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Community Profile: Shenandoah Valley Greg Hitchin,


Hitchin


Waynesboro’s director of economic development and tourism, sees a simi- lar benefit for the city’s economic development growth opportunities. “By partnering on this initia-


tive, we are solidifying our interest in a high-wage industry that will graduate skilled, certified technicians in a high- demand marketplace — a positive outcome for both area students and businesses,” he says.


Corporate moves The region’s transportation infra-


structure, including its proximity to major interstates and access to the Port of Virginia, has helped the valley attract several multimillion-dollar corporate locations and expansions in recent months. InterChange Cold Storage is build-


ing a 250,0000-square-foot facility in Rockingham County to provide cold- chain warehousing and value-added services to the region’s food and beverage


industry. The $41.6 million investment is expected to create 88 jobs. Road improvements and new


rail service to the site will connect the InterChange facility to area manufactur- ers and the Port of Virginia, enhancing the potential for exporting the region’s food products overseas. The facility also will offer blast freezing for the poultry industry. Sumitomo Machinery Corp. of


America is investing in new machinery at its manufacturing operation in Augusta County. The company, a subsidiary of one of the largest heavy machinery manufac- turers in Japan, will purchase new 10- and 20-ton overhead cranes, a new paint booth, an automatic storage retrieval system, and new assembly workstations. Sumitomo recently built a 72,000-square- foot facility adjacent to its former location in the Mill Place Commerce Park. NIBCO Inc., a manufacturer of


copper valves, fittings and flow-control products, is investing $14 million to expand its operations in Augusta County. The company is adding equipment and updating technology, training programs


and new product development at its Stu- arts Draft facility, which opened in 1969. The project will create 30 new jobs, while retaining 117 existing employees who will be retrained on the new technology. Also as part of its expansion


plans, NIBCO recently purchased a 173,000-square-foot manufacturing/ distribution building in Buena Vista. In Frederick County, Amazon


has opened a 1-million-square-foot e-commerce facility that soon will employ more than 1,000 workers. The facility is intended to help the online retailer improve distribution to mid- Atlantic markets. The county’s permit review team collaborated with Amazon and the developer to meet a nine-month occupancy deadline. Economic development officials


hope the new United/SkyWest service at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport will help the region attract more projects like these. “The Shenandoah Valley Regional


Airport has the potential to be one of the biggest drivers of economic develop- ment in this region,” Robinson says.


1/2 hor


• Full service hotel & conference center in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley • 21,000 square feet of meeting space • Meetings and events to 1,000 • 230 comfortably appointed guestrooms


710 S. Main Street • Harrisonburg, VA 22801 • (540) 214-2283 • events@hotelmadison.com 82 NOVEMBER 2018 Photo by Norm Shafer


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