German company felt immediate connection in Henry County | Local News

It may have come as a shock to some, but for Henry County officials, 335 new jobs and an $85 million investment is the result of nothing but old-fashioned hard work.

There hasn’t been exact confirmation when the German sink maker plans to open in Henry County, but Henry County officials say the company is very deliberate in its decision-making. , having taken 18 months just to decide to settle here.

But the company purchased a fully constructed $3.5 million shell building that was built in 2014 in the Patriot Center industrial park. The Henry County Industrial Development Authority turned over the keys to the building to SCHOCK in September for $1 million.

reach this point

Former Governor Ralph Northam met with officials from SCHOCK GmbH in Regen, Germany in May, and in September it was announced that the inventor of the quartz composite sinks would soon occupy a 95,500 square foot facility on 14.7 acres in the Patriot Center Industrial Park.

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“We are thrilled to welcome SCHOCK to Virginia,” Northam said from the front doors of the new building in September. “This major European company chose to invest in Virginia because of our highly skilled workers and exceptional business climate. When a world leader like SCHOCK chooses Virginia as its gateway to the United States, it’s a sign that it’s a great place to do business.

The company had considered sites in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina for the project, but it was the steady work of the local Economic Development Corporation office that tipped the scales, the county administrator said. of Henry Time Hall in a conversation with the Bulletin last week.

“The company made several trips here from Germany in the midst of a pandemic,” Hall said. “Covid has interrupted a lot of activities, but that hasn’t stopped us from coming to work every day.”

EDC President and CEO Mark Heath said last week that many of the “visits” were done virtually, but when it came to the timing of the decision, it was face-to-face with masks.

“We never went home” as other offices remained vacant during the pandemic, Heath said. “Our staff came to work every day, and we had a lot of lead traffic during this time,” indicating that other companies also inquired about business opportunities at the same time.

About SHOCK

SCHOCK was founded in 1924 and invented the quartz composite sink in 1979. With over 100 patents to its name, the company has a portfolio of over 200 sink designs in over 40 colors, all manufactured with 99% natural, renewable or recycled raw materials. .

The company was founded in 1924 by brothers Karl, Wilhelm and Herman Schock and has continued to develop and advance its line of sink products ever since. Today, the company is ranked in the top 15 of the most innovative companies in its country of origin.

“For SCHOCK, this expansion is very special – it is our first production site outside of Germany,” SCHOCK Managing Director Ralf Boberg said in a statement in September. “The facility will serve the fastest growing market for our product category and allow us to meet the demand for colorful kitchen sinks with local ‘Made in the USA’ products. We are delighted to have found the perfect location in Henry County. As an industrial business center, the region has a skilled and dedicated workforce – one of the key success factors for us as a company – and its geographical location and inter-regional infrastructure are perfect. for our needs.

SCHOCK selected Henry County after extensive research on the East Coast, Boberg said. “As a bonus, the region has a mentality and even geographical similarities to our hometown of Regen in Bavaria, and we immediately felt a connection,” he added.

incentives

The addition of 335 new employees in Henry County will be provided, in part, through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership in conjunction with the Virginia Community College System , a statement from the governor’s office said in September.

Financial support came from the Governor’s Office and the Virginia General Assembly. The program, which launched in 2019, accelerates the start-up of new facilities through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services fully tailored to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards and culture. All program services are provided free of charge to qualified new and expanding businesses as an incentive for job creation.

Henry County Board of Supervisors Jim Adams said at the time of the announcement, “SCHOCK is a perfect fit for Henry County, we are delighted to have SCHOCK join the county’s business community and we look forward to what the future holds.”

Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 2360. Follow him @billdwyatt.

James R. Rhodes