Wednesday, May 12, 2010

McDonnell and Bolling joint statement on Stanley Furniture job loss

Lt. Governor Bill Bolling - Chief Jobs Creator

RICHMOND- Governor Bob McDonnell and Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, who serves as Virginia’s Chief Jobs Creation Officer, issued the following joint statement this afternoon regarding news that Stanley Furniture will lay off 530 workers currently employed at their Henry County plant.

“Today’s announcement is a setback for the economy of Southern Virginia and personally devastating to the workers and families who will be impacted. Stanley Furniture’s decision to close their Henry County plant is a disappointing development for a region that has long struggled with one of the highest unemployment rates in the Commonwealth. While Stanley Furniture will maintain over 200 jobs at their corporate headquarters, as well as employees for the restructured domestic assembly and finishing facility in Martinsville, 530 jobs associated with the Henry County plant will be eliminated between October and December of this year. Our thoughts are with all the workers who will lose their jobs and the families who depend upon the salaries brought home by these hardworking men and women. Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng has already been in contact with Stanley Furniture, and he has begun coordinating efforts to assist these employees as they move forward, working with our agencies as well as the human resources department of Stanley Furniture.

Our main focus is helping these workers find new jobs. Creating the good paying jobs our citizens need has been the foremost priority of this Administration since we took office in January. We have focused significant time and resources in this effort on Southern Virginia, an area that has been left reeling from the cumulative effects of the decline of the tobacco, textile and furniture industries that have long been the key economic drivers in the region. It is not easy to replace the fallen pillars of one economy with the emerging opportunities that will be key to building the next one. It requires a bipartisan effort, and the involvement of local, state and federal agencies and both the private and public sectors.

This past session of the General Assembly local leaders, including Delegates Ward Armstrong, Danny Marshall, Don Merricks, and Charlie Poindexter and Senators Roscoe Reynolds and Robert Hurt, were instrumental in moving forward our broad package of initiatives designed to spur job creation and economic development in Southern Virginia. We lowered the threshold for the Major Business Facility Tax Credit to 25 jobs in severely economically distressed regions, including Southern Virginia. We expanded the Governor’s Opportunity Fund, doubling the resources available and broadening its approved uses, to further assist our proactive efforts to attract job-creating businesses to Southern Virginia. We created a major employment/investment project site planning grant fund to help localities develop sites specific to potential new employers looking to move to their area. We also expanded Virginia’s enterprise zones. Taken together, these policies will allow Southern Virginia’s cities and counties, working in conjunction with the state, to better compete for job creation opportunities in the years ahead.

There is dignity in work. Every Virginian deserves the opportunity of a good and rewarding job in the community they call home. The effort to turn our economy around is one that will take time, and it will come with highs and lows. The highs have been there in recent announcements that Faneuil will create 250 new jobs in Henry County with the opening of their new customer service facility; EcomNets will create 160 new positions with a new manufacturing center in Danville; and a loan from the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority will allow Monogram Snacks to keep its Henry County operation running and create an additional 110 jobs. Those positive announcements have been tempered by announcements like today’s, and the recent news that American of Martinsville will lay off 208 workers. On April 26th we met with many of the workers from American at Patrick Henry Community College and heard directly from them about what they are going through. We are committed to utilizing every resource available to create the new jobs these workers need, bring new employers to the region and turn the economy of Southern Virginia, and the entire Commonwealth, around. It is the foremost priority of our Administration.”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Business, Politics, State Politics

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