FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2005

Kevin Hall
www.governor.virginia.gov
(804) 225-4260


Peter Harris
Specialty Blades, Inc.
540-248-2200
Christie Collins
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
GOVERNOR WARNER ANNOUNCES SPECIALTY BLADES EXPANSION IN STAUNTON
-Manufacturing company to invest $6 million and create 25 new jobs-


RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Specialty Blades, Inc. will invest $6 million to expand its facility in the City of Staunton. The company manufactures precision-cutting and piercing components for surgical and industrial use. The project will create 25 new jobs.

“Specialty Blades officials joined me on our trade mission to China in June 2004,” said Governor Warner. “Because of increased opportunities for international trade, the company now is able to produce a more precision-based product in Virginia. Specialty Blades has found exactly what it needs in Staunton, and I congratulate both the company and the city on this success.”

Headquartered in Staunton, Specialty Blades was founded in 1985 to address the needs of industrial and surgical customers who require high-performance cutting components. Specialty Blades developed a process utilizing custom-designed, programmable Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinery to generate highly complex sharpened components. With the expansion announced today, the company will have the broadest array of edge generating processes in the world.

“The markets we serve are expanding in both size and complexity, leading our business through a period of transformational growth. We have been very fortunate to enjoy strong support from both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Staunton as we move forward with our growth plans,” said Peter Harris, Specialty Blades’ President and CEO. “Virginia offers great benefits for companies like ours, whose ability to compete on a global basis depends upon deploying innovative, advanced manufacturing technologies and developing the workforce to support them.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Staunton and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Warner approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Staunton with the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through its Workforce Services Jobs Investment Program.

“The City of Staunton is proud to assist Specialty Blades with their latest expansion,” said John Avoli, Mayor, City of Staunton. “Their advanced technology production process, as well as their research and development function, provide state-of-the-art engineering, quality control, and production employment for the community. Staunton will work closely with company management to ensure Specialty Blades maintains their global innovation leadership in medical incision and industrial cutting technology.”

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