FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2003

Ellen Qualls
www.governor.state.va.us


Rick Hammock
Sunshine Mills
(434) 476-1451
Jill Vaughan
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
GOVERNOR WARNER ANNOUNCES NEW JOBS AND INVESTMENTS IN HALIFAX COUNTY
-Sunshine Mills’ expansion headlines Governor Warner’s Halifax announcements-


HALIFAX COUNTY - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Sunshine Mills, Inc. will expand in Halifax County, creating 40 new jobs. Through a $2.5 million investment, the company will construct a 50,000-square-foot expansion to manufacture a national pet food biscuit treat. Virginia successfully competed with Alabama, Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas for the project.

“It is always gratifying to see a Virginia manufacturer express its confidence in our business climate by choosing to expand an existing facility,” said Governor Warner. “Sunshine Mills will create much-needed jobs in this Southside community. I am pleased the Commonwealth was able to assist the company with its decision to expand in Southside.”

Headquartered in Red Bay, Alabama, Sunshine Mills is a national manufacturer of dog and cat food. The company has been located in Halifax County since 1988 and currently employs more than 100 people. Sunshine has invested over $15 million dollars in the Halifax location since construction began in 1987. The plant produces approximately one-third of Sunshine Mills’ annual dry dog and cat food needs. The Halifax plant produces a wide variety of dry pet foods sold under the company’s own labels such as Sunshine, Field Trial, Chatham, Sportsman’s Pride, Hunter’s Special and Cat Café. In addition, the Halifax plant produces private label foods for a number of key grocery and dollar store formats in the United States.

“Virginia was chosen because of the company’s ability to use part of the existing Halifax plant infrastructure with new biscuit operations versus building a stand alone plant,” said Sunshine Mills President Alan Bostick. “The outstanding and readily available workforce in Halifax County also played a key role. The area is filled with many honest, hardworking people who have been a great asset to us over the past 15 years.”

Governor Warner approved a $60,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Halifax County with the project. The county also obtained $70,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. These funds will be leveraged locally by a Halifax Opportunity Fund grant totaling $50,000. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority assisted Sunshine Mills with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

“This county works hard to insure we are competitive at a national level. We are proud that Sunshine Mills selected Halifax County as their location to grow,” said David Martin, Chairman of the Halifax County Board of Supervisors.

“We are excited about seeing an existing industry growing. Sunshine Mills will play a key role in our economic future,” said Dr. Carlyle Ramsey, Chairman of the Halifax Industrial Development Authority.

Governor Warner also welcomed two additional economic development projects to Halifax County today. Netherlands-based manufacturer D&R Holland will open an aluminum stamping operation in the Halifax County Industrial Park. The operation will initially create eight new jobs and bring a $1.2 million dollar investment. The company, D&R USA, Inc., will manufacture tea light holders. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for this operation. Financing assistance will be provided by the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority, a division of the Virginia Department of Business Assistance.

Virginia Brands, LLC will open a new cigarette contract manufacturing operation in Halifax County. Virginia Brands, LLC will initially employ 35 people and invest over $2 million dollars. The company is currently receiving workforce training services from the Virginia Department of Business Assistance.

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