FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2000

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


Jim Lievens
SMI Steel Products
(830) 372-8442
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
SMI Steel Products Selects Prince Edward County
--Manufacturer will create 150 new jobs in the Farmville area--


Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that SMI Steel Products, a subsidiary of Commercial Metals Company (NYSE: CMC), will locate a new manufacturing facility in Prince Edward County creating 150 jobs for Virginians. The facility should be operational by September. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the $5-10 million investment.

"SMI's decision to locate this important facility in Prince Edward County is great news for the people of Southside Virginia," Governor Gilmore said. "My administration will continue to assist all regions of the Commonwealth in their economic development efforts, so that no region is left behind."

CMC and its subsidiaries manufacture, recycle and market steel and metal products and related materials through a network of over 110 locations worldwide and currently operates two facilities in Virginia: SMI Rebar-Virginia in Fredericksburg and Howell Metal Company in Shenandoah County. CMC is comprised of three divisions: Recycling, Trading and Manufacturing. The new venture will operate as part of the "CMC Steel Group," companies operating in the Manufacturing Division. SMI Steel Products is a manufacturer of Smartbeam™ cellular and castellated steel beams used as roof and floor supports in building construction. The basic raw material used for the product is scrap steel from automobiles, refrigerators, farm implements, etc. that has been recycled into wide flange beams.

Marvin Selig, Chairman of the CMC Steel Group stated "We are appreciative of the cooperative, 'can-do' response we have received from the people and government of the Commonwealth of Virginia." The manager of the new facility, Curtis Raven, added "This region has much to offer: proximity to a wide flange beam supplier that recently became operational in Virginia, transportation links to major markets, and good people with a solid work ethic. We will be proud to call Prince Edward County home."

"We are pleased that CMC is building a third facility in the Commonwealth," Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal added. "Traditional manufacturers are extremely important to Virginia's economy, and this facility will add to Prince Edward County's industrial base."

Governor Gilmore approved a grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund in the amount of $350,000 to assist Prince Edward County with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia's Heartland and Prince Edward County assisted SMI Steel Products with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.



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