Universal Companies, a supplier of spa products, will invest $1.5 million to expand its distribution operation in Washington County, VA. Virginia successfully competed against Tennessee for the project, which will create 30 new jobs. The company delivers spa solutions to more than 30,000 customers around the world and provides industry-leading advanced education in the spa and wellness industries.
“Universal is dedicated to investing in our local economy by bringing more career opportunities to our region,” said Brenda Elliott, CEO of Universal Companies. “We have seen significant growth since our founding and see only more in our future. We employ the full spectrum of employees from entry-level to corporate executives. We are proud to partner with Washington County to advance our distribution operation.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Washington County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Terry McAuliffe approved a $90,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the county with the project. In addition, the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $210,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the company. Universal Companies is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. The company is a graduate of VEDP’s award-winning Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program. VALET is an application-based, two-year international export acceleration program.
“The combination of Virginia’s central location on the East Coast, paired with our extensive transportation infrastructure, makes the commonwealth an ideal hub for the distribution and global logistics industry,” said Gov. McAuliffe. “Universal Companies has been an important corporate steward and employer in Southwest Virginia and Washington County for nearly 15 years, and we are proud that the company is once again investing in the commonwealth and adding 30 well-paid jobs. As we continue to diversify and build the new Virginia economy, it is critical to support this vital sector and the growth of our existing businesses.”
According to Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore, Virginia’s distribution industry employs nearly 80,000 Virginians.
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