STIHL Inc., manufacturer of the world’s best-selling brand of chain saws, will expand its operation in Virginia Beach by 53,256 square feet. The expansion, scheduled for completion in spring 2012, represents a total capital investment of $10.3 million and the creation of 52 new jobs in the city.
The company established its United States headquarters more than 30 years ago at 536 Viking Drive in the Lynnhaven section of Virginia Beach. As the largest corporate citizen in Oceana West Corporate Park, STIHL occupies more than one million square feet of industrial space on 89 acres with eight buildings.
“Our Virginia Beach workforce has proven its ability to meet the demands of our customers, both here and overseas,” said Peter Mueller, executive vice president for STIHL Inc. “Because of the manufacturing-friendly environment in Virginia Beach, we are able to compete domestically and globally, ultimately allowing us to continue to expand our operations here.”
The expansion adds 53,256 square feet of additional high-performance manufacturing capacity to an existing building. STIHL’s capital investment includes $4.6 million in new machinery and tools to accommodate growth in the blow molding operation. The expansion will double the company’s blow molding capabilities, enabling STIHL to manufacture additional blow molded components on site, expand its line-winding operations for trimmers and relocate welding operations.
STIHL employs 1,892 people in Virginia Beach. The 52 new jobs will be created within 36 months.
The Virginia Beach Development Authority awarded STIHL Inc. an Economic Development Investment Program grant of $100,000 based on the capital investment and number of full-time jobs created.
During a recent visit to STIHL’s headquarters in Germany, Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. and Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris learned of STIHL’s desire for additional production capacity. After returning to the United States, Virginia Beach officials worked closely with STIHL to ensure a successful expansion to one of the company’s current Virginia Beach facilities.
“In our discussions with the STIHL family and company executives, we are extremely proud to hear of the city’s ability to meet their workforce expectations for this expansion,” said Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. “Our ongoing relationship with STIHL continues to pay dividends for our community in terms of new jobs and added tax revenue.”
Warren D. Harris, director of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development, added: “STIHL’s continued growth and success in the city is very impressive. It is one of the largest manufacturing employers in the region, and we are extremely pleased that this expansion will bring new high-paying jobs for our citizens.”
The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international business and industry that results in the creation of new capital investment and jobs that increase the per capita income in the community. The City of Virginia Beach is the most populous city in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a population of 434,000 and is the 42nd largest city in the United States. Virginia Beach has been recognized as having one of the 10 best economic development groups in the nation by Site Selection magazine. In 2006, Virginia Beach was named one of the 10 best big cities in America by Money magazine. In 2008, the Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council, one of only 25 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. In 2010, the Department won an Award of Excellence for its marketing efforts from the International Economic Development Council. For more information, visit www.yesvirginiabeach.com.