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Need to Know: Winter 2018/2019


Governor Ralph Northam announced that Standard Calibrations, Inc. (SCI), a global instrumentation and controls company, will invest $9.6 million to construct a 40,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in the City of Chesapeake. The expansion will include the consolidation of the company’s two existing facilities in Chesapeake, along with the addition of a calibration lab and warehouse operations. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for this project, which will create 89 jobs.

Dollar Tree hosted a job fair at their national headquarters in Chesapeake on January 26th. The company plans to fill roughly 400 jobs in a variety of departments including merchandising, global sourcing, information systems, finance, human resources, legal, supply chain, real estate, asset protection, IT Call Center and Store Operations. The job fair was held at the company's new store support center which opened last fall. 


Hampton's new WorkOne Center at the Y.H. Thomas Complex opened on January 7, 2019. The center will offer free educational services, occupational training and more, including financial literacy and job readiness assistance. The goal of the center is to enhance the regional economy by offering demand-driven workforce services and training that meet the needs of local employers and workers. The center includes computers that people can use to access the internet for job searches and submitting job applications.

Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight County Economic Development celebrated the official launch of its ACT Work Ready Communities initiative with a breakfast for local business leaders and workforce partners at the Smithfield Center. The county was honored to have Congressman Bobby Scott (3rd Congressional District), Virginia Senator Louise Lucas (18th District), and Delegate Emily Brewer, Virginia House of Delegates (64th District), in attendance. ACT Work Ready Communities empower municipalities with the data, processes and tools that drive economic growth. 

Newport News

In collaboration with Old Dominion University, Lavle USA will build a $12M Marine Electric Propulsion Simulation Lab  in downtown Newport News. Work is scheduled to begin in Summer 2019 on the 1.33 acre site and will take approximately one year to finish. The lab will be used to develop marine electric propulsion, advanced energy storage and autonomous systems technology as well as various workforce development programs in shipbuilding and ship repair. The city expects the lab to create at least 25 new, high-paying jobs for designers, engineers, programmers and analysts.


The Pamunkey Indian Tribe is in negotiations with the City of Norfolk to purchase the land around Harbor Park in hopes to eventually build the state's first casino. This potential $700 million investment could see an economic impact of well over $1 billion. Before anything becomes a done-deal, the land must be placed into a federal trust.


Portsmouth Economic Development has developed a new mobile application called Portsmouth SAIL -- Site Availability and Information Locator. Free to download, Portsmouth SAIL enables users to look at available commercial properties and provides access to city lifestyle, workforce and infrastructure information. 

Portsmouth announced the possibility of a mixed-use development and casino built at the Crawford Bay Site. If approved, the Portsmouth casino would generate around $52 million a year for Portsmouth, and 3,000 new jobs. 

City Officials announced that Hampton Roads' first medial cannabis dispensary will be opening in Portsmouth this spring. The dispensary, owned by New York-based Columbia Care will initially have around 24 employees, including chemists, scientists, horticulturalists and dispensers. 

Southampton County

Enviva Partners, LP, a global energy company specializing in sustainable wood biomass will invest $75.7M to expand its operation in Southampton County. The investment will go towards an expansion of their existing facility and will allow for its production to increase by more than 30% annually. The expansion will also boost the company’s usage of fiber and raw materials from Virginia forests.


Cooke Seafood USA announced an expansion at its Wanchese Fish Company operation located in Suffolk which includes additional capabilities, investments and new hires. Over the next three years, Cooke plans to add 70 new employees at the Suffolk facility. These new positions include the establishment of the new corporate operations for Cooke Seafood USA and production jobs for new retail seafood production lines. These expansions include $2.9M in investment for the city. 

Target Corporation will be expanding their Suffolk Upstream Distribution Center to include a new packaging department. This expansion will add 225 new jobs and represents $2.8M in capital investment. 

Virginia Beach

The Virginia Beach Development Authority has awarded an Economic Development Investment Program (EDIP) grant of $300,000 to the locally based cyber security firm, SPARQ Global, LLC, a spin-off of Global Technical Systems, founded in 2017. The company, headquartered on Lynnhaven Parkway, specializes in building and integrating hardware systems, providing managed services through its Cyber Command Center and delivering training, certification and compliance services.

BMZ Group, a global leader of lithium-ion battery systems has selected a new location in Virginia Beach at 1429 Miller Store Road to expand its manufacturing operations. BMZ, which opened its US headquarters in Virginia Beach in 2011, will retain 21 full-time jobs in Virginia Beach and create 30 new jobs with annual salaries averaging $42,179.

Port of Virginia

Four new cranes were delivered to the Port of Virginia at the beginning of this year. At over 170 feet tall, the cranes are the largest of their kind in the United States. These four cranes will be able to handle the Ultra Large Container Vessels, or ULCVs, that are currently calling the port, as well as the even higher-volume ships of the future. Virginia International Gateway has gone from 8 to 12 ship to shore cranes, which will enable the terminal to handle 3 ULCVs at once. This crane purchase was part of the $320 million dollar expansion of Virginia International Gateway that has doubled capacity (600,000 annual container capacity to 1.2 million), expanded the berth and rail operations.

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