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The Economic Development Committee of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors heard updates on several announced projects that are at different levels of beginning operations in Pittsylvania County during a Tuesday meeting. Susan McCulloch, Project Manager for Pittsylvania County Economic Development, provided the update on projects that have not moved into their facility yet, are working on constructing their facility, and/or have been slowed down by the economic fallout caused by COVID-19.
After a May announcement that Staunton River Plastics would invest $34 million and create 200 jobs at a new, 250,000 square feet facility at the Southern Virginia Multimodal Park in Hurt, the company is nearing groundbreaking pending finalized construction documents and Virginia DEQ approval. Despite the economic impacts of COVID-19, the plastics manufacture, which is a subsidiary of Altavista-based Rage Plastics, is still on schedule to employ 200 within the next four years. No grant funds have been released from Pittsylvania County or the Staunton River Regional Industrial Facility Authority since this is a performance-based project.
New Jersey-based vertical farming company AeroFarms announced in December 2019 that it would invest $42 million and create 92 jobs by locating at the Cane Creek Industrial Park. While the company has been delayed several months due to COVID-19, it has been able to renegotiate construction costs and is still expected to close on financing and break ground on its new facility by the end of the 1st quarter of 2021. This is a performance-based project, so no state, county, or local RIFA funds have been provided.
Panaceutics, a North Carolina-based pharmaceutical company that announced in 2018 that it would create 70 jobs at a Ringgold facility, currently has 17 employees and is actively hiring. No county grants have been provided at this time for the company. the Industrial Development Authority owns the facility and much of the equipment, which it is leasing back to the company.
One company has been delayed for several years due to the economic conditions brought on by COVID-19. After purchasing a facility in Gretna in 2018, Micro Blenders, Inc. has been forced to delay their project for several years due to COVID-19. In the meantime, the company is leasing out the facility to Sensata, an Altavista-based technology company that is looking to create 20 jobs.