January 15, 2004

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

Clarkson Hine
Fortune Brands
(847) 484-4415
Jill Vaughan
(804) 371-0049
-Governor Warner announces largest job announcement for region in 30 years-

HENRY COUNTY - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced an agreement in principle for MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc., the second-largest cabinet manufacturer in North America, to locate a manufacturing facility in Henry County. Through the company’s anticipated multi-million dollar investment in real estate and equipment, the new facility is expected to create more than 700 new jobs over the next seven years. The project is subject to final approval by the company’s Board of Directors. MasterBrand Cabinets plans to acquire and expand the former 5B’s building in Henry County. The project is the largest economic development announcement in Southside Virginia in more than 30 years. Virginia successfully competed with neighboring states for the investment.

“My administration, along with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, has worked tirelessly with local officials to bring economic opportunities to Southside Virginia,” said Governor Warner. “I was pleased to personally work with MasterBrand Cabinets’ executives on this milestone project, which will bring more than 700 new jobs to one of Virginia’s most economically-distressed communities.”

MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc. is a subsidiary of Illinois-based Fortune Brands, the consumer products company behind leading brands such as Moen, Titleist, Jim Beam and Master Lock. MasterBrand Cabinets, based in Jasper, Indiana, is North America’s second largest cabinet manufacturer. MasterBrand Cabinets’ brands include Aristokraft, Schrock, Diamond, Kemper, Decora, Omega, Dynasty, HomeCrest and Kitchen Craft.

“Expanding our production of high-quality, semi-custom cabinetry into Virginia offers the opportunity to better serve customers in fast-growing markets throughout the Northeast. Henry County has a great workforce and we look forward to becoming part of the community,” said Rich Forbes, President of MasterBrand Cabinets.

Governor Warner approved a $1.5 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to support Henry County with the project. Henry County will match the $1.5 million grant with public and private-sector funds. The county also obtained $750,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Henry County Office of Commerce assisted MasterBrand Cabinets with its decision. The company is eligible for tax credits based on its location in an enterprise zone. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services in conjunction with funding from the Virginia Employment Commission’s National Emergency Grant program and the local Workforce Investment Board’s use of state Rapid Response funds.

“We are thrilled to have MasterBrand Cabinets choose Henry County for its expansion,” said David Davis, Chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors. “We think this is a perfect marriage between company and community, and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”


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