DANVILLE, Va. – UPDATE
Gov. Ralph Northam received a standing ovation Friday in the packed lobby of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research when he announced Morgan Olson's plan to buy and renovate Danville's IKEA plant, creating 703 direct, full-time jobs.
Another 4,000 indirect jobs are expected to also be created as the IKEA plant is overhauled to meet Morgan Olson's needs.
"For them to come here and invest close to $60 million of capital investment, that's a big deal for Danville, big deal for Virginia. Seven hundred new jobs in this area, jobs that will provide food for folks, access to healthcare, so again, it's an exciting day for Virginia," Northam said.
Morgan Olson has offered to hire the roughly 300 workers losing their jobs as a result of the IKEA plant closure.
The first trucks are expected to roll off the assembly line next summer.
Parent company chairman John Poindexter said the plant was originally going to be in James City County, but that deal fell through, and state and local leaders in Danville and Pittsylvania County were quick to point out the IKEA plant.
"It's got a lot of open space inside. It's a perfect blank canvass for us to paint what we need," he said.
The jobs at the plant will be typical automotive assembly line jobs.
"Welding is probably the single most important single position," Poindexter explained.
Danville Vice Mayor Lee Vogler said landing a company like Morgan Olson is a major milestone for the city, adding this is the biggest economic development announcement in at least a decade.
"I think it speaks to the great comeback that's happening in our city. Danville is the comeback city," Vogler said.
Morgan Olson is expected to buy the IKEA plant once IKEA closes there at the end of the year.
Local leaders believe landing Morgan Olson strengthens the already great relationship between the Danville and Pittsylvania County and sends a worldwide message that Southside is a great place to do business.
"The first decade of this century was tough. That's when we went through a lot of disruption and the loss of (the) textile and tobacco (industries). This decade was about rebuilding our city through those workforce training programs that were specifically mentioned today as a big part of why (Morgan Olson) wanted to come here," Vogler said.
If you're interested in applying for one of the 700 plus jobs, click here.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced that just over 700 jobs will be coming to Danville and Pittsylvania County.
Morgan Olson, LLC, will invest $57.8 million for a new assembly operation to manufacture walk-in step vans. The company will operate out of a 925,000-square-feet facility owned by IKEA.
According to the governor's office, the commonwealth competed against Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio for the project, which will create 703 new jobs.
In July, IKEA announced it would shut down its facility in the area, which was the company's only facility in the country. The move resulted in the loss of about 300 jobs.
Morgan Olson's operation will be housed in the plant, currently owned by IKEA, which planned to close in December 2019.
Current IKEA employees will receive priority consideration as part of Morgan Olson's hiring process.