Thermal systems manufacturer to establish facility, bring 60 new jobs in Rockbridge County

Roanoke Valley News

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — On Thursday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Modine Manufacturing Company, a diversified global leader in thermal management technology and solutions, will invest $7 million to establish a manufacturing facility in Rockbridge County.

According to a statement released by Northam’s office on Thursday, April 29, the company will convert its former warehouse at 360 Collierstown Road into an operation producing highly engineered data center cooling solutions.

Virginia officials say the facility will create 60 new jobs after full ramp-up in Rockbridge County.

“Virginia boasts the largest data center market in the country, and this growing industry requires state-of-the-art cooling systems manufactured by leaders like Modine,” said Northam. “We are grateful that this longtime Virginia employer has decided to deepen its roots in our Commonwealth, creating 21st-century jobs and producing a high-demand, world-class product right here in the Shenandoah Valley.”

The Wisconsin-based Modine Manufacturing Company was founded in 1916 and specializes in thermal management systems and components, bringing highly engineered heating and cooling components and original equipment products and systems to diversified global markets, according to the governor’s office.

Seeing revenues of $2 billion in 2020, officials say Modine has operations in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

On a more local level, the company has operated a manufacturing facility that employs more than 260 people in Buena Vista since 1963.

“A global company of Modine’s caliber expanding its manufacturing operations in Virginia is a testament to our business-friendly environment and our skilled workforce, and it reinforces our commitment to creating high-quality manufacturing jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The Shenandoah Valley will provide a sustainable talent pipeline to support the company’s growth and development and we look forward to its continued success in the Commonwealth.”

“For 58 years, we have partnered with Rockbridge County to become a leading supplier of HVAC solutions for a variety of markets and end users, and this investment signals a continued commitment to that mission,” Neil Brinker, CEO of Modine Manufacturing Company, said. “This site was selected as a result of the capabilities of the workforce, both hourly and salaried, and our confidence in their ability to quickly and safely begin producing high-quality HVAC solutions for our data center customers. We are excited to work with the Commonwealth of Virginia and Rockbridge County to begin hiring and equipping these new employees to meet the needs of our customers.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) reportedly worked with Rockbridge County, the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, and The Port of Virginia to beat out other states and secure the project. In addition, Northam is assisting the county with the project through the approval of a $194,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund.

“The conversion of Modine’s warehousing facility in Rockbridge County to a manufacturing facility is a significant win for our region,” Dan Lyons, Chairman of the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors, said. “Modine’s financial investment in this facility and the creation of new jobs are vital to economic growth and prosperity. Modine has been a staple in our region for many years, and we look forward to the company’s continued success in Rockbridge.”

“It is extremely gratifying when an existing company chooses to expand locally,” said Jay A. Langston, PhD, Executive Director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. “We strive to provide the best work climate, necessary workforce skills training, and business infrastructure possible in the Shenandoah Valley to help our business community thrive and flourish. Our gratitude goes out to Modine for the continued investment and jobs.”

According to officials, support for Modine Manufacturing Company’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program — a workforce initiative created by VEDP alongside the Virginia Community College System and other higher education partners — with funding support from the Northam Administration and the General Assembly.

“The Port of Virginia applauds Modine Manufacturing’s decision to build its production facility in Virginia,” Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director Stephen A. Edwards said. “Modine is an innovator and its products are in demand worldwide, so quick access to world markets and consistency in its logistics supply chain are critical to the company’s future. The investments we’ve made in our terminals will help provide the international access Modine needs for success. We look forward to a long, collaborative partnership with Modine.”

“Modine has been an important part of the economic landscape in the Rockbridge area for more than 20 years, and with this investment, the company clearly signals that Rockbridge County and Virginia are a good investment” said Sen. Creigh Deeds. “I am delighted that the Governor’s office was able to assist in securing this project to make sure that we can build a 21st-century economy in Rockbridge County and Virginia. I could not be more excited that even in this time of pandemic, we are able to deliver good economic news to the people of Rockbridge County.” 

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