March 13, 2000

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Dale Hemberger
Tower Automotive
(540) 966-5315
Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces Tower Automotive's Expansion
--Company will employ 120 and invest $50 million in Botetourt County facility--

Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that Tower Automotive will construct an additional manufacturing facility in Botetourt County creating 120 new jobs. The company will invest $50 million in the 250,000-square-foot facility. The project ranks as the largest plant expansion in Botetourt County history.

"Tower Automotive has made an excellent decision by reinvesting in the Commonwealth," said Governor Gilmore. "We are pleased this respected manufacturer will create 120 more jobs for the people of the Roanoke Valley."

Tower Automotive is the leader in automated flexible manufacturing processes that support the highly customized commercial vehicle industry. Construction of the new plant will begin in June with production scheduled for early 2002. The new facility will manufacture customized frame rails for Class 5, 6, 7 and 8 trucks. The existing facility, built five years ago and adjacent to the new site, currently employs 135 workers. The new plant will use e-commerce technologies that place the customer a keystroke away from the factory floor with customized product delivered at a fast rate.

"We selected the Roanoke Valley because if its pro-business climate, excellent transportation network, workforce readiness and high quality of life," said Dale Hemberger, business unit leader of Tower Automotive. "We were also impressed with the technical support offered to us by Virginia Tech and Virginia Western Community College."

"Tower Automotive's decision further positions Virginia as a strategic location for automotive and truck assembly facilities," Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal said. "This project resulted from a major team effort between the locality, the region and the state."

Governor Gilmore approved a $500,000 Governor's Opportunity Fund grant to assist Botetourt County with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership and Botetourt County assisted Tower Automotive with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services. The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation will assist with rail access funding.



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