FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2000

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


Reed Dillon
Nationwide Homes
(540) 656-7221
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces 170 Jobs for Martinsville
--Nationwide Homes to expand manufacturing plant--


Martinsville - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced Nationwide Homes, a manufacturer of systems-built modular homes, will expand its Martinsville facility and create 170 new jobs for the region over the next 30 months. The company has operated the plant in Martinsville since 1959. Virginia successfully competed with Georgia for the $3 million investment.

"I am honored to make this announcement during National Building Systems Week," said Governor Gilmore. "This expansion comes at a time when we are all working hard to bring new employment opportunities to Southside Virginia. Nationwide Homes' decision to expand in Martinsville will helps further diversify the City's economy."

Nationwide Homes has been consistently rated as one of the nation's top five producers of systems-built modular homes. Nationwide is the South's largest producer of modular systems-built single family homes, multifamily dwellings, and room additions. Operating five plants out of locations in Martinsville and Arabi, Georgia, Nationwide has produced over 24,000 quality homes including two-story, cape cod and ranch styles with living areas up to 4,000 square feet.

Existing long-term plans call for Nationwide Homes to add 70 workers to its existing workforce by the end of 2001. The construction of a new production facility at the Rives Road Industrial Park is scheduled to begin in the year 2002 with the hiring of another 100 people.

Ron Evans, Nationwide Homes President and CEO, elaborated, "Throughout the years, the Martinsville area has blessed Nationwide Homes with a quality-oriented workforce and a business- friendly environment. Due to the rise in builder preference for our systems-built product, Nationwide has incurred much demand for its homes. Nationwide's own internal research, industry experts and market indicators all project this trend will increase steadily in the coming years. This agreement with the city and state will allow us to add additional people and augment our production capacities to grow right here in and with the City of Martinsville."

"Existing businesses are key to Virginia's economic success," Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal added. "We are pleased that Nationwide Homes has placed confidence in Southside Virginia and its dedicated workforce."

Governor Gilmore approved a Governor's Opportunity Fund grant for $150,000 to assist the City with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Patrick-Henry Development Council and the City of Martinsville assisted the company with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

"This announcement is a major step forward in revitalizing the City's economy," said Martinsville Mayor Mark Crabtree. "Our citizens are ready, willing and able to work, and we're pleased that Nationwide is the first company to take advantage of our 'free land for jobs offer.'"



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