HURT, Virginia – Governor Ralph Northam joined state, state and local officials in the city of Hurt this morning as Ohio-based manufacturing subsidiary Staunton River Plastics broke ground for its new facility here in Pittsylvania County.
“It’s an exciting day in Pittsylvania County,” said Northam.
Staunton River Plastics announced in May 2020 that it will invest $ 34 million to build a new 250,000 square foot facility in Southern Virginia Multimodal Park, a joint industrial park being developed by the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County and the Town of Town was hurt. The new plant should be completed in the first quarter of 2022 and employ around 200 people.
“Danville and Pittsylvania Counties are role models for the rest of the state in attracting new businesses and helping local businesses grow,” said Northam.
Governor Ralph Northam speaks to local, state and federal officials on the morning of the Staunton River Plastics groundbreaking ceremony in Hurt.
Northam presented the Commonwealth of Virginia flag to Greg Wood, Plant Manager at Staunton River Plastics.
“The new facility will provide an opportunity for many in the area to join the growing injection molded plastics business,” said Wood.
Although Wood is not from Hurt, his uncle was a 40-year-old long-time employee of the former Klopman Mills facility. His uncle was moved to tears when he heard that Staunton River Plastics was opening a facility in town.
“It’s a great day for the city of Hurt, it’s a great day for Danville-Pittsylvania, and it is indeed a great day for the Commonwealth,” said Brian Ball, Virginia Secretary of Commerce, who also attended the ceremony. “Today’s event is a celebration of the hard work put into economic development.”
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“We’re bringing significant industrial jobs back to Southern Virginia,” said Matt Rowe, director of economic development for Pittsylvania County. “Ultimately, this kind of teamwork is the only way to bring projects like Staunton River Plastics into such a community.”
The Pittsylvania County Industrial Development Authority is funding the build-to-suit facility for Staunton River Plastics through the American National Bank. It is being built by ARCO Design Build Industrial.
Rowe also indicated that the Norfolk Southern Railway will bring resin and other materials to the site via its rail line running parallel to Hurts Main Street during construction.
“Northern Pittsylvania County is a beautiful place to have a family, and that’s what we want – a thriving community where families can thrive,” Del said. Les Adams (R-16). “To make this happen, we need industry and opportunity, and that’s what Staunton River Plastics stands for.”
For Pittsylvania County Supervisor Tim Dudley (Staunton River), the groundbreaking ceremony for Staunton River Plastics’ Hurt is the quintessential rural Virginia comeback story.
“Klopman Mills sat here on this concrete block for decades and was one of the employers here in Pittsylvania County,” said Dudley. “But when the plant closed in 2007, the area was devastated without this pillar employer.”
Dudley said residents of northern Pittsylvania County’s most remote and vulnerable communities such as Renan, Straightstone, Brights, Grit, Motley, Pittsville and Sycamore were disproportionately affected by the shutdown.
“This is real local comeback story for the area,” said Dudley. “This is the story of a community that continues to believe in itself. It is the story of a city that is working on a new identity after losing its column industry. This is the story of a community that works together and refuses to give up in the face of economic difficulties. “
The Staunton River Regional Industrial Facility Authority (SRRIFA) was founded not so long ago with the idea of using the extensive property left behind in the course of the textile industry in Hurt for the creation of new, high-quality and well-paid jobs.
“Today we see a goal realized that we set out to do years ago when we founded the SRRIFA Board of Directors,” said Dudley.
Hurt Mayor Gary Hodnett is also the chairman of SRRIFA.
“The town of Hurt is survivors along with our friends and neighbors,” said Hodnett. “The last 15 years have not been easy, but today we are here in an atmosphere of really great news and new excitement.”
Hodnett, like Northam, Dudley and most of the other keynote speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony, recognized the productive collaboration between business and government for a purpose that is mutually beneficial to the citizens of communities like Hurt.
“We are launching an economic renewal in the town of Hurt that will bring many exciting new opportunities to the people of our entire region,” said Hodnett. “Today our dream has come true thanks to the hard work of so many people.”
Since the announcement in May 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has dampened every aspect of the project, making even the simplest business interactions difficult. But that did not stop any of the motivated parties, said Mayor Hodnett.
“What we are witnessing is a real awakening for Hurt and the entire northern county of Pittsylvania,” he said. “This groundbreaking marks a turning point on one of the first pages of a new chapter in local history that has yet to be read.”
Danville City Councilors Sherman Saunders and Lee Vogler attended the ceremony to underscore the City of Danville’s commitment to promoting economic development in its northern neighbor.
“This is a huge step forward for our citizens who have the opportunity to be part of a growing injection molding business,” Saunders said. “Together we are building a better future for our citizens and we are excited to have Staunton River Plastics part of our future. While the city of Danville is the furthest geographic partner from this location, we understand the importance of regionalism and strongly believe that this is the kind of development we can all believe in and achieve prosperity. “
Mayor Alonzo Jones added, “This ceremony is a big step not only for Staunton River Plastics, but also for this industrial park and the Dan River region. We know firsthand that the best way to move the region forward is to join forces and work together on key projects “that matter.”
In his remarks, Governor Northam also counted healthcare, rail and transportation, industrial expansion and broadband access as his future priorities for Pittsylvania County.