Company News For the Record

For the Record- Southwest Virginia, October 2013

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Roanoke will have passenger train service for the first time in 34 years, Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office announced in August. Work to bring Amtrak Virginia service to Roanoke, as an extension of the successful Lynchburg line, is expected to take three to four years. The return of passenger rail to Roanoke is a result of the transportation bill passed this year by the Virginia General Assembly. The plan provides more than $3.4 billion in additional statewide transportation funding over the next six years. (

Appalachian Power Co. will spend $40 million to upgrade a transmission line that runs from Roanoke to Lexington. The project to replace the wire on the 500-kilovolt line is part of a regional upgrade to the utility’s grid in Central and Western Virginia. Work on the line will take two years to complete. All of the work will take place within Appalachian’s right-of-way, the utility said in a news release. Although older towers will carry 90 percent of the new line, plans call for the replacement of seven towers and the construction of four new ones. (The Roanoke Times)

Ardagh Group, a global manufacturer of containers for the food and beverage industry, will invest $93.5 million to open a metal packaging manufacturing plant in an industrial building in Roanoke County.  The plant is expected to create 96 jobs. The announcement from the governor’s office and Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group described the deal as the largest single manufacturing investment in the area in years. (

Ohio-based Falls Stamping and Welding Co. says it will open a supply facility in downtown Pulaski, creating 112 jobs and investing $5.7 million. The announcement is being called the largest of its kind in the town since 2005, offering a much-needed shot in the arm to a community that has struggled to attract businesses since the furniture and textile industries left the region decades ago. Falls supplies automobile makers with metal parts like straps that go around large gas tanks. (The Roanoke Times)

Grede will shut down its foundry in Radford later this year, a decision that will cost the city 250 jobs and could send an economic ripple throughout the New River Valley. The facility makes steel parts for the automotive industry, but has been limping along since the economy turned sour. (The Roanoke Times)

Roanoke County and Franklin County each placed in the top 10 of the Annual Digital Counties Survey for communities with a population of less than 150,000. Roanoke County was ranked fifth and Franklin County was eighth. The ranking comes from the e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities program, in partnership with the National Association of Counties. The award recognizes counties who have the best electronic practices nationwide. (News release) 

Steel Fab is moving its operations to Russell County and establishing a pressure tank operation, saving 240 jobs for Virginia and creating 50 new jobs. Steel Fab, a division of Samuel, Son & Co. Ltd., the largest family-owned metals processor and distributor in North America, will spend $1.5 million on the investment. The company is experiencing growth because of increased business from oil and gas extraction in North America. It currently employs 240 in Washington County. (

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