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PGI expansion to create new jobs
Polymer Group Inc. plans to spend $7.4 million in upgrading and expanding its Waynesboro plant, creating up to 20 jobs.

The company will hire technical resources employees for its research and development arm, as well as production operators and line leaders.

PGI will upgrade an existing research and development machine used to create proprietary technology, as well as purchase an additional R&D machine. The company also will refurbish a section of the Waynesboro plant, including a new HVAC system, internal rooms and quality control equipment.

North Carolina-based PGI is a leading manufacturer of nonwovens used in hygiene, health-care, wipes and industrial markets. The company operates in 13 countries and has about 4,000 employees.

Pactiv announces $5 million expansion at Frederick County facility
Pactiv, a manufacturer of polystyrene products, will invest $5 million during the next three years in the expansion of its Frederick County facility.

The project will enhance Pactiv’s ability to manufacture its GreenGuard building products.

Pactiv purchased its Frederick County plant in 1996 and employs about 90 people locally.

FBI project back on the table
The fiscal year 2014 spending bill approved by Congress includes $97.8 million for the construction of an FBI Central Records Complex in the White Hall section of Frederick County.

The agency’s plans were first announced in 2004, but the project was hampered by escalating costs and the economic downturn. The FBI currently is leasing more than 100,000 square feet for temporary records storage in an industrial park near Stephens City. That 10-year lease will expire in August 2016.

City provides loan for brewery
In March, the city of Harrisonburg secured a $25,000 loan to assist with the opening of a new downtown brewery through its small-business revolving loan program, which helps new and expanding companies.

Local brewer Tim Brady, formerly of Calhoun’s on Court Square, plans to set up shop and put in up to eight draft lines in the Ice House, a mixed-use development at South Liberty and Bruce streets. Brady hopes to open the brewery in the fall with about 10 employees.
Beer will be produced for sale on-site and in restaurants and stores. The brewery’s name is not yet public.

Women’s Center opens on Sentara RMH campus
The Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women’s Center officially opened in June 2013. The freestanding facility is located on the campus of Sentara RMH Medical Center just east of Harrisonburg.

Services include mammography, breast care, an image recovery center designed to help patients dealing with the physical consequences of disease, injury or treatment, heart health, midlife, bone health, and counseling services.

Ideas fly at Startup Weekend
Nearly 40 people participated in the second Shenandoah Valley Startup Weekend held in early February at James Madison University.

During the course of the three-day event, more than 16 ideas evolved into eight business concepts.

Eight teams then conducted research, created business models and built prototypes before eventually making five-minute pitches to a panel of judges.

Task Rascal, a chore management application, took first place. Its team won annual memberships to both the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce and the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council; startup legal and accounting services from Lenhart Pettit and PBMares; and a WHSV ad campaign.

Among other teams, International Bakery was recognized for the best business plan, Hunter Valley earned an honorable mention, and PoWear demonstrated the greatest potential.

Mary Baldwin, Augusta Health team up on nursing program
Mary Baldwin College and Augusta Health are collaborating to create a new RN-to-BSN degree completion program at Mary Baldwin’s Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences.

Augusta Health will provide a sponsorship of $60,000 a year for five years to support the new degree program, which will help Augusta Health nurses meet new rigorous national education requirements.

The Institute of Medicine’s new standards call for an increase in the proportion of hospital-based nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020.

The RN-to-BSN program will be offered online, with face-to-face support provided as needed at the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences campus currently under construction near Augusta Health in Fishersville. The new program will be open to all registered nurses in the region.

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