Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Brews up 800 New Jobs in Virginia
Virginia’s Isle of Wight County received a huge boost when leading coffeemaker Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) announced it will invest $180 million and create 800 jobs over the next five years. The company plans to purchase a 330,000-square-foot building at Shirley T. Holland Intermodal Park that will serve as a production and distribution facility, handling the roasting, grinding, flavoring and packaging of its Keurig® single-serve product line.
This $180 million project was announced just six months from VEDP’s initial contact with the company, requiring all parties to act quickly and decisively. State, regional and local teams worked together to do everything possible to move the project forward. One aspect of this cooperation involved expanding a Virginia Enterprise Zone to include more than 2,400 additional acres in Isle of Wight County. Enterprise Zones are located in economically distressed areas across the state and encourage businesses to establish locations with tax, property and job creation incentives. Isle of Wight qualified for this designation after it lost 1,100 jobs due to the closing of the International Paper mill in 2009.
Virginia was able to attract this world class consumer products company because it provided a location that aligned the company’s production facility with its supply chain, workforce and logistical needs, allowing for easy transport, especially to the Northeast markets. The building at Shirley T. Holland Intermodal Park matched the company’s needs and could be upfitted to specifications for coffee roasting and Keurig® cup packaging, not to mention it offered available land for expansion.
GMCR referenced the appeal of Virginia’s workforce as one of the key factors in selecting this site. Virginia is home to more than 500 food processing companies that employ more than 33,000 people. A steady stream of skilled employees is provided through Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science and Technology, the Virginia Packaging Application Center at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, and the Center for High Performance Manufacturing, also at Virginia Tech.
The Food and Beverage cluster is growing in the Commonwealth as food processing companies have invested more than $2 billion since 2000, creating more than 6,900 new jobs. Hershey, Kraft Foods, Perdue, Smithfield and Tyson have all elected to locate operations in Virginia. In fact, Phoenix Packaging Operations, LLC, a company that over the last 18 months announced plans to invest $37.5 million in Virginia, counts GMCR as one of its packaging customers.
To learn more about Virginia’s thriving Food and Beverage industry click here.
Amazon.com Brings 1,350 New Jobs to Virginia
Just before the holidays, Amazon.com announced it will invest $135 million to establish two fulfillments centers — one in Chesterfield County and one in Dinwiddie County. The combined project includes plans to create 1,350 new jobs, the largest jobs announcement Virginia has seen since 2004.
This joint win comes as a result of both counties working over many years to ensure their business parks would attract world class companies like Amazon. The Meadowville Technology Park in Chesterfield and Dinwiddie Commerce Park in Dinwiddie are shovel-ready sites offering sufficient water, gas, and electricity capacity for large business customers, as well as convenient access to I-95, I-85 and the nearby UPS hub.
Due to their central East Coast location, these two fulfillment centers will expand Amazon’s distribution ring across the U.S. and allow the company to easily service customers within one to two business days. Virginia already has a strong reputation for its logistics capabilities reaching both global and domestic markets. The Port of Virginia, with its deep harbor and Suez-class cranes, offers companies the only East Coast location able to hand post-Panamax vessels as first port of call. With two Class I railroads, an Inland Port, and a world-class interstate system, companies located in Virginia can transport goods to customers quickly and cheaply.
Virginia is a popular place for logistics companies, with two recent announcements including Ace Hardware and Backcountry.com. To learn more about Virginia’s logistics capabilities and why more than 364 global logistics projects have been announced in the past 10 years click here.
Top U.S. Construction Company Nets 625 Jobs for the Top State for Business
Bechtel Corporation, rated the top U.S. construction contractor by Engineering News-Record, recently announced its plans to invest $18 million and bring 625 jobs to Fairfax County in Northern Virginia. The company will relocate its Global Operations headquarters from Maryland and establish its Government Services group headquarters at the Reston Town Center in Reston, Va.
Bechtel selected Virginia because it has the right combination of resources to help the company succeed in a global environment. The growth sectors of the Commonwealth closely align with Bechtel’s market focus, and the location in Fairfax County puts the company in close proximity to key customers in the government, IT, energy and transportation sectors. With the company’s corporate headquarters in San Francisco, Virginia’s central East Coast location gives Bechtel a coast-to-coast presence as well as global access through nearby Dulles International Airport.
Virginia’s ability to match the company’s workforce needs, particularly in the IT and engineering sectors, helped seal the deal. Virginia has the highest concentration of high-tech workers in the nation according to Cyberstates 2010 –- 277,575 to be exact. The Commonwealth also has a strong pipeline of educated technology professionals entering the workforce with more than 18,500 students enrolled in IT programs and 3,400 degrees and certificates awarded in the 2009-2010 academic year. To learn more about Virginia’s technology assets click here.
Bechtel is part of a steady stream of companies who have recognized Virginia’s pro-business climate and selected the Commonwealth for their headquarters operations. CSC, Hilton Worldwide, ITT Exelis, MeadWestvaco, Northrop Grumman, Owens & Minor, Performance Food Group, Smithfield Foods and Volkswagen of America are just a few companies that have established headquarters in the Commonwealth. To learn why many of the world’s largest companies call Virginia home click here.
<< Back to Yes Virginia Insider