WYTHEVILLE, Virginia – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on Monday announced plans for a major manufacturing operation in Wythe County that will employ up to 2,500 people and produce 60 billion medical gloves a year.
Northam said the state has committed $ 8.5 million to upgrade infrastructure at Progress Park in Wytheville, where the manufacturing plant will be located. As a direct result of the state’s investments, Northam said Blue Star NBR, LLC and Blue Star-AGI, Inc., a joint venture between Blue Star Manufacturing and American Glove Innovations (AGI), have committed to invest 714.1 million dollars to establish a one-of-a-kind, nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) manufacturing plant and nitrile glove production operation in Progress Park.
Northam said the facility is expected to occupy more than 200 acres and could triple in size in future phases and integrate vertically integrated large-scale multiple and contiguous production. The project would return the manufacture of key personal protective equipment (PPE) ashore to the United States from Asia, after global supply chains were disrupted at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the COVID-19 pandemic said. governor’s office in its ad.
Northam said the investment represents the biggest job creation effort in Southwest Virginia in a generation.
“These investments are leading to the largest commitment to job creation Southwest Virginia has seen in a generation, and it is a game-changer for the Commonwealth,” Northam said in a prepared statement. “It’s about investing to bring jobs back to America from overseas, and doing it right here in rural America. We can all be proud that Commonwealth investment is bringing these jobs back to America on this unique manufacturing campus. It can be a transformation for all of Southwest Virginia. “
Northam said the company plans to employ 2,500 people and produce up to 60 billion medical gloves per year.
Commonwealth investments will include $ 3 million to expand the Fort Chiswell sewage treatment plant, $ 1.5 million to expand public sewer infrastructure and $ 4 million to build a water reservoir serving all of Progress Park. The improvements to the water tank and the plant will also serve the surrounding community of County Wythe. Northam said infrastructure upgrades will make Progress Park more competitive in attracting a variety of other manufacturing projects in the future.
Virginia successfully competed with Tennessee and Texas for the project.
Blue Star-AGI innovates in the most innovative, advanced, environmentally friendly, efficient, automated, AI-driven and vertically integrated nitrile glove manufacturing facilities, the governor’s office said. The facilities would all be located on the same campus, which would optimize the cost of goods, reduce freight, improve logistics and accelerate the overall speed to market.
Blue Star NBR produces nitrile butadiene rubber, an oil resistant synthetic rubber made from a copolymer of acrylonitrile and butadiene. The first NBR facility in County Wythe is expected to have an annual capacity of around 90,000 metric tonnes, which can support the production of up to 11 billion gloves per year, according to the Northam office.
“It is with great pleasure and an even greater sense of responsibility to bring the manufacturing of essential medical supplies back to the United States,” Blue Star NBR founder Ken Mosher said in a press release. “I am proud to have been an integral part of the pioneering American team that invented the nitrile examination glove in 1990, as well as to have helped establish the disposable glove market. The domestic glove industry has moved to Asia and we are now perfectly positioned in a fully vertical partnership with American Glove Innovations to close the loop and boost employment in the domestic manufacturing sector. We would like to thank the US Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Commonwealth of Virginia for their incredible support for this project. “
“American Glove Innovations is thrilled to partner with Blue Star to create the world’s most innovative and fully integrated facility to provide Americans with what they rightly deserve and what they so much need throughout. pandemic and into the distant future, ”Blue Star-AGI Co.-CEO Marc Jason added in a press release. “We felt there was a very timely opportunity not to depend on the whims of Asia when we have here in America all the skills, abilities and intelligence to be a market leader, self-sufficient and highly competitive. . We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Governor Ralph Northam, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Wythe County, the Joint Industrial Development Authority of Wythe County, the Industrial Advancement Alliance of Virginia, and the Approval Commission. the major employment and investment projects of the General Assembly, whose support helped bring this incredible, revolutionary and very exciting operation to fruition. “
“The arrival of Blue Star NBR, LLC and Blue Star AGI in Progress Park is great news for the region,” said US Representative Morgan Griffith, R-Va. “By creating nearly 2,500 manufacturing jobs and investing more than $ 714 million, it will provide opportunities for our citizens, economic growth for local communities and tax revenues to support public services.” This is a significant achievement for the people of County Wythe.
“This major project will create nearly 2,500 jobs in Wythe County and significantly boost the local economy,” said US Senator Mark R. Warner, D-Va., Said. “I am proud that investing in Commonwealth infrastructure has enabled us to bring jobs back to America and to be globally competitive in the manufacturing industry.
“I am incredibly proud of the steps the Commonwealth has taken in recent years to make this project a reality,” added US Senator Tim Kaine, D-Va., Added. “This investment will not only promote economic development in County Wythe, but it will also support our response to the pandemic with the production of much-needed American-made medical supplies. “
The company will focus primarily on the North American market. It will produce for distributors and large end users in healthcare, government, retail and hospitality, according to Commerce and Commerce Secretary Brian Ball.
“This project demonstrates how important infrastructure is in attracting and retaining businesses,” Ball said. “I would like to thank Blue Star NBR and Blue Star-AGI for this important commitment to job creation and the many partners at state, regional and local levels who have worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition.”
It is with great pleasure and an even greater sense of responsibility to bring the manufacturing of essential medical supplies back to the United States, ”said Ken Mosher, Founder of Blue Star NBR. “I am proud to have been an integral part of the pioneering American team that invented the nitrile examination glove in 1990, as well as to have helped establish the disposable glove market. The domestic glove industry has moved to Asia and we are now perfectly positioned in a fully vertical partnership with American Glove Innovations to close the loop and boost employment in the domestic manufacturing sector. We would like to thank the US Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Commonwealth of Virginia for their incredible support for this project. “
Demand for nitrile gloves is currently at an all time high due to supply chain disruptions from COVID-19 outbreaks, long delivery times, shipping risks, tariffs and other challenges , said the governor’s office.
The nitrile gloves market is expected to grow by 9% per year until 2027.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Wythe County, the Wythe County Joint Industrial Development Authority, the Virginia Industrial Advancement Alliance, and the Assembly’s Large Employment and Investment Approval Commission. general to secure the project for the Commonwealth, Northam said.
– Contact Charles Owens at [email protected] Follow him @BDOwens