Gov. Ralph Northam on Jan. 15 announced that Laminate Technologies Inc. (LamTech), one of the largest privately held custom laminators in the United States, will invest $4 million to expand its manufacturing facility at 775 Industrial Park Drive in Henry County.

The company will install a new automated hardwood plywood press line to increase capacity and production to serve its East Coast market. Virginia successfully competed with Ohio for the project, which will create 42 new jobs.

“With our skilled workforce, competitive operating costs and access to key markets, manufacturers like Laminate Technologies are finding opportunity in Virginia,” said Northam. “Expansions in the advanced manufacturing sector will aid our economic recovery during this ongoing pandemic, and we look forward to partnering with the company on its next phase of growth in Henry County.”

Headquartered in Tiffin, Ohio, Laminate Technologies Inc. was established in 1985 as a major supplier of laminated panel products, fabricated components and globally sourced products for the kitchen cabinet, residential furniture, office furniture and retail display markets. The company operates manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. LamTech opened its Henry County operation in 2012.

“We are excited that Laminate Technologies will expand its production capabilities at its Henry County facility, creating 42 new, well-paid jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program is a great tool that enables businesses to adapt their workforce to evolving industry needs so that important employers like LamTech continue to succeed in the commonwealth.”

“We studied several of our East Coast production facilities for expansion but selected our Ridgeway, Virginia location for multiple reasons, including the solid workforce, proximity to customers and supply chain logistics,” said Randy Joseph, chief operating officer at Laminate Technologies Inc. “Adding hardwood plywood production to our current lamination and fabrication capabilities provides a great product synergy. This, coupled with our neighboring supply partner, Southern Finishing in Martinsville, enables us to bring a lot of value to the market. A special thanks to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development teams for their incredible support and cooperation to make this expansion possible.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation to secure the project for Virginia. Northam approved a $100,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Henry County with the project. The company is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, as well as the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Support for Laminate Technologies’ job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a new workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System, with funding support from the Northam Administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.

“Henry County is proud to have Laminate Technologies among our corporate partners,” said chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors Jim Adams. “LamTech has been a part of our team since 2012, and it continues to play an essential role in our resurgence. We are thrilled that this expansion is happening right here in Henry County.”

“It is always welcome news when a business invests in Virginia,” said Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart. “It’s doubly satisfying when it’s a Virginia-based company choosing to reinvest because of the positive business climate, strong workforce, and good transportation infrastructure here. We’re excited to continue to serve as the international trade gateway for Laminate Technologies and congratulate both the company and Henry County on this announcement.”