Company News For the Record

For the Record - May 2016

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BAE Systems Norfolk shipyard laid off 170 workers in March. Two hundred employees also have been told that their layoff warnings have been extended, and they could be let go on or about April 30, according to a company spokesman. The workforce reduction is due to reduced numbers of surface-combatant ships in Norfolk and delays to the Navy’s maintenance plan. The latest cuts at BAE’s Norfolk yard follow 400 last fall. The workforce there now is approximately 900. (The Virginian-Pilot)

Movement Mortgage plans to create 200 or more jobs after it moves an operations center from Virginia Beach to Norfolk. The move, expected in about a year, also will include the transfer of between 550 and 600 workers to Norfolk. The company used to be based in Virginia Beach, but it moved its headquarters to Indian Land, S.C., last year in exchange for $53 million in tax incentives, according to the Charlotte Observer. (The Virginia-Pilot)

The Mariners’ Museum and other donors are turning over more than 600 artifacts from the SS United States to the group spearheading the famed ocean liner’s return to passenger service. The collection ranges from furniture and glassware to photographs and historic documents. It was made possible by The Mariners’ Museum, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Sarah Forbes estate and the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hunnicutt III. (The Daily News)

Newport News Shipbuilding could cut about 300 more jobs late this year as it continues to deal with a drop in workload, shipyard President Matt Mulherin told workers in April. However, not all the news is bad. In a statement to employees, Mulherin said the company is recalling 75 unionized workers included among 738 layoffs in early February. Those employees work in the Preparation and Treatment Department. (Daily Press)

Norfolk Southern is investing $8.2 million and adding 165 jobs at its corporate headquarters in Norfolk. The expansion is due to the consolidation of the company’s Norfolk and Atlanta corporate offices and the closure of its Roanoke office building. Norfolk Southern now employs 1,050 in the Norfolk region and more than 1,350 in Roanoke. (

The S.B. Ballard Construction Co. in Virginia Beach submitted a proposal in March to build a new football stadium for Old Dominion University.  The plan would deliver at a cost under $124 million a new stadium that would open in 2018, in time for the Monarch’s first home game that year. Reportedly, financing for the stadium would come from university funding and new revenue generated by the stadium and fundraising. (

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, which promotes unmanned vehicles, launched a Ridge and Valley chapter in April. It aims to make Southwest Virginia more attractive to unmanned systems developers and bolster work opportunities in the field for talent coming out of regional schools such as Virginia Tech and Radford and Liberty universities. (The Roanoke Times)

Pittsburgh-based CONSOL Energy Inc. has completed the sale of its Buchanan Mine in southwestern Virginia and other coal reserves to Coronado IV LLC for $420 million. The transaction, which was announced in February, includes $402.8 million cash paid at the closing.  The transaction included about 400 million tons of coal reserves with about 88 million tons associated with the Buchanan mine. (

Kroger has announced a $12 million expansion to its store at 555 N. Franklin St. in Christiansburg. The move will nearly double the store’s size and create approximately 100 jobs. The expansion is slated to take a year to complete. (The Roanoke Times)

The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority has finished installing 47 miles of broadband beneath Roanoke and small parts of Salem and Roanoke and Botetourt counties, which will provide gigabit speeds to larger customers. The network is likely to see another 25 miles of fiber added through a proposal from Roanoke County, a plan that must be approved by the county’s Board of Supervisors. (The Roanoke Times)

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has approved the Virginia Tech School of Neuroscience, the first school of neuroscience in the country.  The school will study disorders of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury, and the mind itself, including decision-making, behavior and creativity. The incoming recruiting class will be roughly 150 students. (

The union for Volvo’s only truck-making plant in the United States has OK’d a labor contract with the company that will run until March 16, 2021. Negotiations on the agreement began in February, the same month that the truck manufacturer began layoffs of approximately 600 plant workers. Before the layoffs were announced in December, the plant had 2,800 employees. (The Roanoke Times)

Development of the Berry Hill Road industrial mega park site will start soon. Shawn Harden, an engineer with Dewberry, told the Regional Industrial Facility Authority in March that a permit will soon be in hand that will allow the grading of a portion of the 3,500-acre site. Harden said 133 acres of the park will be cleared and graded to create four pads — areas prepared so economic development prospects can get a better idea of the space available for their businesses. (Danville Register & Bee)

Drake Extrusion Inc. announced in April it would invest $6 million to expand operations in Henry County, creating 30 jobs. Drake Extrusion, a subsidiary of International Fibres Group, is a manufacturer of colored staple and filament polypropylene fiber. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $100,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity funds for the project. (Martinsville Bulletin)

H&M Logging, which has grown from five employees in 1983 to almost 70 employees today, was honored as Business of the Year by the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce during the chamber’s annual meeting in March. The operation hauls 75 to 80 loads a day, including logs and pulpwood, to several plants in the area, including NOVEC in South Boston, J.M. Huber, Louisiana Pacific and Georgia Pacific. (The Gazette-Virginian)

The Launch Place is investing $250,000 in Norfolk-based Netarus LLC to help with the expansion of its visual safety and analytic platforms. In compliance with The Launch Place’s investment criteria, Netarus will establish operations in Danville that will create at least five jobs with an average salary of $50,000 in the next three years. The Launch Place assists with business development and job creation and retention in the Dan River Region. (

The State Corporation Commission has approved a proposed $1.3 billion, natural gas-fired power plant that Dominion Virginia Power plans to build in Greensville County. The combined-cycle Greensville County Power station would generate about 1,588 megawatts of electricity. The power plant is scheduled to be online by 2019. It will be just a few miles from Dominion’s Brunswick Power Station. (

Henrico County-based Capital Square 1031 has acquired a medical office building in Winchester for an undisclosed price. The building is fully leased to Bio-Medical Applications of Virginia, doing business as Fresenius Medical Care Holdings Inc. The 9,503-square-foot, single-story condominium unit was recently built-to-suit for Fresenius, a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA. Fresenius is a major provider of products and services for people with chronic kidney failure. (

The Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce held its annual business and awards dinner at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel April 5. Award recipients were: Reo Hatfield and Reo Logistics, industry of the year; Bloomaker USA, agriculture business of the year; SVOE, Sponsor of the Year; John Huggins, volunteer of the year; Delia Zimmerman, ambassador of the year and Abby Arey, citizen of the year. (News Leader)

Merck, a major pharmaceutical company, will invest $168 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Rockingham County. The company, which has been operating a plant near Elkton since 1941, will upgrade its plant infrastructure, add manufacturing-related facilities and equipment, and undertake a personnel-training initiative to support the bioprocessing environment. (

The Shenandoah Valley Partnership was selected as a co-winner in the “100,000+” population category for the Virginia Economic Development Association 2016 Community Economic Development (CEDA) Awards. The CEDA program is designed to recognize outstanding communities in the commonwealth for their efforts in advancing the economic viability of their community through economic and community development programs. (News release)

Trex, a Winchester-based decking company, has expanded its services to include Trex University, which will educate contractors and dealers on the company’s mission, products and benefits. The course, which will be taught by members of Trex’s product marketing and branding and sales teams, will take place in Trex’s new 10,000-square-foot facility, located about a mile from Trex’s main plant. (The Northern Virginia Daily)

Arlington-based CEB, a best-practice insight and technology company, will acquire Evanta Ventures Inc. and an affiliated business for $275 million. Portland, Ore.-based Evanta encourages collaboration and the exchange of best-practice ideas among IT, security, human-resources and finance executives. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter. (

What started as a small family-owned operation in Arlington is now the most popular burger joint in the UK. Five Guys, which launched its first store outside of North America in London in 2013, was ranked the UK’s favorite restaurant in the burger, steak, chicken and grill category in a recent survey by Market Force. The chain has opened 41 UK locations in just two years. (Washingtonian)

The number of people moving away from Greater Washington continues to grow, according to a new report from George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis in Fairfax. While the overall population grew by 63,793 people from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, the increase was from births and international immigration. But when it comes to domestic migration, 27,900 more people moved away from the region than moved to it. (Washington Business Journal)

The MACH37 Cyber Accelerator in Herndon has picked six cybersecurity startups to participate in its three-month spring program. The program, which was developed by the Center for Innovative Technology, has helped launch 35 companies since 2013. Companies selected for the program each receive a $50,000 investment. The six participating startups are: Gyomo, Hill Top Security, NormShield, PCPursuit, Provenance and Unblinkr. (

Reed Smith LLP has relocated its Northern Virginia office from Falls Church to a 22-story building in Tysons Corner. The law firm occupies more than 28,000 square feet of space at Tysons Tower at 7900 Tysons One Place. The new office will house about three dozen lawyers. (

In an effort to cut costs, Arlington-based Rosetta Stone Inc. is laying off 17 percent of its full-time workforce. The language-learning company is moving away from its longtime customer base of casual language learners preparing for trips abroad and is moving toward corporate and educational clients looking to promote English literacy. The company declined to provide any specifics about its workforce cuts. (Washington Business Journal)

Ten lawyers from Richmond-based law firm Sands Anderson PC have left to form a small practice dedicated to representing health-care providers. The new practice, Wimbish Gentile McCray & Roeber PLLC, began operations April 1. The new firm’s primary practice areas will be the defense of medical malpractice cases and the representation of health-care providers. (

North Carolina-based gourmet market Southern Season is closing its 53,000-square foot store and restaurant in Henrico County after being open less than two years. The move affects 115 employees. President Dave Herman said the store was too big and expensive to continue operating it. Southern Season is switching to a smaller format. (

Union Bank & Trust plans to acquire Old Dominion Capital Management Inc., a Charlottesville-based registered investment advisory firm with nearly $300 million in assets under management. Founded in 1989, Old Dominion Capital Management will operate as a stand-alone subsidiary of Richmond-based Union Bank & Trust. The acquisition is scheduled to close this quarter, pending closing conditions and approvals. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

United Airlines in April launched its first-ever daily service between Richmond International Airport and Denver International Airport. The flight is the longest and most-westerly flight from the Richmond airport. According to the Richmond airport, Denver ranks as the 11th most popular destination for Richmond-area travelers, with more than 60,000 passengers traveling between the two cities. (

The international law firm Vinson & Elkins LLP has opened a new office in Richmond at the Boulders Office Park. The company said in a news release that the move comes as it expands its capital markets and M&A practice by adding an REIT team. The firm has hired five lawyers who previously were partners with Hunton & Williams LLP. (

Virginia Community Capital has converted its for-profit bank into a benefit corporation. In addition to profit, the legally defined goals of benefit corporations include a positive impact on society and the environment. The bank is the first regulated U.S. bank to become a benefit corporation under state statute, according to B Lab, a Pennsylvania-based organization that sets standards for benefit corporations. VCC has offices in Christiansburg, Richmond and Norfolk. (

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