October 03, 2003

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

Tommy Nunn
ABB Inc.
(276) 688-1519
Jill Vaughan
(804) 371-0049
-Governor Warner announces ABB Inc. will expand, invest $3 million-

BLAND COUNTY - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that ABB Inc. will expand its Small Power Transformer manufacturing operations in Bland County. The project will create 75 new jobs through a $3 million investment. Virginia successfully competed with other locations, both international and domestic, for the project – which is one of the largest economic development announcements ever made in Bland County. Governor Warner discussed the expansion with senior ABB officials in Zurich, Switzerland during his trade mission to Europe in May 2003.

“I made a real case to ABB’s senior management on my trade mission in May, urging them to stay in Bland County,” said Governor Warner. “I’m pleased that, working with local leaders, they chose to do so. ABB’s decision to expand in the Commonwealth not only creates 75 new jobs, but it secures the company’s future in Bland County. With 220 existing employees at this facility, ABB is the county’s largest private employer and a critical part of the local economy.”

ABB ( is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industrial customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impacts. The ABB Group of companies operates in approximately 100 countries and employs about 133,000 people worldwide. ABB operates two manufacturing facilities in Virginia – one in Bland County and one in Halifax County – employing more than 600 Virginians. At the Bland County facility, ABB manufactures dry and cast small power transformers, which are supplied to domestic and international customers to be used in applications such as high density office buildings, hospitals, nuclear power plants, offshore drilling platforms and manufacturing facilities, as well as applications for the U.S. Department of Defense.

“ABB’s decision is a result of the County of Bland’s responsiveness to our immediate and long-term needs, and the ability to access the skilled workers required to fuel this expansion,” said Milt Axton, ABB Inc. Vice President and General Manager, Small Power Transformers.

The ABB facility in Bland was chosen as the primary site of manufacture for the dry products because of the resolve of the employees for continuous improvement and their recognition in the industry for high-quality products and service. The local team developed a business strategy that will strengthen ABB’s position as the world’s leading manufacturer of medium voltage transformers. This expansion will result in significant volume opportunities for the ABB Small Power Transformer manufacturing plant in Bland.

Governor Warner approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Bland County with the project. The county also obtained $150,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Bland County Board of Supervisors and the Bland County Industrial Development Authority assisted ABB Inc. with its expansion decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training as well as retraining assistance for existing ABB jobs.

“This announcement is an example and a result of Bland County’s initiative for a more aggressive focus on economic and community development,” said Frank W. Chandler, III, Chairman of the Bland County Board of Supervisors. “The county is poised to pursue new jobs and accommodate the expansion of existing business and industry within our community.”


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