Sen. Kaine and local leaders hope Dan River attracts internation - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Sen. Kaine and local leaders hope Dan River attracts international manufacturers

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On Wednesday, Danville economic development leaders, businesses owners along with Virginia Tech educators discussed ways to bring businesses and jobs to Danville. U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and Martin Briley, president and chief executive of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership also attended the Economic Development Summit at the Institute for Advanced Learning in Danville.

The day-long summit hosted by the city of Danville and Danville Pittsylvania Chamber of Commerce focused on Danville’s economic development plan. Like other parts of the country, the Danville economy has experienced highs and lows.

“Danville has lost its two anchor industries in textile and tobacco” said Linwood Wright, Danville Economic Development Office. “If we don't turn this city around, it will disappear. We have to change, it's that simple.

Wright said the city plans to showcase the Dan River, it’s a body of water that is more than 200 miles long and flows through North Carolina as well as Virginia. Local leaders said the river can be a valuable asset for attracting advanced manufacturing companies because businesses can use the water and other existing infrastructure as utility sources.

“The one thing that is essential to life itself is water and water is usually absolutely essential for any manufacturing company” said Wright.

Recently, Essel Propack, a company based in India, chose Danville for its first U.S. manufacturing facility. Martin Briley, president of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, said southside has the potential to attract more international clients.

““The community has done an extraordinary job to enhance the product of the community and to bolster the workforce” said Briley.

Economic development officials said overseas companies coming to Danville can also help surrounding areas.

In a statement o WSLS, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine praised the growth in Danville.

"The Danville Economic Development Summit is a great opportunity to showcase why southern Virginia is an ideal home for businesses, especially in the advanced manufacturing industry. From the natural water source of the Dan River to the well-designed roads, bridges and rail that surround it, southern Virginia's well-established manufacturing base and infrastructure system are virtually unbeatable for companies looking to relocate.”

 As governor, Tim Kaine helped recruited Swedwood and Com.40 to Danville and oversaw the expansion of Essel Propack.

“I look forward to working on efforts in the U.S. Senate to continue to bring more businesses into Virginia through increasing access to job training programs to ensure that we have the best workforce in the world” Kaine’s statement read.

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