Why new Volvo jobs will 'transform' Pulaski County

Plus, the 5 reasons why one expert believes Volvo chose Dublin

PULASKI, Va. – Pulaski County will be “transformed.” That’s what local leaders are saying after Volvo announced on Friday that it’s bringing 777 more jobs to its Dublin plant, investing $400 million.

Economic impact
Local leaders said the county is going grow immensely as a result of the investment. County administrator Jonathan Sweet said the new Volvo employees will earn a combined $40 million and the new jobs at Volvo will create 2,000 other jobs that will support the plant.

“It's so impactful and, quite frankly, it's transformative,” Sweet said.

Local leaders say this kind of advanced manufacturing has the highest multiplier effect compared to other industries, meaning its impact is even greater on other industries, infrastructure, housing and much more.

Leaders know they need everything from more housing to new shopping centers and are making plans to expand.

The county is using this big win to try to attract investments in other sectors, like technology, and it’s taking advantage of the prepared graduates from Virginia Tech, Radford and the community college system.

“It's exciting to see the access Pulaski County has into talent,” Sweet said.

Earlier this month, the county passed a program so every high school graduate can go to New River Community College for free.

Why Virginia won
Economic development expert John Boyd, who owns a consulting firm, said Virginia is creating the playbook for how states win over companies for investment. He said the commonwealth has five key factors that it emphasizes that allow it to stand out:

-Right-to-work status
-Low cost of doing business
-Tax structure 
-Workforce training

“It really cements this as a center of gravity for the trucking industry. Very exciting news,” Boyd said.

He believes the investment fits into Volvo’s plan to cater to the needs of companies like Amazon, FedEx and UPS, which rely on last-mile truck deliveries. He also thinks this paves the way for a focus on emerging technology, like self-driving capabilities.

“Because of that, truck production is a growth sector. It's a highly-coveted sector within the context of advanced manufacturing,” Boyd said.

He said locations in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley and in Greensboro, North Carolina, made strong cases to beat out Dublin for the Volvo expansion.