HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) In a time when the employment rate may look rather ill across the country, a Virginia county is getting a healthy supplement to the job scene.
The Vitamin Shoppe, a specialty retailer that markets and sells nutritional products, is opening a distribution operation in Hanover.
According to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s news release this morning, the center will bring 174 new jobs.
They're establishing the center in Ashland. The governor says in addition to creating jobs, the capital and investments will be a commitment of $39-million for Ashland and the state.
We know that Virginia competed against North Carolina for the center, and we know the governor said Ashland is right on Interstate-95 and has a low business cost, making it a good location.
However, if you check the unemployment numbers, you'll find Hanover's are very low, some of the lowest in the state at 5.8%. The city of Petersburg, also on I-95 and with rail access, has an unemployment rate of over 13%. According to the city’s Economic Director Vandy Jones, he has no idea if Petersburg was ever considered by Vitamin Shoppe.
Meantime people in the Ashland area are very happy about the news, including area Senator Ryan McDougle who released a statement saying in part: "I am thrilled to see the Vitamin Shoppe, Inc.`s commitment to establish a distribution operation in the town of Ashland. Not only will this $39.4 million investment provide 174 new jobs for Hanover County, but it will also bring much-needed capital to the area and establish a long-term partnership with a great nationally recognized company.”
A spokesperson for Gov. McDonnell tells us the location for any project is driven by the needs and decision of the company where to locate; in this case, the Vitamin Shoppe decided Ashland.
The company hasn’t released a date on when things will get rolling, but we know the governor approved a $200,000 grant to help Hanover with the project, and part of that will go towards training and hiring some of those 174 employees.