STIHL Inc., manufacturer of the world’s largest selling brand of chain saws, will expand its operation by 53,256 square feet. The expansion, scheduled for completion in spring 2012, represents a total capital investment of $10.3 million and the creation of 52 new jobs in the City.
The company established its U.S. headquarters more than 30 years ago at 536 Viking Drive in the Lynnhaven section of Virginia Beach. As the largest corporate citizen in Oceana West Corporate Park, STIHL occupies more than one million square feet of industrial space on 89 acres with eight buildings.
“Our Virginia Beach workforce has proven its ability to meet the demands of our customers, both here and overseas,” said Peter Mueller, executive vice president for STIHL Inc. “Because of the manufacturing-friendly environment in Virginia Beach, we are able to compete domestically and globally, ultimately, allowing us to continue to expand our operations here.”
The expansion adds 53,256 square feet of additional high performance manufacturing capacity to an existing building. STIHL’s capital investment includes $4.6 million in new machinery and tools to accommodate growth in the blow molding operation. The expansion will double the company’s blow molding capabilities enabling them to manufacture additional blow molded components on site, expand its line-winding operations for trimmers and relocate welding operations.
STIHL employs 1,892 people in Virginia Beach. The 52 new jobs will be created within 36 months.
The Virginia Beach Development Authority awarded STIHL Inc. an Economic Development Investment Program grant in the amount of $100,000 based on the capital investment and number of full-time jobs created.
During a recent visit to STIHL’s headquarters in Germany, Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. and Economic Development Director, Warren D. Harris, learned of STIHL’s desire for additional production capacity. After returning to the United States, Virginia Beach officials worked closely with STIHL to ensure a successful expansion to one of their current Virginia Beach facilities.
“In our discussions with the Stihl family and company executives, we are extremely proud to hear of the city’s ability to meet their workforce expectations for this expansion,” stated Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. “Our ongoing relationship with STIHL continues to pay dividends for our community in terms of new jobs and added tax revenue.”
“STIHL’s continued growth and success in the city is very impressive,” said Warren D. Harris, director of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development. “It is one of the largest manufacturing employers in the region, and we are extremely pleased that this expansion will bring new high-paying jobs for our citizens.”