March 05, 2009

Gordon Hickey
(804) 225-4260

Paul Oppenheim
SPARTA Composite Products
Christie Miller
(804) 545-5805
-SPARTA Composite Products to invest $13.2 million in manufacturing facility-

RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that SPARTA Composite Products, a division of SPARTA, Inc., will invest $13.2 million to open a manufacturing facility in the City of Suffolk. The company will manufacture composite parts for the aerospace and defense industry, creating 198 jobs over a five-year period. Virginia successfully competed with Georgia, Florida and Iowa for the project.

SPARTA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cobham plc. The new facility is expected to be operational in December 2009. Hiring will begin in the 3d quarter of 2009.

“SPARTA already has a significant presence in Virginia, operating in three different localities in the state,” Governor Kaine said. “I am confident that as a division of this successful company the Suffolk operation will be the right fit for SPARTA Composite Products’ expansion into the East Coast market. The project is also a great complement to the Commonwealth’s growing and impressive aerospace cluster.”

SPARTA Composite Products is an industry leader in the high-volume production of composite products and sub-assemblies for aerospace and commercial systems. The Suffolk operation will complement SPARTA Composite Products’ current facilities in San Diego, California. The company’s product areas include advanced composite products for aircraft engine applications, aircraft structural products, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) components, as well as missile and munitions products for the U.S. defense industry.

“We explored many possible locations around the country, but the Commonwealth of Virginia and specifically the City of Suffolk offered the best overall value to our business case,” said Paul Oppenheim, Vice President and General Manager of SPARTA Composite Products. “The most significant factors that won us over to Virginia included having the highest value of incentives, an outstanding quality of living, close proximity to excellent academic institutions with complimentary curricula to our industry, a high-technology skilled and disciplined workforce available through the over 18,000 retiring military personnel annually, the fact that Virginia is a right-to-work state, and having a strong political delegation that is supportive of continued defense funding is very important to our company as well as to our customers who rely on strong political delegation that is supportive of a continued strong national defense.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Suffolk and the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Kaine approved a $300,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Suffolk with the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“The City of Suffolk is extremely pleased that SPARTA Composite Products has chosen our community for its most recent expansion. The selection of this site in Northgate Commerce Park will be beneficial to Suffolk and the entire region,” said Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson. “We are delighted that our cooperative efforts in targeting specific industry sectors have been successful.”


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