May 18, 2000

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Conway Jensen
Sykes Enterprises
(813) 274-1000
Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Sykes Enterprises to Locate in Wise County
--Governor Gilmore announces up to 400 new jobs for Southwest Virginia- -New enterprise zones design-

Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated, an information technology company based in Tampa, Fl., will locate a new customer technical support center in Wise County. The company could create up to 400 new jobs through a minimum investment of $7 million.

"I am pleased to welcome Sykes Enterprises as the first tenant in the Lonesome Pine Regional Business and Technology Park. Technology-driven businesses like Sykes will reap the rewards of Southwest Virginia's dedicated workforce and its business-friendly climate.

"Today I am also designating a portion of Wise County, including the Lonesome Pine Business and Technology Park, as an Enterprise Zone. This designation will assist Wise County and the region in recruiting other technology firms to further the vision of a new future for Southwest Virginia," said Governor Gilmore.

With approximately 14,000 employees worldwide, Sykes is a global leader in providing vertically integrated technology-based solutions. By utilizing its IT support centers and e-business platform, Sykes provides traditional and e-commerce services at all stages in the life cycle of its clients' products and services, including initial development, documentation and localization, customer product services and end-user support. Sykes currently operates 40 technical call centers, 10 e-commerce centers and 25 offices throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, Central America and the Philippines.

"These grants and designations announced by Governor Gilmore will make significant, positive changes in the economic futures of these communities," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal. "Sykes' decision demonstrates that companies in the 'new' economy can locate in rural areas of the Commonwealth and benefit from skilled workers and a high quality of life."

Governor Gilmore approved a $1 million loan from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Wise County with site preparation. The loan will be forgivable if the company meets their intended job creation level. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, the LENOWISCO Planning District Commission, the Duffield Industrial Development Authority, and Wise County assisted Sykes with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

On July 1, 1999, the General Assembly allocated $750,000 to support the development of the Lonesome Pine Business and Technology Park. Governor Gilmore approved this initiative as well as $1,375,000 in Industrial Development Site Funds for infrastructure development to serve this new technology park.

"Today's announcements demonstrate that Southwest Virginia is working hard to recruit top businesses to the region," said Senator William Wampler. "I commend Governor Gilmore for his commitment to helping rural Virginia grow and prosper."

"The development of the Lonesome Pine Regional Business and Technology Park is an important step in expanding our economy in Southwest Virginia," said Delegate Terry Kilgore. "I appreciate Governor Gilmore's leadership on this project."

The Governor also announced today that other Virginia communities will receive Industrial Site Development Fund grants and Enterprise Zone designations through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Governor Gilmore announced the following:

Washington and Smyth Counties will receive $1.375 million in Industrial Site Development Funds to provide infrastructure development at a regional industrial park and will share a joint Enterprise Zone that includes that regional park.
Dickenson County and the Town of Clintwood will receive a joint Enterprise Zone designation to assist in meeting their community and economic development goals.



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