WYTHE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — STS Group AG, a leading global system supplier of interior and exterior parts for commercial vehicles, is set to invest $39 million to establish its first American manufacturing operation in Wythe County’s Progress Park, creating 120 new jobs.
Officials say Virginia beat out North Carolina to secure the project, which will operate as subsidiary STS Group North America, supplying Volvo Trucks in Pulaski County and other truck and automotive facilities throughout the Midwest and Southeastern U.S. markets.
“The presence of STS Group North America in Wythe County will go a long way toward strengthening Virginia’s growing automotive manufacturing sector,” said Gov. Ralph Northam, who announced the establishment of the manufacturing operation on Thursday, April 8. “This is just the latest example of an international company selecting our Commonwealth as the ideal location to do business, thanks to our competitive operating costs, world-class workforce, and outstanding quality of life. We thank STS for creating new jobs and investing in Southwest Virginia and look forward to building a strong partnership in the years to come.”
Accordiing to a statement released by the governor’s office, STS Group AG is headquartered in Hallbergmoos, Germany, and develops, manufactures, and supplies products and solutions for components made of plastic or composite material for the automobile and trucking industries.
STS Group AG reportedly serves numerous major automobile and commercial vehicle producers as customers and operates 12 plants in four countries around the globe.
“As a leading system supplier for plastic and composite components for the automotive industry, we make strategic location decisions to better serve our customers,” Mathieu Purrey, CEO of STS Group AG, said. “At the crossroads of Interstates 81 and 77, Progress Park in Wythe County is strategically located close to several facilities of our key global customers. We received a warm welcome and extensive support from both the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Joint Industrial Development Authority of Wythe County during our site selection process. The genuine and creative effort from the Wythe County team in helping us obtain necessary financial support to start up this new facility played a key role in selecting Wythe County as the home for our first U.S. plant. We like the pro-business environment we see in the greater Wytheville area and we are confident in our choice. We look forward to contributing to the region’s economy and to the community’s well-being.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Wythe County and the Joint Industrial Development Authority (JIDA) of Wythe County to secure the project for Virginia, officials say.
According to the governor’s office, Northam approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Wythe County with the project.
Thursday’s statement says the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission also approved $80,000 from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund to support the project.
In addition, the company is reportedly eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
Officials say the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program — a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System and other higher education partners — will be provided for STS Group North America’s job creation, with funding supported by the Northam Administration and the General Assembly.
“Wythe County welcomes STS Group to Progress Park for the location of its first U.S. operation,” said Brian W. Vaught, Chairman of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors. “Our workforce, prepared sites, and an economic development-focused Board of Supervisors mean that we are open for business and strategically positioned for growth. I appreciate the other members of the Board of Supervisors, as well as our partners with the JIDA, for working so hard during a global pandemic to make this project happen.”
“We are excited that STS Group will be joining our strong automotive sector here at the crossroads of Southwest Virginia,” David A. Kause, Chairman of the Joint Industrial Development Authority of Wythe County, said. “The Joint IDA worked extensively with the company, our partners at the state and local level, and those in the private sector to help bring this manufacturing project to fruition. We thank everyone for the teamwork that exemplifies the best of economic development.”
“It is great to see the Tobacco Commission’s investment in Progress Park paying off,” said Ed Owens, Chairman of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. “The Commission has always taken a long-term view toward improving the economies of the regions we serve, and with this announcement we can see that strategy paying dividends. I look forward to seeing STS Group get its operation underway and wish the company the best in the years to come.”
“I am very pleased to learn of the decision by STS Group AG to locate in Wythe County in Progress Park,” Del. Jeffrey Campbell said. “Bringing high-quality jobs like these to our area remains a top priority as we try to retain the next generation of Wythe Countians that we have such a significant public investment in. I sincerely appreciate the hard work and dedication that VEDP, the Wythe County Board of Supervisors, and the JIDA have invested in bringing STS Group to Southwest Virginia.”