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Posted on: September 15, 2016

Governor: New jobs, investment a 'huge win’ for region

Kyocera SGS Tech Hub LLC — which announced Thursday it was bringing 35 jobs and $9.5 million in investment to the Dan River Region — plans to begin manufacturing in Danville in November and open up in its own separate facility in the Cyber Park in early 2018.

The company will start out operating in the Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining, where it will produce solid carbide rotary tools.

Danville and Pittsylvania County — which jointly owns the Cyber Park under the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority — competed against localities in Ohio and South Carolina for the project.

The arrival of Kyocera SGS Tech Hub LLC will include construction of a new 30,000-square-foot facility in the park by 2018. The average annual salary for the positions will be $65,000, said Alan Pearce, CEO of Kyocera SGS Tech Hub LLC.

Kyocera SGS Tech Hub LLC is a subsidiary of Kyocera SGS Precision Tools Inc., which is owned by Kyocera Corp. in Kyoto, Japan. KSPT is known for its solid carbide high-performance end mills, drills, stainless steel medical tools and PVD coatings.

The company supplies Rolls Royce and serves three main markets: aerospace, airplane companies and medical products, Pearce said during an interview after Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the project Thursday afternoon at the Gene Haas Center at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

The announcement included company representatives from other countries, state and local officials, and representatives from local foundations.

It was the first economic development announcement in the area for Dan River Region native Todd Haymore as the new Virginia secretary of commerce and trade.

“I wouldn’t have missed this for the world,” said Haymore, who previously served as secretary of agriculture and forestry.

In the 31 months since McAuliffe took office, there have been 788 economic development projects and 148,000 new jobs across Virginia, Haymore said. Unemployment is at 3.7 percent in the state, the lowest since May 2008 and the lowest in the southeastern United States, he said. It’s the seventh-lowest rate nationwide, he added.

Haymore said in a prepared statement that “we are confident that [Kyocera SGS Tech Hub] will benefit from a talented pool of employees that are trained at a world-class facility [Gene Haas Center].”

McAuliffe called the announcement a “huge win for the city of Danville and Pittsylvania County” and pointed to the company’s position as a supplier of Rolls Royce and a new organizing member of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

“As a strategic supplier to Rolls-Royce and an organizing member of CCAM, we are confident that the company can serve as a hub to attract additional local machine tool operators and suppliers operations to the region,” McAuliffe said during the announcement. “Recruiting global companies of this caliber is a key component of our marketing and trade mission, as well as our goal to diversify and build a new Virginia economy.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Danville, Pittsylvania County and CCAM to secure the project for Virginia.

McAuliffe presented a $200,000 check from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help Danville and Pittsylvania County with the project. Del. Danny Marshall presented a $350,000 check from the Virginia Tobacco Commission’s Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund to the company.

Marshall called the project a good fit for Southern Virginia, especially Danville and Pittsylvania County.

“As the delegate representing the Danville area, I have met with Kyocera SGS Precision Tools several times and am very happy that they have chosen Danville as the location for their U.S. expansion,” Marshall said in a statement. “We appreciate the jobs that they are bringing to our region and wish them much success.”

McAuliffe met with company officials during the 2015 Paris Air Show and the 2016 Europe Marketing Mission.

Pearce said company officials visited Virginia and Danville under encouragement from McAuliffe.

“We instantly connected with a location and a population of people that are in the early stages of a renaissance that perfectly aligns with our own internal revolution,” Pearce said in a statement.

The history of the Danville area and its people — along with the high-level technical skill development and engineering advancement efforts — is why the company is being created in Danville, Pearce said.

Jason Wells, chief technical officer with the company, said Kyocera SGS Tech Hub LLC will optimize its products for customers. They will provide specifications and the company will design and make those products according to the specifications, Wells said.

John Crane reports for the Danville Register & Bee. Contact him at jcrane@registerbee.com or (434) 791-7987.

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