March 25, 2005

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

David Leonard
Designer Wood Tile & Finishing Inc.
(276) 889-4252
Christie Collins
(804) 371-4074
-Designer Wood Tile & Finishing Inc. will create 155 jobs in Southwest Virginia-

LEBANON - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Designer Wood Tile & Finishing Inc. will invest $4.2 million to open a pre-finished hardwood flooring business in Russell County. The project will result in 155 new jobs for Southwest Virginians. Virginia successfully competed with Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee for the project.

“This announcement results from the successful collaboration of local entrepreneurs, officials, and several state entities,” said Governor Warner. “In addition to the creative reuse of a vacant retail building, Designer Wood Tile & Finishing will provide needed job opportunities for workers in Southwest Virginia.”

Designer Wood Tile & Finishing Inc. is jointly owned by executives of two existing Russell County-based companies, Clinch Mountain Hardwood Flooring and Leonard Companies. The new company, which will locate in the former Acme grocery store, will manufacture finished hardwood flooring and finished stair tread and molding products, which will be sold nationally through existing distribution and marketing channels to retail and industrial clients.

“The strong work ethic along with the available work force, community support and infrastructure that is in Lebanon, Va., were important,” said David Leonard, Chairman of the Board for Designer Wood Tile & Finishing. “The site’s central location, proximity to major markets and the existing building added to its appeal. Virginia’s pro-business climate and Governor Warner’s success in achieving fiscal stability for the Commonwealth also were important factors that contributed to our decision.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Russell County Industrial Development Authority to prepare the state’s proposal and negotiate an incentive package that secured the project for Virginia. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $150,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training through its Workforce Services Program.

“It’s great when you can have a homegrown company such as Designer Wood Tile & Finishing, with the help of state and local agencies, open a new business locally,” said Danny Brown, Chairman of the Russell County Board of Supervisors.


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