March 16, 2005

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

Anna Lone
Strongwell Corporation
(276) 645-8144
Christie Collins
(804) 371-4074
-Governor Warner announces $4 million investment; 65 new jobs in Southwest Virginia-

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Strongwell Corporation will invest $4 million and create 65 new jobs to expand its Highlands manufacturing facility near Abingdon. The company, a fiber reinforced plastics and polymer concrete manufacturer, will begin production of its Quazite® polymer concrete products at the Highlands facility. The expansion is driven by the demand for Quazite® polymer concrete boxes, which are used to house telecommunications lines and equipment. Virginia successfully competed with Tennessee, California, Mexico, Nevada, and Texas for the project.

“Strongwell’s decision to expand its operations at home is a great indicator of the success that can be found in Southwest Virginia,” said Governor Warner. “With its headquarters here, and an expanded manufacturing presence, Strongwell Corporation is a real asset to Virginia.”

Strongwell is both the world's largest producer of fiber reinforced polymer composites and North America's largest polymer concrete precaster. Strongwell has a worldwide customer base and operates stocking locations throughout the world to better serve its customers. Strongwell’s customers include Fortune 500 industrial and commercial firms, major architecture and engineering firms, leading contractors and distributors, and hundreds of other companies, large and small, in a wide variety of markets. The company’s headquarters is located in Bristol.

“To make the best business decision for our company, our people, and our customers, it was important for us to consider a variety of locations for expansion” said Keith Liskey, Strongwell’s Executive Vice President and COO. “We are very pleased our analysis convinced us to expand at home in Virginia.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Washington County and Virginia’s aCorridor assisted Strongwell with its decision to expand in Virginia. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $100,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds to support the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training through its Workforce Services Program.

"We are grateful for the renewed commitment Strongwell-Highlands Division is making in Washington County,” said John B. Roberts Sr., Chairman of the Washington County Board of Supervisors. “By providing a $50,000 local match to the Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds grant, the Washington County Board of Supervisors and Industrial Development Authority can assist the company in its efforts to diversify its product offerings and remain viable in our community for many years to come. Support of existing industry is one of our top priorities."


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