Governor Ralph Northam visited the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) to announce Morgan Olson LLC will create 703 new jobs and invest $57.8 million to establish a new walk-in step van assembly operation in Danville-Pittsylvania County.
The leading manufacturer will occupy the 925,000-square-foot facility currently home to IKEA, which announced it will close in December. In addition to bringing potential employment opportunities to IKEA employees and others, Morgan Olson will expand the region’s advanced manufacturing industry.
Morgan Olson, headquartered in Michigan, has built a strong legacy of manufacturing step vans since 1946. Used throughout North America, the vans deliver consumer and commercial online purchases, uniforms, baked goods to distributors and more. In 2003, Morgan Olson was purchased by J.B. Poindexter & Co. Inc. The new Virginia plant will be the company’s fourth expansion in the last six years.
“Securing a project of this magnitude is a big win for Danville-Pittsylvania County, Southern Virginia and the entire Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Not only will Morgan Olson ensure the future of this plant for many years to come, they will also provide valuable new jobs to hundreds of hard-working citizens of this region. As a native of rural Virginia, I fight every day to ensure all parts of our Commonwealth can participate fully in our economic growth.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Pittsylvania County, the City of Danville, the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to secure the project.
“The rapid response and collaboration between the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County, and the Commonwealth of Virginia ensured the optimum win for both Morgan Olson and the Southern Virginia region,” said Mark Gignac, chairman of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance Board of Directors. “As the company moves forward, we stand prepared to assist and know that our workforce will be a key to the company’s continued prosperity.”
Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball also shared remarks on the positive impact of Morgan Olson as did John B. Poindexter, Chairman for J.B. Poindexter & Co.; Mike Ownbey, President and CEO of Morgan Olson; Virginia Delegate Danny Marshall and local elected officials.
“Really, the thing that mattered to me most was the great training facilities that you have here. We are going to hire 700 people who have never built a truck before, … so we will depend upon the great training facilities here.” – Mike Ownbey, President and CEO of Morgan Olson