FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2000

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


Kristen Gunkel
Epley Associates/ Public Relations
(919) 877-0877
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces John Deere Expansion in James City County
--Fortune 500 company invests an additional $12.5 million in new paint facility- -


Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that John Deere will expand its utility vehicle engineering, manufacturing and marketing complex in James City County. The company first announced it would locate in the county in April 1999. John Deere officially opened the complex this month. The expansion will consist of a new $12.5 million paint facility scheduled to be completed by June 2001. The paint facility will initially employ 12 workers and will grow to 20 to 25. This brings the total investment for Deere in Virginia to over $42 million.

"It is an honor to announce John Deere's grand opening in the Commonwealth of Virginia," said Governor Gilmore. "A world leader in commercial and consumer equipment, the company's products have assisted Virginians in their personal and professional lives for over a century. I am delighted that John Deere is already expanding in Virginia."

The James City County complex manufactures the John Deere line of Gator® and ProGator® utility vehicles. Two-seated Gator utility vehicles come in four-wheel and six-wheel versions, with gas diesel, and electric versions. John Deere anticipates an economic impact of between $15 and $20 million annually to the local and state economy through payroll, fees and taxes.

"We were attracted to Virginia because of the state, region, and community support for John Deere and the pro-business environment in the state," said Dave Larson, General Manager of the John Deere Vehicle Group. "We are already starting to prosper here because of the great people we have been able to find and the ease with which we have been able to recruit, due to the schools and the quality of life on the Virginia Peninsula."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Peninsula Alliance for Economic Development, James City County and the county's Industrial Development Authority assisted the company with its decision regarding the new paint facility. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance is providing workforce training services to John Deere.

"Virginia's pro-business climate has once again made the difference to a major manufacturer," Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal said. "We are pleased that John Deere will locate its paint facility here, rounding out its production of Gator® utility vehicles here in the Commonwealth."

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