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45 jobs, $6.4 million in investment coming as UK manufacturer brings operation to Dan River Region
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45 jobs, $6.4 million in investment coming as UK manufacturer brings operation to Dan River Region

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DANVILLE, Va. — A maker of plastic and metal components is coming to the Dan River Region, bringing 45 jobs and $6.4 million in investment to the Cyber Park, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday afternoon.

MEP Ltd., based in the United Kingdom, will operate as Making Everything Possible LLC at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research while its new facility is being built at the Cyber Park.

The company makes plastic and metal components for the aerospace and defense sectors.

Virginia competed with North Carolina for the project. This marks the second economic development announcement for the region in less than a week. On Thursday, Northam revealed that Walraven Inc. will relocate its U.S. headquarters and manufacturing operation from Cadillac, Michigan, to Cane Creek Centre Industrial Park in Ringgold in the current Unison facility. That global installation company is expected bringing 46 jobs and $7.15 million in investment.

“Virginia’s manufacturing industry is large and diverse, and we are excited to partner with MEP Ltd. as the company opens its first U.S. operation in the Commonwealth,” Northam said in a prepared statement Monday. “Danville-Pittsylvania County has developed an inventory of business-ready sites and training programs to ensure a strong pipeline of skilled workers, enabling Southern Virginia to attract global businesses like MEP.”

The Cyber Park is jointly owned by Danville and Pittsylvania County via the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority.

The region’s focus on instilling skills in science, technology, engineering and math was a factor in the company’s decision to come to the Dan River Region, Phil Hart, executive chair of MEP Ltd. and president of Making Everything Possible LLC, said in a prepared statement.

“We are delighted to choose Danville as our base for Making Everything Possible LLC,” Hart said. “The support and guidance we have received from the city, county, and the Commonwealth has been exemplary.”

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research was a strong selling point for the company, he added.

About the company

Founded in 1972, MEP Ltd. has served the aerospace and defense sectors for four decades. MEP has $3.2 million in global sales and currently operates a 21,000-square-foot plastic and metal components manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom.

“On behalf of the city of Danville, I want to thank MEP for choosing our city and region for its first U.S. operation, and we look forward to them becoming a vital and successful member of the business community,” Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones said in a prepared statement. “Working together, we are taking Danville and the Dan River Region to the next level.”

Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Warren said the what the company offers matches the region’s workforce programs.

“Our local economic development team first met with and toured the company’s U.K. facility during a European trade mission, and it was apparent that the technologies utilized by this company would greatly complement our existing workforce programs,” he said in a prepared statement. “On behalf of the board, I thank Mr. Hart and his firm for their commitment to our growing community and wish them nothing but success. In Danville-Pittsylvania County, anything is possible.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County, the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority, Invest Southern Virginia and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to secure the project for the Commonwealth.

“MEP brings decades of machining experience from its U.K. operations into a region of the U.S. known for legacy workforce training programs and advanced machining technology,” Linda Green, executive director of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, said in a prepared statement “Making Everything Possible LLC will strengthen the cluster of manufacturing assets that continue to fuel the future growth of the Southern Virginia region.”

Incentives

Northam approved a $135,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Danville-Pittsylvania County with the project.

The Virginia Tobacco Commission approved $270,000 from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund for the project.

MEP is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding, and services to support the company’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“As part of our mission to foster economic transformation, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research strives to offer first-class spaces to launch companies,” Mark Gignac, executive director of the Institute, said in a prepared statement. “Making Everything Possible LLC will be an excellent fit for the advanced manufacturing ecosystem at IALR and throughout our region, and I am delighted to welcome them to our campus.”

Danville City Manager Ken Larking told the Danville Register & Bee that the company’s decision reflects well on the region’s emphasis on precision machining programs.

“We are pleased to welcome this new company to our region,” he said. “Their decision to choose Danville speaks well of the workforce pipeline we’ve created for precision machining.”

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