GOVERNOR KAINE ANNOUNCES 172 NEW JOBS FOR WASHINGTON AND SMYTH COUNTIES
-Gates Corporation to invest approximately $8 million in first Virginia facility -
RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that Gates Corporation, the largest non-tire rubber manufacturer of automotive and industrial products, systems and components in North America, will invest approximately $8 million to open its first Virginia facility in the Highlands Business Park, an industrial park jointly developed by Smyth and Washington counties. The company intends to create 172 new jobs. Virginia successfully competed with Tennessee for the project.
“Gates is an impressive national corporation with international ties, and will be a significant addition to Southwest Virginia,” Governor Kaine said. “The company recognized a unique location in Highlands Business Park, and will benefit from the skilled labor force in the area.”
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Gates Corporation maintains sales and marketing operations in every major automotive market, including North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. Gates is part of the Industrial and Automotive Group of Tomkins plc, a global engineering group listed on both the London (TOMK) and New York (TKS) stock exchanges, and with revenue in excess of $6 billion in 2006. Tomkins plc has more than 34,000 employees worldwide and enjoys strong market positions and technical leadership, and owns some of the best-known brands in their respective markets.
“Stable economic conditions within the region along with an ideal location to serve our customers drove the decision to locate our operations in the Southwestern Virginia area,” said Mike Cottrell, Vice-President North American Hydraulics and Worldwide Technology, Gates Corporation.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Washington County, Smyth County, the Smyth-Washington Regional Industrial Facilities Authority and Virginia’s aCorridor to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Kaine approved $300,000 from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist both counties with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $300,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds to support the project. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, because it is locating in a Virginia Enterprise Zone. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“We are excited to have the Gates Corporation choose our community to locate its newest manufacturing facility, and we look forward to the company being a long-term, stable employer for the region,” said Kenneth Reynolds, Chairman of the Washington County Board of Supervisors.
“It is great to see the result of the hard work and cooperation of both counties in the regional industrial park. We think that the Gates project will not only create these jobs announced today, but will lead to additional private investment in the park,” said Charlie Clark, Chairman of the Smyth County Board of Supervisors.