FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2006

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


Bengt Danielsson
Swedwood North America
434-483-4301
Christie Miller
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
GOVERNOR KAINE ANNOUNCES 740 NEW JOBS FOR PITTSYLVANIA/DANVILLE AREA
-IKEA subsidiary Swedwood to build first U.S. manufacturing facility-


RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that Swedwood North America, a furniture manufacturer and subsidiary of IKEA, will build its North American manufacturing operation in Cane Creek Centre, an industrial park jointly developed by Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville. The company, which will produce furniture for IKEA home furnishing stores in North America, will begin work at the site in November, and the projected completion date on the first of three phases is the end of 2007. The Swedwood facility eventually will employ up to 740 people.

“Swedwood’s new facility represents the second largest investment ever in Southside Virginia,” said Governor Kaine. “I met with the company and learned that the caliber of competition for this project was high, but Cane Creek Centre’s ready site and the available, trained workforce pushed Virginia ahead. The Commonwealth winning Swedwood’s U.S. advanced manufacturing operation is extraordinary news for the region, and will be a major source of new employment.”

Swedwood International, headquartered in Ängelholm, Sweden and established in 1991, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The IKEA Group. Swedwood is an industrial group of more than 35 production units in mainly Eastern Europe, whose primary function is to manufacture and distribute furniture. Currently, Swedwood employs more than 13,000 employees globally.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Kaine approved a $3 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist the localities with the project. Governor Kaine also approved a $1 million grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, a performance-based incentive available to qualifying existing Virginia firms, to close the deal. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $2.4 million in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The company’s first phase of the project also qualifies for up to $1.35 million in rail and economic access grants from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and the Virginia Department of Transportation respectively. The economic development access grants will provide road access funding. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will support the project with training assistance through its Workforce Services Jobs Investment Program.

“All members of our Virginia team went to bat to win this project,” said Jeffrey M. Anderson, VEDP Executive Director. “Governor Kaine’s personal involvement in this project was instrumental, and in addition to grants, the technical assistance provided by the Department of Rail and Public Transportation staff was critical in locating this facility. From the beginning of the negotiation process, we knew the Commonwealth could meet Swedwood’s demands for its first U.S. operation. It was our goal to prepare a competitive business proposal and, at the end of the day, Virginia’s business climate spoke for itself.”

“Swedwood North America will be an asset to the City of Danville by providing hundreds of good jobs for the community and adding to the region’s prosperity,” said Jerry Gwaltney, Danville City Manager. “This also is an opportunity to showcase our workforce’s talents and willingness to work. This world leader in furniture production has chosen to locate its first U.S. plant in a world-class community, making this announcement a true testament to the value of partnership, preparation and perseverance by Danville and Pittsylvania County.”

"The announcement of such a large number of new jobs is wonderful news for the area,” said M.K. “Kate” Berger, Pittsylvania County Board Chair. “While Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville will be the primary beneficiary of the company's investment, our entire region will benefit. Today's announcement would not have been possible without the partnership of Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville to create Cane Creek Centre."

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