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For the Record - Southwest Virginia

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Alpha Natural Resources, the nation’s third largest coal company, plans to open offices in Sydney, Australia, and New Delhi, India,  by the middle of the year in response to the increase in demand for metallurgical and thermal coal. They will focus on increasing Alpha’s coal sales to high-growth markets and develop trading opportunities and relationships in the Asian markets. Abingdon-based Alpha will become the world’s third largest supplier of metallurgical steel after a pending merger with Richmond-based Massey Energy. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  

The Bristol Chamber of Commerce has received a 5-Star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce based on its policies, organizational procedures and impact on the community. The rating places the Bristol Chamber among the top 1 percent of chambers nationwide. (News release)  

Roanoke-based Carilion Clinic and the insurance company Aetna plan to join forces to develop insurance plans aimed at rewarding providers for producing better patient health outcomes while lowering costs. The collaboration changes the health- care landscape in the region by putting a major, publicly traded insurance company and the region’s largest health care provider on the same side. Traditionally, insurance companies and providers often are locked in fierce negotiations over contractual payments. (The Roanoke Times)  

Continental Waste Management LLC will create 100 jobs at a plant in Covington, which will recycle plastic products and manufacture plastic and wood composite products. The company will spend $6 million to convert the former AET Film property. The facility is expected to open this summer. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  

Morrisette Paper Co., a Browns Summitt, N.C., seller of paper and packaging materials, opened a branch office in Roanoke, creating eight jobs.
(The Roanoke Times)  

Synchrony, a Roanoke County-based manufacturer of magnetic-bearing assemblies and high-speed motors, entered into a partnership with Gardner Denver Inc. of Illinois. Synchrony will provide parts for aeration blowers produced by Gardner Denver to be used in water and wastewater treatment plants. (The Roanoke Times)  

Virginia Tech’s undergraduate programs in architecture and landscape architecture ranked fourth and third, respectively, in DesignIntelligence’s study of America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools. It marks the fifth straight time the architecture program has been ranked in the top five in North America. (News release)


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