March 18, 2005

Ellen Qualls

Marc Williamson
Narricot Industries, LP
(215) 322-3906
Christie Collins
(804) 371-4074
-Governor Warner announces German manufacturer to invest $20 million; add 138 new jobs-

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Narricot Industries, LP, a leading manufacturer of side impact airbags and polyester and nylon webbing products for the automotive and defense industries, will invest a total of $20 million to expand its Southampton County facility and ramp up its Mecklenburg County facility. This project will result in the creation of 138 new jobs. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project.

“Last summer in Germany, I met with Narricot Industries’ parent company, the Berger Group, to specifically discuss this expansion project,” said Governor Warner. “This announcement demonstrates the competitiveness of our workforce in Southside Virginia, and the region’s proven appeal to a broad spectrum of industries.”

While the Mecklenburg facility ramps up airbag production through 2007, Narricot will transfer 100 jobs from Mecklenburg County to Southampton County where seatbelt manufacturing operations will be consolidated. In addition to the transferred jobs, the company will create 30 new jobs within 30 months at the Southampton facility. The 100 transferred jobs will be replenished at Mecklenburg County, plus an additional eight jobs, resulting in a total of 138 new jobs for Southside Virginia over the next two years.

Established in Philadelphia in 1898, Narricot Industries, LP is the number one supplier of seatbelt webbing to the North American automotive industry. In addition to seatbelt webbing, Narricot also manufactures other highly engineered polyester and nylon webbing products for industrial, military, fall protection and commercial applications. In May of 2000, Narricot merged with the German-based Berger Group, Europe's largest producer of airbags and seatbelt webbings. By joining forces with the Berger Group, Narricot has the resources and the capabilities to fully support customers on a global level.

“Virginia is an ideal location for expansion,” said Frank Goehring, President of Narricot Industries. “We have a long history with Virginia and have enjoyed the many benefits of the excellent workforce and flexible manufacturing environment that Virginia provides for us to be the leading manufacturer of safety textiles in North America.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Mecklenburg County and Southampton County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Warner approved a $450,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist both counties with the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide new jobs training and retraining through its Workforce Services Program.

"Southampton County values its 40-year plus partnership with Narricot Industries,” said Dallas O. Jones, Chairman of the Southampton County Board of Supervisors. "We appreciate Narricot's vote of confidence in our workforce and its commitment to our local economy. We also appreciate the regional cooperation we received from our neighbors in Mecklenburg County."

“We are very pleased that over the next couple of years Narricot will make a $16.7 million investment in its airbag production and will replace the jobs being transferred to South Hampton, plus add to that employment to bring the South Hill plant above its present employment level,” said South Hill Mayor Earl Horne. “It is good to have Narricot, one of, if not the top airbag industry, in South Hill. They play a very positive role in our town and county success.”


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