FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 14, 2018
Office of the Governor
Contact: Ofirah Yheskel
Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Contact: Suzanne Clark
Phone: (804) 545-5806
Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America
Contact: Phil Zarate
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America (SMA) will make a multi-million dollar investment in new machinery at its manufacturing operation in Augusta County. The company will purchase new 10-and 20-ton overhead cranes, a new paint booth, a washer/deburrer, an automatic storage retrieval system, and new assembly workstations. Sumitomo recently built a new 72,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its former Mill Place Commerce Park location that will serve as SMA’s new Gearbox Center of Excellence. The company will receive funding from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) to support the retraining of 34 existing employees on the new equipment, processes, and certifications.
“Sumitomo is a longtime, valuable corporate partner to the Commonwealth, and we are glad this global company has chosen to reinvest in Augusta County and Virginia,” said Governor Northam. “Companies in the Shenandoah Valley benefit from the region’s skilled manufacturing workforce, unmatched infrastructure, and access to major interstates. I am confident Sumitomo will continue to be successful in Augusta County.”
Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Heavy Industries, one of the largest manufacturers of machinery in Japan and a global leader in power transmission knowledge and innovation. SMA is a premier power transmission and control solution provider with customers across the U.S., Canada, and Latin America for over 50 years.
“Sumitomo continues its track record of commitment to Virginia, and we are pleased the company will provide retraining for over 30 employees, helping create a strong pathway to advancement,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We are proud to have Sumitomo on our roster, and thank the company for its investment in Augusta County.”
“Since SMA established a presence in Augusta County back in 2013, we have found a hard-working and dedicated workforce,” said Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America CEO Jim Solomon. “The quality of life available in the Verona area allowed for the smooth transfer of several employees from our Chesapeake headquarters, and has helped to attract a number of additional skilled employees, resulting in a 35% increase in total staff to date. Additionally, with the help of the InterChange Group, this investment further strengthens our commitment to the Shenandoah Valley and our commitment to re-shore manufacturing in the U.S. This new, modernized and carefully designed assembly and light manufacturing facility will allow us to continue to meet the needs of our diverse customer base, both now and in the future.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) will support Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America’s corporate expansion through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change to support employee training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for its citizens. Augusta County will match the VJIP funding awarded to the company to support the expansion project.
Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America is currently participating in VEDP’s award-winning Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program. VALET is an application-based, two-year international export acceleration program.
“As a locality with a significant portion of its workforce in manufacturing, supporting companies such as Sumitomo Machinery Corporation (operating as Sumitomo Drive Technologies in Verona) is a high priority,” said Chairman of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors Gerald Garber. “Sumitomo continues to be a strong partner in strengthening our economy, and we congratulate the company on its forward thinking in opening the Gearbox Center of Excellence.”
“We are so proud to include Sumitomo in the Mill Place Commerce Park family,” added Beverley Manor District Supervisor and member of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors Terry Kelley. “The company has continuously chosen to grow and invest in Augusta County, and we are thankful for partners that provide quality jobs to our workforce.”
“In a little over a week’s timeframe, the Commonwealth has teamed again with Augusta County to provide Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) dollars to yet another thriving, local business,” said Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. “Since coming to the Valley, Sumitomo Machinery has grown and continues to provide quality employment. These dollars will assist with retraining existing employees on new manufacturing equipment and processes, furthering the company’s commitment to this area. We are pleased to work with the county to help companies continue to excel and provide jobs paired with the family lifestyle sought after by so many employers and employees.”
“Congratulations to Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America on the multi-million dollar investment in new machinery at its manufacturing operation in Augusta County,” said Delegate R. Steven Landes. “Funding from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program will support Sumitomo for the retraining of 34 existing employees on the new equipment, processes, and certifications. I am proud to see the continued growth of Sumitomo and appreciate the contributions it has made to both the Shenandoah Valley’s workforce and its economy.”