RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Metalworx, Inc., a manufacturer of highly-engineered and precision-manufactured components, assemblies, and products for a variety of industries, will invest $7.6 million to relocate its headquarters and manufacturing functions from South Carolina to the former Core Fitness Complex in Grayson County. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project, which will create 59 new jobs.
“Virginia had a strong foundation for job growth before the pandemic, and Metalworx’s decision to relocate to our Commonwealth demonstrates that companies remain confident in our economy and its people,” said Governor Northam. “This project is a win-win, as the company will return a vacant facility to productive use while creating 59 high-quality jobs in Southwest Virginia and tapping into the region’s dedicated manufacturing workforce and training programs.”
Metalworx was founded in Summerville, South Carolina, in 1997 by Michael and Leah Sawer. The company manufactures low-to high-volume components, assemblies, and products for the medical, forestry, defense, aerospace, power generation, transportation, communications, steel, wind energy, packaging, and other industrial and technology-based industries. Metalworx partners with three related entities: Real Performance Machinery, a sawmill equipment manufacturer; Innovative Medical Solutions Group, a medical equipment mounting manufacturer; and Range of Motion Enterprises, a product development consulting firm.
“This is an important time to gain new corporate partners, and we thank Metalworx for its investment and the creation of well-paid jobs in Grayson County and Southwest Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This project is evidence of the region’s ability to attract businesses, with its talent, infrastructure, and amenities. We look forward to seeing Metalworx ramp up production in Virginia.”
“We are pleased to move forward with our expansion into Grayson County and we anticipate this will help us continue to meet our growing customer demand,” said Michael Sawer, President and CEO of Metalworx. “This expansion is consistent with our vision to grow a sustainable and successful company through development of employees that share our passion for manufacturing and provide meaningful value for our customers. We chose Grayson County based on the strong work ethic and positive attitudes of the people who live and work here, and the small-town atmosphere. We hope to provide Grayson County and the surrounding area with skilled manufacturing employment opportunities, competitive wages and benefits, and expand our existing apprenticeship program. We appreciate all of the support we have received from state and local officials and look forward to our future in Grayson County.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Grayson County, the Town of Independence, Virginia’s Industrial Advancement Alliance, and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $150,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Grayson County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $265,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. Metalworx is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and funding and services to support Metalworx employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“We are thrilled that Metalworx has chosen to move to Grayson County in order to grow and expand its business,” said Bill Shepley, Grayson County’s Chief Administrative Officer. “Our partnership between Metalworx, Grayson County, the Town of Independence, and the Commonwealth of Virginia will be extremely important for the people of our region. We appreciate the spirit of cooperation that has occurred with Michael Sawer on behalf of Metalworx and welcome our new friends and partners to our community.”
“With the recent workforce layoff at Core Fitness, this manufacturing expansion will fill a gap for our workforce and complement the existing workforce development classes currently taught at Grayson County High School,” said Independence Town Manager Reid Walters. “In addition to their manufacturing operation, Michael and Leah Sawer have purchased the former Grayson Garment Mill and are in the process of formulating a redevelopment plan for this significant property located in the heart of Independence. The Town Council welcomes Metalworx to our community and looks forward to working with local leaders and Mr. and Mrs. Sawer on these transformational projects.”
“It’s great to see that Metalworx has chosen Grayson County for its expansion,” said Tobacco Commission Executive Director Evan Feinman. “Advanced and precision manufacturing have been a major focus for the Tobacco Commission’s workforce development programs, and I have no doubt that Metalworx will find that the highly capable workforce in Grayson ensures that their expansion is a success.”
“This is great news for Grayson County and Southwest Virginia,” said Senator Todd Pillion. “We are thrilled to welcome Metalworx and the 59 quality jobs they will bring to our region. I am proud that the company recognized our talented workforce, infrastructure, and quality of life as assets for its new headquarters, and I look forward to the new opportunities they will create here at home.”
“I’m excited to welcome Metalworx to Southwest Virginia,” said Delegate Israel O’Quinn. “By choosing Grayson County and the Town of Independence, they have picked one of the finest places in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We look forward to having Metalworx as part of this wonderful area and appreciate the company’s investment in the region.”