacturing operation in Blackstone. Headquartered in Edison, New Jersey, LaJobi Industries manufactures a line of baby cribs in Italy and sells them to national chain stores including Babies-R-Us and Burlington Coat Factory. The company is investing $4 million in the Blackstone facility, where it will hire 110 people to manufacture the complementary case goods for its cribs. Virginia successfully competed with New Jersey and Canada for this project.

“Virginia’s excellent quality of life, competitive business environment and access to the Port of Richmond made this deal possible,” said Governor Gilmore. “This company brings good, solid employment opportunities to more than a hundred families in the Blackstone area.”

Governor Gilmore approved a $75,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Nottoway County with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Nottoway County Economic Development Committee assisted LaJobi Industries with procuring a building big enough to suit its operations. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services, and the County of Nottoway and Town of Blackstone will provide assistance for start up activities. LaJobi will use the Port of Richmond to import its cribs. New employment positions include finishers, production line workers, supervisors, material handlers and warehouse and shipping clerks.

“In our quest to find a manufacturing facility, our trips to Virginia proved to be the most fruitful. With the welcome and assistance from the local community, we felt that Blackstone, Virginia was the place we wanted to build our manufacturing facility,” said LaJobi President Larry Bivona. “But what sealed the deal is the help we received from the state, and in particular, the Governor’s contribution. We are very anxious to begin operations and strongly feel that our organization will provide a great work environment for the people in this lovely community.”

LaJobi Industries, Inc. was formed in 1994. The company began its operation by importing baby cribs from Italy, where craftsmanship and price were unsurpassed. Success with its innovative crib design allowed the company to expand its product lines to include furniture to complement the Italian cribs. While previously outsourcing its case goods manufacturing, LaJobi will bring this function in-house to retain control of quality and costs.

“LaJobi Industries will broaden and diversify the industry base in Nottoway County,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal. “Additionally, the 110 new jobs will help to lower the unemployment rate that was recently reported as slightly higher than the state average.”

VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

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