Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday that Ashland Inc., a leading global specialty chemical company, will invest approximately $89 million over the next three years to expand its manufacturing operation in the City of Hopewell. The company will significantly increase production capacity, creating 17 new jobs and preserving 237 existing jobs. Virginia successfully competed against Kentucky, Texas, Brazil and China for the project.
Speaking about today’s announcement at an event in Hopewell, Governor McAuliffe said, “I am thrilled to announce this significant investment demonstrating Ashland’s continued commitment to Virginia and to the City of Hopewell. Ashland, one of the Fortune 500 companies that calls Virginia home, is a vital employer in the area, providing the kind of jobs that are critical as we work to create a diverse, new Virginia economy.”
“We are thrilled that Ashland continues to be a major corporate partner to Hopewell and the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “The company’s expansion is one more example of how Virginia’s world class business climate and assets are attracting new companies and helping existing companies grow.”
Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH) is a global leader in providing specialty chemical solutions to customers in a wide range of consumer and industrial markets, including architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care and pharmaceuticals. Through its three commercial units – Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Ashland Performance Materials and Valvoline – the company uses good chemistry to make great things happen for customers in more than 100 countries.
“We believe the business climate in Virginia makes Hopewell an attractive site for this investment as we continue to benefit from the significant infrastructure and talented workforce we have in place,” said Luis Fernandez-Moreno, Senior Vice President of Ashland and President, Ashland Specialty Ingredients. “This expansion will allow us to improve our competitive position, enhance service to our customers and support new growth opportunities in the marketplace.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Hopewell and Virginia’s Gateway Region to secure the project for the Commonwealth. The Port of Virginia also provided valuable assistance. Governor McAuliffe approved a $700,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, an incentive available to existing companies. The company may also be eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment program.
“Ashland has been a stellar partner, business and citizen of the City of Hopewell for many years,” said Hopewell City Manager Mark Haley. “We are proud that it continues to increase its investment in the community. Our economic development team, led by Assistant City Manager Charles Dane, worked hard with Ashland and the Commonwealth of Virginia to assure this investment occurred here in this community instead of one of the competing locations. We are very excited that this announcement is occurring at this critical point in Hopewell’s history.”
“Creating a new Virginia economy continues to be a top priority of this administration,” said Senator Rosalyn R. Dance. “I am especially excited about Ashland’s large investment in the City of Hopewell and its impact to the City.”