Manufacturing Projects Bring 80 Jobs To Hampton Roads Region

Hermes Abrasives and Automatic Coating Ltd. will invest a combined $28 million in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia.

An industrial abrasive materials company with more than four decades of investment in Virginia will now invest more than $5 million to expand its Hampton Roads facility, creating 30 jobs in the process.

Hermes Abrasives USA, a subsidiary of Germany-based Hermes Abrasives, plans to increase production capabilities in Virginia Beach through its narrow belt production line, which had moved to Mexico in 2019.

The return of the belt production line to Virginia “sends a clear message,” according to Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

“Hampton Roads offers the skilled workforce, logistics advantage, and business climate that international leaders like Hermes need to thrive, and we look forward to their continued success in the Commonwealth,” Youngkin said.

Similarly, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick said the expansion “further demonstrates” Virginia’s evolving role in reshoring manufacturing.

Hampton Roads
(Photo: Adobe Stock/Richard)

Hermes Abrasives has locations in Canada, the U.K., France, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland, among others. Its Virginia Beach facility produces 60% of its “full product portfolio,” according to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and is the flagship facility for its sandpaper product.

Continuing Virginia’s role in bringing international companies stateside, Canada-based Automatic Coating Ltd. is set to invest nearly $23 million to locate its U.S. operation to Suffolk, in support of an existing Navy contract. The custom powder, liquid, and corrosion coating company expects to add 50 jobs to the region.

Hampton Roads Alliance President and CEO Doug Smith said the investment shows competitive strength and vitality in the area, alongside the potential for international partnerships.

“This expansion speaks volumes about our region’s strategic position, strong workforce, and business-friendly environment,” Smith said. “We’re proud of the collaborative efforts put forth by the Alliance, the State, and the City of Suffolk to bring this project to fruition.”

Virginia has six regions, including Hampton Roads, that specialize in specific industries, according to a Reshoring Industries report. Prominent industries in the Hampton Roads region include: Aerospace, shipbuilding, food products, logistics-distribution-warehousing, research and development, regional headquarters-back offices, professional and business services, and tourism.

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