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Built in the Blue Ridge: Virginia Transformer

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Electricity is essential to most everything we do.  One of the key component to keep the power on is Built in the Blue Ridge.

Transformers are a key component to the power grid, helping to power everything from our homes to workplaces, restaurants and stores.  Roanoke based Virginia Transformer Corporation builds these.  "we manufacture transformers, and transformers come in all different sizes," said company President Prabhat Jain.  "There are small transformers that are used outside your home for example in the green boxes. Then, we have large transformers which are used in the Troutville area for a substation for AEP,"  he continues.

The company started in the early 1970s supplying power transformers for the mining industry in southwest Virginia and the Appalachian mountains.  Today, it is the number two producer in North America, now operating four plants in the U.S. and one in Mexico.

In addition to powering our homes, the company has also made units supporting the New York City subway system, the Detroit Airport and Disney World's Tower of Terror.

With the addition of a Georgia plant, the company is able to produce even larger units, bringing business from Europe and Asia back to the United States.  Jain says that is a quality customers desire, "so now we're going to make them in the good 'ole U.S.A.  So that's one thing we're looking forward to do right now.  Customers would like to buy their transformers in the U.S., of course."

To keep the momentum going and to continue growing, well trained employees and a quality product are key.  Jain says, "you have good people, you train them, because they do a good job for us. We deliver a good quality transformer, a reliable transformer that works for 50 to 60 years and on time."

Quality that keeps southwest Virginia and America moving, Built in the Blue Ridge.

The company has more than 1,100 employees, around 450 of them based in the Roanoke Valley. The company retains a lot of their talent, with at least one employee working for there for over 40 years.