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Volvo Trucks expansion to add 777 jobs

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Volvo Truck's Pulaski County plant. | Photo courtesy Volvo Trucks.

The largest private employer in the New River Valley announced a major expansion Friday, while also acknowledging that it expects to implement layoffs by the end of the year.

Volvo Group is investing $400 million to expand its Volvo Trucks plant in Dublin, a move that will add 777 jobs within six years. 

The news comes on the heels of Volvo Trucks’ announcement that it plans to implements layoffs at the Dublin plant before the end of the year due to decreased demand. Spokesman John Mies said the industry has seen strong growth for the past two years, but expects that trend to slow down next year, “as evidenced by recent order intake for the industry as a whole.”

The plant currently employs 3,500 workers and anticipates having almost 4,000 employees by 2025. As part of the expansion, the company will be eligible to receive $16.5 million in grants from the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission over the next decade. The new jobs will be added to the company’s employment level when negotiations began in 2018. (The company had 3,219 workers at that time).

It’s too soon to know how many workers will be impacted by the layoffs or when they will take place. However,  “those laid off will go on the recall list for when market demand requires a ramp-up,” Mies says.

Volvo’s expansion will include the addition of a 350,000-square-foot facility that will house truck cab welding operations and serve as an expansion of the company’s existing plant.

“As the leading private employer in the New River Valley, Volvo Trucks has been a bedrock of this community for more than 40 years and has fueled the regional economy,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement. He said the expansion represents one of the largest capital investments in the history of Southwestern Virginia.

Pulaski County will support the project by granting Volvo 222 acres of land to expand the campus, which the county purchased in October 2017. The county also is providing half a million dollars for site improvements, which could include upgrading utilities or adding a turn lane or stop light to the property, says County Administrator Jonathan D. Sweet.  

Additionally, Volvo is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Virginia competed against multiple other states for the project.

Volvo manufactures trucks in 15 countries. The Volvo Trucks facility in Pulaski County is its largest in the world, with 1.6 million square feet on nearly 300 acres.

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