FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2002

Ellen Qualls
www.governor.state.va.us
(804) 786-2211, x2379


Ken Schrang
Activewear, Inc.
(425) 503-8308
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Henry County Welcomes 405 New Jobs
-Governor Warner visits Southwest and Southside for 1,388 job announcements-


HENRY COUNTY - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Activewear, Inc. will open a textile manufacturing facility in Henry County. The company will create 405 new jobs through a $5 million investment. Virginia successfully competed with Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina for the project. Governor Warner and Virginia Secretary of Commerce & Trade Michael J. Schewel attended this afternoon’s announcement event.

Over a 24 hour period, Governor Warner will make six economic development announcements across Southside and Southwest Virginia, totaling 1208 new jobs, 180 saved jobs, and more than $50 million in private investment. Including today’s announcements, Governor Warner has announced more than 3,750 new jobs and nearly $290 million in investment in Southside and Southwest since taking office in January. Statewide, Governor Warner has announced more than 22,000 new jobs and $2.32 billion in investment.

“This is great news for Henry County and the entire Southside region,” said Governor Warner. “Today’s announcement is another positive sign of growth and recovery for this region, as it fights to overcome recent economic setbacks. Activewear, Inc. will benefit from Henry County’s skilled workforce.”

Activewear, Inc. is a start-up company based in Henry County that plans to manufacture high-quality fleece fabric. Founded by former VF executives, the company has partnered with Major League, Inc. to create a successor company to VF. The April 2002 termination of VF’s manufacturing process created the loss of 2,300 jobs in the region. Activewear, Inc. plans to hire many of these skilled textile workers. The company will utilize 300,000 square feet of the former VF manufacturing facility on Walker Road. Hiring for the new operation will begin immediately.

“The state and the community have a rich history of producing quality products,” said Ken Schrang, President of Activewear, Inc. “The combination of a trained workforce and the can-do attitude from the state and community led us to believe that Virginia and, specifically, Henry County is the best place for us to do business.”


Governor Warner approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Henry County with the project. Additionally, the county obtained $200,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. Activewear, Inc. is eligible to receive further tax credits because it is locating in an enterprise zone. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Henry County Office of Commerce and the City of Martinsville assisted Activewear, Inc. with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

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