FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 09, 2004

Ellen Qualls
www.governor.state.va.us


Craig Bennett
Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company
(626) 965-1541
Jill Vaughan
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
UTILITY TRAILER TO EXPAND IN SMYTH COUNTY
-Governor Warner announces trailer manufacturer to create 100 new jobs at existing facility-


RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company, a leading manufacturer of trailers for the commercial trucking industry, will expand its operations in Smyth County and create 100 new jobs. Through an $11.5-million investment, the company will modernize and increase its production of refrigerated trailers, also known as “reefer” trailers. Virginia successfully competed with other states for the project.

“Utility Trailer’s decision to expand is a tremendous boost to the economy of Smyth County,” said Governor Warner. “I am pleased the state could support this important project, which will ensure the future of the operation and the company’s hundreds of existing Smyth County jobs.”

Located in the Mountain Empire Industrial Park, Utility Trailer’s Smyth County facility has been in operation since 1989 and currently employs more than 700 Virginians. In 1999, Utility Trailer also constructed a dry van trailer manufacturing facility in Washington County, Virginia, which currently employs more than 250 people.

Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company designs, engineers, builds and services a complete line of trailers, including flatbeds, refrigerated trailers, dry freight vans, and curtain-sided trailers. The company is privately owned and based in City of Industry, California. With five manufacturing facilities throughout the United States, Utility Trailer has led the trucking industry in innovation since 1914.

“Utility still embraces the values and vision laid forth by our founders in 1914,” said Hal Bennett, President of Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company. “Those values guide how we conduct our business each day. Most important in those values are loyalty to our employees and their families, to our customers and our vendors and specifically to the Commonwealth of Virginia and Smyth County who have supported us for many years. Deciding to expand here was just the right thing to do.”

Governor Warner approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Smyth County with the project. The county also obtained $200,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Smyth County assisted Utility Trailer with its decision.

“Utility Trailer has been a major employer and wonderful corporate citizen since they came to Smyth County in 1988,” said Marvin R. Perry, Chairman of the Smyth County Board of Supervisors. “We are excited about their expansion plans and look forward to their continued success.”

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