March 19, 2003

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

Steve Helgeson
Metalsa Roanoke, Inc.
(540) 966-5306
Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
-Governor Warner applauds the creation of 70 new jobs in the Roanoke Valley-

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Metalsa, a leading manufacturer of heavy truck rail frames, will expand its operations in Botetourt County. Through a $25 million investment, the company will create 70 new jobs and construct a 150,000-square-foot addition to its existing facility in the Vista Corporate Park. Virginia successfully competed with Pennsylvania and Mexico for the project. Governor Warner met Steven Helgeson, Plant Manager of Metalsa Roanoke, during his recent marketing mission to the Detroit area.

“Metalsa’s expansion is a welcome addition to the growing automotive cluster in the Roanoke Valley,” said Governor Warner. “I am pleased this international company has chosen to reinvest in Botetourt County. It is always gratifying to see a corporate citizen benefit from the state’s highly motivated workforce, business-friendly environment, and central East Coast location.”

Metalsa, headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, has been located in Virginia since 1996. The company operates two facilities in Mexico in addition to the Botetourt County facility currently employing 134 people. Metalsa manufactures frame structures for trucks, suspension systems, fuel systems and chassis structural parts. The company holds 60 percent market share in Class 8 truck frame rails. To meet increasing market demand, Metalsa is expanding its Botetourt County facility, doubling the production capacity. Construction will begin in April, resulting in production capabilities in late September.

“We considered several locations for this expansion,” said Jesus Theurel, CEO of Metalsa. “The decision to build adjacent to our current facility was based largely on the positive outlook for the Roanoke valley, coupled with our outstanding relationship with Botetourt County and strong ties to our community.”

Governor Warner approved a $150,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Botetourt County with the project. Metalsa qualifies for a $300,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program. The VIP program offers financial assistance to existing Virginia companies proposing significant expansion projects. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership and Botetourt County assisted Metalsa with its decision to expand. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

“We are very pleased that Metalsa has chosen to expand its Botetourt County facility,” said Steve Clinton, Chairman of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors. “Whenever a local company expands, it sends the message that we have an excellent business climate for growth.”


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