United Kingdom-based Harlow Group Ltd., an advanced manufacturer of highly engineered assemblies, fabrications and precision metal work services to some of the best-known companies in the world, has chosen the Cyber Park in Danville as the site of its first U.S. plant.
The company, which will operate here as Harlow Fastech, will invest $8 million to build a manufacturing plant and grow its American presence with a focus on additive manufacturing. The project will create 49 jobs over five years.
“After a two-year process looking at a number of alternative possibilities to expand into the U.S., we are delighted to finally conclude our decision to investment into Danville, Virginia,” said Alan Pearce, CEO and founder of Harlow Fastech. “Virginians have been amongst the most welcoming and friendly people and their appetite to make things work and overcome obstacles is second to none.”
Pearce also cited the workforce development programs in place as a major factor.
“The inspirational leadership of Troy Simpson has made the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research a world-beating education and technology center, producing highly motivated and capable students and stands as a beacon to the rest of the world to emulate,” Pearce said. “The ambition of Virginia to embrace new technology and invest in the future will keep the Commonwealth as the number one destination for expansion and business investment, and we are extremely proud to be associated with Danville and the state of Virginia.”
Gov. Ralph Northam joined state and local leaders in Danville today for the announcement.
“With its pipeline of skilled talent and unmatched infrastructure, Southern Virginia has once again attracted a leading international manufacturer, and we are thrilled to welcome Harlow Group to this region’s impressive corporate roster,” Governor Northam said. “By locating its first U.S. metal fabrication plant in the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County, the company will add 49 new jobs to an existing manufacturing labor force of nearly 18,000. Southern Virginia maintains a legacy of success in this industry, and we are confident that Harlow Group will flourish from its new home in the region.”
Mayor Alonzo Jones said the company’s decision to locate in Danville is further evidence that the workforce training programs are paying dividends.
“When this region made the commitment to invest in a state-of-the-art workforce training program with the facilities necessary to educate our students adequately to be world-class workers, we believed we would create a magnet to draw aerospace and automotive metal working companies from around the world,” Jones said. “Our students and residents could be employed in jobs here in our home community that would be highly paid. It is so rewarding to see this vision becoming a reality.”
Bob Warren, chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors, noted that Harlow Fastech will be the third U.K-based company to locate in Danville in the last two years.
“We are pleased to welcome another UK company to our cluster of high precision machining businesses,” Warren said. “The community’s vision of becoming a hub of automotive and aerospace suppliers is now reality. Pittsylvania County welcomes Harlow Fastech to the Cyber Park and looks forward to its growth and success as a member of our community.”
The Harlow Group was introduced to Danville and Pittsylvania County through Invest Southern Virginia, which is funded by Mid-Atlantic Broadband as part of its economic development mission.
Founded in 1975 and based in Harlow, U.K., the company offers a wide variety of services ranging from product design to the full production of sheet metal products. The company’s customer base includes such industry-leaders as GE, Pitney Bowes, Raytheon, Sony and Lotus.
The company will construct a 30,000 square-foot facility in the Cyber Park. While construction takes place, it will operate out of the Hawkins Building at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Danville, the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $147,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Danville with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $315,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project.
Harlow Group 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 employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.