Company News For the Record

For the Record - January 2016

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EASTERN VIRGINIA
Virginia Beach City Council in December approved a deal to build an arena near the Oceanfront that will seat 15,000 to 18,000 people. The city will use $76.5 million from hotel and discretionary taxes to improve infrastructure around the arena. United States Management, a local company, will finance the project with a $170 million loan from The Export-Import Bank of China. (The Virginian-Pilot) 

General Dynamics’ NASSCO-Norfolk shipyard has warned its employees of pending layoffs, a company spokesman confirmed in November. An image of an internal company memo posted on the website of WAVY-TV said the yard’s 880-employee workforce could be cut by as many as 360 employees in January. (The Virginian-Pilot)

The Navy’s economic impact in Hampton Roads reached nearly $10 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2014, an increase of about $770 million from the previous year, according to figures released by the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. While the report reflects an increase, the overall trend of Navy spending shows a decline in recent years. In the fiscal year that ended in 2011, the Navy’s economic impact was nearly $15 billion. (The Virginian-Pilot)

Newport News Shipbuilding announced in December that 738 employees would lose their jobs due to drop in workload. The layoffs are effective Feb. 3. Additional job cuts are anticipated in 2016. Earlier in 2015, the shipyard said it planned to shed more than 1,500 jobs through the following year. The company laid off 480 workers in September. (The Daily Press)

The railroad controlled by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is open to making a competing bid for Norfolk-based Norfolk Southern, the target of a $30 billion takeover effort by Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP). BNSF Railway Executive Chairman Matt Rose doesn’t favor North American rail mergers, but he says his company won’t sit on the sidelines in any fresh dealmaking. Norfolk Southern has rejected CP’s offers. (Bloomberg News)

Norfolk State University is off probation. It was restored to good standing by an accrediting agency, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, after two years of sanctions. The agency placed NSU on warning status in 2013, citing a list of mostly administrative weaknesses that knocked the school out of compliance with SACS standards. (The Virginian-Pilot) 

SHENANDOAH VALLEY
Front Royal recently submitted an application to become part of the Virginia Main Street Program, which seeks to make improvements to downtowns through organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring. Seven other towns in Virginia applied for the program, and three will be selected. If the town is not accepted into the program in 2015, it can reapply in two years. (The Warren Sentinel)

After a four-month selection process, Harrisonburg and Rockingham County’s artisan trail has a name: the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Artisan Trail. The Artisan Trail Network identifies and markets each region’s culture and artisan traditions, focusing on handcrafted and locally grown items. The decision for the name followed several months of community gatherings, creative input and consideration, it says. (Daily News-Record)

Members of the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce has announced its award winners. Main Street Baking and Catering Inc. was named agricultural/eco-friendly business of the year; Stover Hall was designated the tourism/hospitality business of the year; and Page Memorial Hospital Wellness and Fitness Center was named retail/services business of the year.  (Page News and Courier)

Shareholders of Waynesboro-based nTelos Holdings Corp. have approved Shenandoah Telecommunications’ $640 million acquisition of the regional cellphone company. The acquisition is expected to close in early 2016. Edinburg, Virginia-based Shenandoah Telecommunications has said about 290,000 nTelos wireless customers will be converted to Sprint-affiliated accounts. (The Associated Press)

Celebrating Patsy Cline Inc, the owner and operator of the Patsy Cline Historic House in Winchester, has received a $43,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corp.  (The Winchester Star)

SUNRNR of Virginia Inc. was one of nine U.S. companies that participated in a November trade mission exploring opportunities on the Canary Islands and West Africa. Companies from four states and Washington, D.C., participated in the mission, which was certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce. SUNRNR is a Shenandoah Valley-based solar generator manufacturer. (News release)

SOUTHERN VIRGINIA
Microsoft Corp. once again is expanding in Mecklenburg County. The Redmond, Wash.-based technology company is investing $402.4 million to expand its data center in the county. The project is expected to create 42 jobs. “The company’s four expansion projects represent more than $1.74 billion in total capital investment since 2010, creating more than 200 jobs in Southern Virginia,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Martinsville-based sewing and embroidery company Mollies Originals LLC will expand into the Solid Stone Fabrics building on Walker Road, thanks in part to a $36,350 grant from the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. The grant will be used to buy 17 sewing machines. These machines and the new contracts that they will support are expected to create 16 jobs and additional sales of nearly $1 million within two years between Mollies Originals and Solid Stone Fabrics. (Work It, SoVa)

The Florida-based Results Companies announced that it will open a new contact center in Henry County that will employ more than 500 people. The company already operates a similar facility in Stuart. The new facility is due to open in January. (Martinsville Bulletin)

In an opinion released in December, a U.S. District Court judge dismissed a lawsuit by Virginia Uranium Inc. seeking to reverse a statewide ban on uranium mining. The company is seeking to mine a 119-million-pound deposit of uranium in Pittsylvania County. Virginia Uranium can still appeal the decision in a higher court. The company also filed a state lawsuit in November again seeking to reverse the mining ban based on Virginia property laws. (Danville Register & Bee)

Approximately 35 new jobs are coming to Martinsville as a result of a natural gas company’s new contract with the firm that operates a local call center. According to a news release, more than 200 new jobs will be created in Virginia as Washington Gas shifts customer service operations from offshore to Faneuil call centers in Martinsville and Hampton by the end of 2016. (Martinsville Bulletin)

Record-breaking donations brought in more than $4.3 million to the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region in 2015. Debra Dodson, executive director of the foundation, said that in the past year 82 college-bound students were awarded more than $146,000 in scholarships, and $1.9 million was awarded to local charities. As of June 30, the Community Foundation had more than $29 million in assets. (Danville Register & Bee)

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
Floyd-based Bank of Floyd and Independence-based Grayson National Bank plan to merge and form one bank with a new name. The combined organization would have 17 offices, assets of more than $600 million and deposits of more than $500 million. If shareholders and regulators endorse the merger, the parties plan to sign paperwork to make it official during the second quarter of 2016. (The Roanoke Times)

Bedford County-based Boxley Materials said it has a contract to sell its West Virginia quarries, concrete plants and a trucking company to Oldcastle Materials, based in Atlanta. Current employment at Boxley Materials, including the West Virginia facilities, totals close to 500 people. (The Roanoke Times)

More than 150 Southwest Virginia residents could be out of a job by the end of the year, according to a Nov. 9 Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice by Range Resources, an oil and natural gas producer.  Just days before the notice, the company “signed a definitive sales agreement“ with EnerVest to sell its Nora assets for $876 million, which include assets in Southwest Virginia. (Bristol Herald Courier)

The Virginia Tech board of visitors’ proposal to create a school of neuroscience now must go to state officials for approval. Tech has continued to ramp up its emphasis on health sciences, which began in earnest with the establishment of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute in Roanoke under now-retired President Charles Steger. (The Roanoke Times)

Volvo’s truck plant in Dublin will lay off 734 employees in February, according to a notice it sent to Pulaski County officials. The 1.6-million-square-foot plant in Pulaski County is the largest Volvo truck manufacturing facility in the world and the largest employer in the county with 2,800 workers. In September, Volvo announced plans to invest $38.1 million and add 32 jobs at the plant as part of a new customer experience center. (The Roanoke Times)

NORTHERN VIRGINIA
Arlington County’s Board of Supervisors agreed in November to invest about $55 million in renovations at Ballston Common Mall, an underperforming shopping center whose owners want to turn it into a mixed-use, entertainment-oriented development that they believe will draw more people. The cost of the project is about $317 million. (The Washington Post)

Vehicle history report provider Carfax announced a $15.8 million expansion in Northern Virginia that’s expected to create 120 jobs. The company says it is investing $5 million to expand its headquarters in Fairfax County. It also is spending $10.8 million to upgrade its data center operation in Loudoun County. Incentives include a $150,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

McLean-based Celerity, a business acceleration consultancy, has agreed to be acquired by AUSY North America. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. AUSY North America is a subsidiary of AUSY SA. The France-based parent company specializes in IT consulting and engineering. Celerity had $84 million in revenue in 2014. It has more than 500 employees in nine regional offices. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Falls Church-based CSC said in November that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Australian IT services company UXC Ltd. for $307.9 million. The announcement follows a period of due diligence that began in early October. News of the acquisition came on the same day that spinoff company CSRA Inc. completed its separation from CSC and acquired SRA International. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Fairfax-based Peterson Companies was given The Firm of the Year Award of Excellence by NAIOP Northern Virginia. The company is celebrating its 50th anniversary in business and has been a mover and a shaker behind some of the region’s largest projects. The award was presented during NAIOP Northern Virginia’s awards dinner, which was held in November at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

The Virginian, a historic building under redevelopment in Lynchburg, will join McLean-based Hilton Worldwide’s boutique Curio brand. The hotel, which will be named The Virginian Lynchburg, Curio Collection by Hilton, is expected to reopen in 2017. The Virginian opened as a hotel in 1913 but ultimately served as a low-income housing complex for almost 30 years until it closed in 2014. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

CENTRAL VIRGINIA
State regulators ordered Richmond-based Dominion Virginia Power to refund $19.7 million to customers. A typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity will receive a credit of about $4 to $5 to be spread out over six months beginning in February. The State Corporation Commission ruled that Dominion Virginia Power customers paid too much in 2013 and 2014. (The Associated Press)

Minacs, a global outsourcing business solutions company, has opened a second center in the Richmond area to support its growth in customer management work for a large U.S. health care client. The India-based company said it plans to fill 200 full-time positions, including team leaders, supervisors and agents, at the new site. Minacs also said it wants to add 150 seasonal employees before the end of the year. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The Richmond Planning Commission voted unanimously in November to approve plans for a bus rapid transit line on Broad Street between Willow Lawn and Rocketts Landing. The Planning Commission’s approval represents the final public review of the project’s design, but City Council still needs to approve an operating agreement between Henrico, the state and GRTC Transit System before construction can begin in March. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

PlanG Holdings LLC, a Richmond-based online company that helps people organize their charitable giving, has been acquired by YouDecide.com for an undisclosed amount. Atlanta-based YouDecide provides companies with voluntary benefits outsourcing services and manages discount programs offered to employees. YouDecide is integrating PlanG’s charitable giving platform into its services under a new business entity called Give LLC. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The Richmond-based Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association has changed its name to the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association. The association is the primary advocate for the tourism industry across the state. “Our members and the public will see a new logo and website as well as a refreshed social media effort and valuable educational programs moving forward,” says Eric Terry, the association’s president. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Virginia State University was placed on accreditation warning another six months because of new concerns. In December, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools extended its sanction primarily because of issues related to the VSU Real Estate Foundation. Rector Harry Black said he is confident steps already are in place to resolve problems identified in an internal audit of the foundation. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)




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