Company plans to create hundreds of Danville jobs
A Virginia company plans to bring a large, vacant Danville property back to life.
Norfolk-based PRA Group Inc. is investing $15.1 million in bringing 500 jobs to 119 Cane Creek Blvd. in Danville’s Airside Industrial Park, says Kevin Stevenson, the company’s CEO and co-founder.
PRA has sought areas for expansion since early 2017, he says. The company’s Danville project developed after General Assembly legislation changed a tax law that wasn’t favorable to the company, Stevenson says.
“The effort to build jobs has been an amazing bipartisan effort,” he says.
PRA is a publicly traded, debt recovery company founded in Virginia Beach in 1996. It expanded to the European market in 2012. Today, the company has 5,000 employees in 16 countries.
The 50,652-square-foot building on Cane Creek Boulevard formerly housed a Telvista call center. Its closing last March cost about 300 people their jobs.
Most of the PRA jobs in Danville will have an average compensation of around $19 an hour in two years, Stevenson says, adding that hiring will begin in earnest in May.
The CEO says his company will buy the Cane Creek Boulevard building from its current owner, the Industrial Development Authority of Danville.
Telly Tucker, Danville’s economic development director, says plans call for the authority to sell the building for $6.1 million. It was assessed at $5.8 million last year, according to Danville property records.
“It’s a tremendous addition to the regional economy,” Tucker says. “Many of these folks that were displaced back in March will have the opportunity to apply for jobs with PRA.”
Danville put up $958,340 in performance-based grants that will be paid to PRA as it creates jobs, Tucker says.
Gov. Ralph Northam also approved a $1.5 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help Danville with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved a $1.6 million grant as well as a $1.6 million loan for the project.
In addition, PRA is eligible for benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide PRA with funding and services for employee-training activities.