On Monday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Hitachi ABB Power Grids, a leader in power and energy technologies, will invest $6.2 million to upgrade equipment and increase manufacturing capacity at its Bland County operation. The facility is the largest private-sector employer in the county and the leading producer of dry-type transformers in North America. The Bland County operation successfully competed with other Power Grid manufacturing facilities across the United States for this project, which will create 40 new jobs.
“Hitachi ABB Power Grids has made tremendous contributions to Southwest Virginia and the Commonwealth for nearly 50 years, and we look forward to our continued partnership with this expansion,” said Governor Northam. “The company’s decision to invest in its Bland County facility is a testament to the region’s accessibility, integrated transportation network, and skilled manufacturing workforce. We thank Hitachi ABB for its commitment to sustainable energy and for helping advance our Clean Energy Virginia initiative in rural parts of the Commonwealth.”
In operation since 1972, Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ Bland facility is responsible for the design and manufacture of medium voltage dry-type power transformers used to adjust and stabilize the voltage of electricity flowing between the electric grid and businesses, homes, and factories. The company employs more than 800 workers throughout Virginia, with approximately 332 at its Bland County facility.
“We are proud to see Hitachi ABB Power Grids creating high-quality 21st-century jobs in Southwest Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The important upgrades the company is incorporating into its facility will position Hitachi ABB to expand its manufacturing capabilities and secure its future in Bland County.”
“With its proximity to key markets and range of transportation options, Virginia provides the right combination of location and access that makes it easy to get our products where they need to be,” said Steve McKinney, Hitachi ABB Power Grids Senior Vice President and Hub Manager for Transformer Business in North America. “Perhaps most importantly, the Commonwealth has a skilled workforce and is able to meet our advanced manufacturing needs. We look forward to building on our long, successful track record in Virginia.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Bland County Economic Development Authority, the Virginia’s Industrial Advancement Alliance, and the Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $140,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Bland County with the project. The company is also eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program. Funding and services to support Hitachi ABB Power Grids Transformer employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“On behalf of my fellow members of the Board of Supervisors, we are excited about this expansion,” said Chairman of the Bland County Board of Supervisors Adam Kidd. “Hitachi ABB Power Grids has been a longstanding operation and to know that the company is willing to expand here in Bland County speaks volumes to the quality of the workforce in our area as well as the access to an excellent interstate system with a business-supporting community.”
“The Bland County Economic Development Authority is extremely proud that Hitachi ABB Power Grids has decided to expand its world-class operation in beautiful Bland County,” said Chairman of Bland County Economic Development Authority David Dillow. “We welcome companies like Hitachi ABB Power Grids to our successful business community in Bland County.”
“It is always good news when a multinational corporation like Hitachi ABB Power Grids chooses to expand, due in part, to the benefits provided by The Port of Virginia,” said Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart. “We are expanding our capabilities to attract more companies like Hitachi ABB Power Grids, and we look forward to serving as its international trade gateway for decades to come.”
“I am delighted that ABB Power Grids has chosen to expand operations in Bland County,” said Senator Ben Chafin. “Right off Interstate-77 and miles from Interstate-81, Bland County is an ideal location to do business. Like all of Southwest Virginia, this community provides an efficient and robust workforce that would be ideal for any entities looking to locate in the Commonwealth.”
“This is very exciting for Bland County and Southwest Virginia,” said Delegate Will Morefield. “We are very appreciative that Hitachi ABB Power Grids is committed to our region, especially during this difficult time. We will continue to support companies like Hitachi ABB Power Grids and make every effort to help diversify the economy in Southwest Virginia.”
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