Canadian company to spend $22.8M to expand to Suffolk
Location is first in U.S. for Automatic Coating, which is supporting U.S. Navy readiness
Toronto-based Automatic Coating Ltd., which provides advanced custom powder, liquid, and blasting, will invest $22.8 million to open its first U.S. location in Suffolk, adding an estimated 50 jobs, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Thursday.
Virginia competed with Florida for the project. The move supports an existing contract with the U.S. Navy, and the company plans to expand with additional industrial and commercial customers in the U.S. The company contracts with the Navy to use its patented process for corrosion coating on a variety of components, including water tight doors, louvers and hatches.
“I am proud that another international company has selected the commonwealth as home to its first U.S. operation, again reinforcing the strategic advantages a Virginia location offers,” Youngkin said in a statement. “Hampton Roads boasts a robust workforce that includes a high veteran and exiting military population to supply Automatic Coating with a pipeline of talent to serve its contracts with the U.S. Navy, strengthening the region’s reputation as a hub for innovation in defense.”
Founded in 1954, Automatic Coating also provides field corrosion coating and offers mobile field coating services, coating removal, mobile blasting, pipe rehabilitation and other services. Automatic Coating has a patented process for corrosion coating.
“This is the next step in the evolution of our company and will deliver a local and made-in-America presence to our patented Tidal Coat system. This will assist the U.S. Navy in their North Star 75 project and will save the Navy millions of dollars in cost avoidance and extended life cycle of parts,” Jocelyn Bamford, CEO of Automatic Coating Limited U.S.A., said in a statement. “We could not have found a better support in the Hampton Roads Alliance, the City of Suffolk and the state of Virginia. We look forward to being an integral part of [the] community and contributing to job growth and prosperity in the region.”
Announced in January, North Star is a Navy initiative to have 75 surface ships mission-capable on any given day as part of a readiness drive. That number represents nearly half of the Navy’s total surface fleet, according to Defense News.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Suffolk and the Hampton Roads Alliance to secure the project, and Youngkin approved a $200,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Suffolk with the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.