January 13, 2005

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

Terri Birkett
Ten Oaks, LLC
(540) 694-3208
Christie Collins
(804) 371-4074
-Ten Oaks, LLC to begin manufacturing hardwood products in Stuart -

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner tonight announced that Ten Oaks, LLC, a new hardwood products manufacturer, is investing more than $6 million to open in Patrick County. The project will create 150 new jobs in Southwest Virginia. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project. The Governor made the announcement during his annual State of the Commonwealth speech.

“This project is an early win for our Virginia Works initiative where we are encouraging the redevelopment of existing manufacturing facilities,” said Governor Warner. “I am confident that Ten Oaks will find the infrastructure and workforce support it needs to achieve success in Patrick County.”

Ten Oaks was created by the former owners of Stuart Flooring Company, which was sold to Harris-Tarkett in 1998. The company will manufacture wood products in the former Vaughan Furniture plant in the Rich Creek Corporate Park in Stuart. Of the 150 jobs that Ten Oaks will create, plans include hiring many of the former Vaughan Furniture employees.

“We are located only 15 miles from North Carolina, a state that offers extremely good business startup incentives,” said company spokesperson Terri Birkett. “However, many factors went into choosing Patrick County as the site for our new business, such as local talents and work ethic that were unsurpassed by any in the country. Other factors include the county's outstanding SOL achievements in the public school system, the workforce retraining and adult education opportunities and the strong presence of the community college system in the county. These will help meet our needs for workforce education and training. Also, county-supported infrastructure development for economic growth is important for small business diversification. Such infrastructure includes planned road improvements in the near future, such as widening Route 58 to meet I-77 and the Route 8 connector road. These helped offset the transportation advantages of the North Carolina area.

“Virginia’s pro-business climate also figured into our decision. Virginia does an outstanding job providing agencies and programs to take much of the burden off of a small business startup. In addition, Governor Warner has recognized the needs of Southwest and Southside Virginia in the wake of jobs being outsourced overseas, and has addressed these in positive ways. His work toward developing fiscal stability through tax reform in the Commonwealth creates an overall healthy environment where businesses can thrive.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Patrick County Economic Development Office to prepare the state’s proposal and negotiate an incentive package to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Warner approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Patrick County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission also approved $200,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training through its Workforce Services Program.

“Patrick County is excited to locate this new firm in our community. The owners of Ten Oaks, LLC, have a long track record of providing excellent jobs to area residents and we look forward to assisting them with the long-term success of this new venture,” said Danny Foley, Chairman of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors. “With the help of Governor Warner, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and local leaders, Patrick County continues to make dramatic progress in reversing the job losses of recent years.”


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