FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 03, 2000

Lila White
www.thedigitaldominion.com
(804) 692-3110


John Hall
SYSCO of Hampton Roads
(757) 399-2451
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Applauds 450 New Jobs for Hampton Roads
-- SYSCO Foodservices to locate distribution center in Suffolk; another 200 jobs saved -


Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today applauded the decision by SYSCO Foodservices to locate a new distribution center in the City of Suffolk. The SYSCO project will create 450 new jobs for Virginians during the project's first phase. An additional 200 jobs will remain in Virginia as a result of the company's decision.

"I applaud SYSCO for selecting Suffolk as its newest distribution location," said Governor Gilmore. "The quality workforce in Hampton Roads and the City's strategic location will assist the company in shipping their products throughout Southeast Virginia and Eastern North Carolina."

SYSCO is a Houston-based FORTUNE 100 company operating 78 distribution centers in 38 states. The company is the largest foodservice marketing and distribution company in North America, serving over 325,000 hotels, restaurants, healthcare facilities and educational institutions. SYSCO's 1999 corporate sales totaled $17 billion.

SYSCO Foodservices of Hampton Roads recently-acquired Doughtie's Foods, which had a customer base in Virginia and North Carolina. The first phase of the Suffolk facility will be constructed on 41 acres in Bridgeway Commerce Park and is expected to be operational in spring 2001. The second phase is planned for 2006 and will bring the facility's total square footage to 500,000. This expansion will continue the "acquisition/foldout growth strategy" that has proven to be successful for SYSCO nationally.

"We are very excited about the growth opportunities this decision will provide for our employees, suppliers and customers," said John Hall, president and CEO of SYSCO Foodservices. "Hampton Roads is an excellent logistical choice, as well as a superb food and entertainment market, which is the industry we serve."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance and the City of Suffolk assisted SYSCO with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services to the company.

"Virginia remains competitive in the distribution industry," said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal. "The Commonwealth welcomes SYSCO's third distribution facility."

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