Virginia successfully competed against Arizona and Mexico for the project, which will create 145 new jobs. Governor McAuliffe and other Virginia officials met with the Grupo Phoenix leadership during an August 2016 trade and marketing mission to Colombia. Grupo Phoenix established its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Pulaski County in 2010. This project represents the company’s third expansion, bringing its investment in the operation to $106.2 million and a total of 585 new jobs.
“Grupo Phoenix is a valued employer in the Commonwealth and we are honored to claim this global business on our corporate roster,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at the announcement. “Strengthening the advanced manufacturing sector is a key component of our mission to diversify and build a new Virginia economy. When a world-class manufacturer like Grupo Phoenix continues to invest in the Commonwealth, it is evidence that our efforts are working.”
“After meetings and discussions both here and in Bogotá, I am pleased to congratulate Grupo Phoenix and Pulaski County on another outstanding expansion,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Grupo Phoenix’s investment is strengthening Virginia’s standing in the growing packaging industry which has created more than 6,600 jobs and over $3.9 billion in capital investment in Virginia since 2007. The New River Valley provides an incredibly strong labor pool, competitive business climate and strategic access to major interstates—all factors that will undoubtedly promote Phoenix’s continued success in the Commonwealth.”
Phoenix Packaging Operations, LLC, is a subsidiary of Grupo Phoenix. Headquartered in Bogotá, Columbia, Phoenix Packaging was established in 1999 through the integration of several industry-leading companies in Colombia, Mexico, the Southern Cone, and Venezuela. With sales in over 30 countries, Grupo Phoenix is one of the largest packaging manufacturing conglomerates in Latin America, dedicated to the creation, design and manufacturing of rigid packaging and food service disposable products.
“Grupo Phoenix evaluated various location options to build upon its future in the United States and chose Virginia due to a variety of factors, including a central location that allows us to be within 400 miles of 80 percent of the U.S. East Coast population; the ability to negotiate electricity at a competitive rate; access to rail transport, which reduces our logistics; a motivated labor force; support from the local colleges and universities to assist us with training specialized technical jobs; and the accessibility and unwavering support of the government to work together within the industry to create jobs,” said Grupo Phoenix CEO Alberto Peisach.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Pulaski County and the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $600,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the County with the project. The Governor also approved a $1 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program, an incentive available to existing companies. Grupo Phoenix will also receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, and is eligible to receive funding from the Rail Industrial Access Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“Pulaski County is proud to be home to Phoenix Packaging and its cutting-edge manufacturing processes, and we are so very thankful for its demonstrated commitment to this community and its workforce through its sustained growth of new jobs and capital investments,” stated Jonathan Sweet, County Administrator. “The Board of Supervisors has made it a priority for Pulaski County to become the center of international business and the advanced-manufacturing hub of Southwest Virginia, and with the success of this project, continued assistance and support from the Commonwealth, and further results from our world-class economic development team, we are well on our way to realizing this county’s full potential.”
“It is always good news when a Virginia-based company chooses to reinvest here and does so, in part, because of the benefits it gets by moving its cargo across The Port of Virginia,” said John Reinhart, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Phoenix Packaging is unique because it is a current port user that supplies packaging for other port customers as well. We welcome the opportunity to grow our partnership with this company by serving as its international trade gateway. Phoenix Packaging is growing and the Commonwealth will benefit as a result.”
“The expansion of Phoenix Packaging is a Southwest Virginia success story and is a reflection of the economic potential in our region,” said Congressman Morgan Griffith. “I am proud of Phoenix Packaging Operations, LLC, and its local workforce, for their commitment to Southwest Virginia and their contributions to our local economy.”
“I’m glad to see the expansion of Phoenix Packaging Operations in Pulaski,” said Delegate Nick Rush. “Job growth like this in Southwest Virginia is greatly appreciated.”