Hitachi AAB Power Grids expanding in Bland County
$6.2M expansion will create 40 jobs
Hitachi ABB Power Grids will invest $6.2 million to upgrade equipment and increase manufacturing capacity at its operations in Bland County, where it is the county’s largest private-sector employer. The expansion will add 40 jobs, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday.
“Hitachi ABB Power Grids has made tremendous contributions to Southwest Virginia and the commonwealth for nearly 50 years, and we look forward to our continued partnership with this expansion,” Northam said in a statement. “The company’s decision to invest in its Bland County facility is a testament to the region’s accessibility, integrated transportation network and skilled manufacturing workforce. We thank Hitachi ABB for its commitment to sustainable energy and for helping advance our Clean Energy Virginia initiative in rural parts of the commonwealth.”
The Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ Bland facility has been in operation since 1972, designing and manufacturing medium voltage dry-type power transformers to be used to adjust and stabilize the voltage of electricity flowing between the electric grid and businesses, homes and factories. The company employs 800 people throughout Virginia, with approximately 332 working at its Bland County facility. The Bland County operation competed with other Hitachi manufacturing facilities across the United States for the project.
“With its proximity to key markets and range of transportation options, Virginia provides the right combination of location and access that makes it easy to get our products where they need to be,” Steve McKinney, Hitachi ABB Power Grids senior vice president and hub manager for transformer business in North America, said in a statement. “Perhaps most importantly, the commonwealth has a skilled workforce and is able to meet our advanced manufacturing needs. We look forward to building on our long, successful track record in Virginia.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the Bland County Economic Development Authority, the Virginia’s Industrial Advancement Alliance and the Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia. Northam approved a $140,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Bland County with the project, and the company is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program. VEDP’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide funding and services to support employee training.
“It is always good news when a multinational corporation like Hitachi ABB Power Grids chooses to expand, due in part, to the benefits provided by The Port of Virginia,” Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart said in a statement. “We are expanding our capabilities to attract more companies like Hitachi ABB Power Grids, and we look forward to serving as its international trade gateway for decades to come.”