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MECKLENBURG COUNTY WINS 180 NEW JOBS
-Governor Warner applauds APT’s decision to locate in Southside Virginia-
RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that APT, INC (Advanced Polyurethane Technologies) has chosen to locate in Mecklenburg County’s Boyd Warehouse, where it will manufacture and distribute its patented, low-cost polyurethane rubber boots. Through a $1.26 million investment, the project will create 50 new jobs during the company’s first year of operation, growing to 145 within 30 months and 180 employees within five years. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas, and the United Kingdom for the project.
“We appreciate APT’s strong vote of confidence in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Warner. “I am pleased to welcome this promising company to our state and especially to a region that needs an employment boost. APT’s manufacturing operation will help to further diversify Mecklenburg County’s economy.”
APT is America’s first manufacturer of polyurethane rubber boots. The company plans to produce boots in Mecklenburg County’s Town of South Hill for the United States and Canada, and to produce and license the technology to established protective footwear manufacturers overseas. APT will also supply the polyurethane raw materials used in its boots, which is produced by its strategic partner, Hyperlast, LTD – part of British Vita, a large multi-national polyurethane chemical company.
Compared to conventional rubber boots made from natural “tree-rubber” or PVC, polyurethane rubber boots are more comfortable, remain flexible at very low temperatures, are half the weight, are much warmer and insulating, last two to three times longer, and offer superior resistance to oils and acids. They have been imported from Europe and sold in the United States at several times the price of conventional boots. APT’s patented manufacturing process allows these superior boots to now be sold at prices competing with conventional rubber boots. APT plans to begin deliveries to its customers in early 2004.
“Mecklenburg County was chosen as the place to locate our company because of its quality, diversified labor force and a local need for our types of jobs. The terrific cooperation and help from local, state, and private economic development agencies, and the central location between our retail customers in the Northeast and our industrial customers in the Southeast, were also key elements in our decision,” said Peggi Foldes, President of APT, INC.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Lake Country Development Corporation and the Mecklenburg County Office of Economic Development assisted APT with its decision. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $70,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds to support the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services, as well as financing through the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority. The Virginia Community Development Loan Fund, based in Richmond, has also been instrumental in the finance and planning of the project.