For the Record - Southwest Virginia, December 2012

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Atomic Axis, a mobile solutions company based in Austin, Texas, is opening an office in Blacksburg. The new satellite operation, which will be located downtown at TechPad, is expected to create 30 new jobs during the next three years. (

Blue Ridge Beverage Co.’s beverage distribution center will become the first tenant in the newest phase of the Oak Park Center for Business and Industry in Abingdon. The new building will replace a 30,000-square-foot facility the Salem-based company leases in Marion. The company employs 385 people and distributes beer, wine, cider, energy drinks and other nonalcoholic beverages in Southern and Western Virginia. (Bristol Herald Courier)

Celanese Corp., a global technology and specialty materials company, will invest $150 million in its Giles County operation and create at least 22 additional jobs. The company, which manufactures cellulose acetate tow at the plant, will replace its coal-fired boilers with natural gas-fired boilers. The project will require about 200 construction workers. (

Dish Network Corp. plans to hire 200 people to work full time at its Christiansburg customer service center. Dish is boosting employment at the facility, now at 600, by 33 percent before the holiday shopping seasons when demand for services is expected to increase, company spokesman Aaron Johnson said. (The Roanoke Times)

FedEx Ground broke ground on a new 103,000-square-foot distribution center. The company said the project, off U.S. 460 in the Roanoke Centre for Industry and Technology, is a $12.65 million investment. The new facility will be able to process 50,000 packages per day, up nearly 30,000 from its current regional facility in Salem. (The Roanoke Times)

The ITT Exelis facility in Roanoke County laid off more than 200 hourly employees. ITT Exelis’ communications director Jared Adams said that the company has received fewer contracts for night-vision goggles, prompting the reductions. (The Roanoke Times)

Norfolk Southern Corp. laid off about 200 workers in the railroad’s divisions based in Bluefield and Roanoke. Robin Chapman of Norfolk Southern told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that decreased coal traffic led to the furloughs. Chapman said the company offered affected employees jobs at seven other areas in the Norfolk Southern system. (The Associated Press)

The MBA program at Radford University has been named one of the nation’s best by The Princeton Review. The organization lists Radford’s College of Business and Economics in its “Best 296 Business Schools: 2013 Edition.” (News Release)

Virginia Tech has received an Early-concept Grant for Exploratory Research, or EAGER, from the National Science Foundation. The two-year, $295,000 grant will be used to come up with ways to put engineering principles and concepts into the school’s general education curriculum. (The Roanoke Times)

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