Torc Robotics to Invest $8.5 Million and Create 350 New Jobs in Blacksburg

Torc Robotics to Invest $8.5 Million and Create 350 New Jobs in Blacksburg

~ Self-driving vehicle pioneer to invest $8.5 million to grow software development operations ~

Montgomery County, VA – Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Torc Robotics, a Blacksburg-based leader in self-driving vehicle systems, will invest $8.5 million to expand its software development operations in Montgomery County. The company will establish an additional facility at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in close proximity to its current operation in the Blacksburg Industrial Park. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina and Texas for the project, which will create 350 new jobs.

“This region’s talented workforce can help forward-looking tech companies grow, and Torc Robotics is demonstrating that by creating 350 new jobs in Montgomery County,” said Governor Northam. “Self-driving technology is a booming sector, and Torc has been at the forefront of the industry since its founding. We thank the company for this significant investment in our Commonwealth, which comes at a critical point in our economic recovery, and we look forward to their continued entrepreneurship and innovation in the New River Valley.”

“This region’s talented workforce can help forward-looking tech companies grow, and Torc Robotics is demonstrating that by creating 350 new jobs in Montgomery County.”
– Governor Ralph Northam

Torc Robotics was established in Blacksburg—at the birth of the self-driving vehicle revolution—by a team of Virginia Tech students who, after winning multiple robotics challenges, decided to commercialize their technology. The company has 15 years of experience in pioneering safety-critical, self-driving applications. This expansion supports Torc’s effort to develop self-driving trucks with Daimler Trucks—the global market-share leader. While consumers dream of self-driving cars, industry leaders expect long-haul trucks will be the first vehicles to fully utilize the technology due to simpler driving environments and a stronger business case. Today, vehicles using Torc’s self-driving technology operate on multiple continents. In 2019, Torc joined the Daimler Trucks family and now employs about 175 people.

“As a homegrown Virginia company in Montgomery County, Torc Robotics is a tremendous example of the success startup technology businesses can achieve in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The company is pioneering a niche market that has gained a lot of momentum, and the impressive talent pipeline from Virginia Tech combined with the New River Valley’s strong workforce will continue to support Torc’s growth as an industry leader.”

“The company is pioneering a niche market that has gained a lot of momentum, and the impressive talent pipeline from Virginia Tech combined with the New River Valley’s strong workforce will continue to support Torc’s growth as an industry leader.”
– Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball

Torc Robotics is a 2013 graduate of VEDP’s award-winning Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program. VALET is an application-based, two-year global export acceleration program that provides participating companies with assistance from a team of experienced international service providers to help meet their export goals.

“Trucking is the backbone of the U.S. economy, delivering food and products to every community,” said Torc Robotics CEO Michael Fleming. “We greatly appreciate Virginia’s support of our mission to save lives and our innovative partnership with Daimler—the inventor of the truck—to commercialize self-driving trucks and make our roads safer. We selected the Commonwealth for its workforce culture and regulatory climate. In our experience, people in the region stay with companies for the long-term. Commercializing self-driving trucks is a marathon—not a sprint, and requires a long-term commitment from companies, investors, and employees. Virginia policy enables us to test our vehicles on public roads, which is critical to bringing this technology to market. Virginia has provided the opportunity to rapidly develop and test in unique environments and weather conditions, ranging from summer heat to winter snow.”

“In our experience, people in the region stay with companies for the long-term. Commercializing self-driving trucks is a marathon—not a sprint, and requires a long-term commitment from companies, investors, and employees.”
– Michael Fleming, Torc Robotics CEO

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Montgomery County and Onward New River Valley to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved an $800,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Montgomery County with the project. The Governor also approved $3.5 million in funds from the Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant (VEDIG). VEDIG was established as a self-funded program of performance-based incentives that the Commonwealth awards to exceptional economic development projects with large numbers of employees and very high wages relative to average wages for that particular area.

Support for Torc Robotics’ job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System, with funding support from the Northam administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.

“Torc Robotics continues to be a valued and integral part of our business community,” said Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Chair Steve Fijalkowski. “We are very excited to have Torc Robotics commit to new investments, innovations, and technology development in Montgomery County, where they can benefit from our community’s skilled and talented workforce.”

“Torc Robotics is emblematic of the exciting work being done in the New River Valley and the major contributions Virginia Tech graduates are making to the economy of our Commonwealth,” said Senator John S. Edwards. “Virginia is on the cutting edge of our nation’s transforming infrastructure thanks to companies like Torc. I look forward to many future successes from them.”

“We are thrilled that Torc continues to expand its investment in Montgomery County,” said Delegate Chris Hurst. “We take great pride in the burgeoning innovation and technology sector in New River Valley that continues to attract and retain a talented workforce. Torc’s continued growth will pave the way for future investments in Montgomery County and Southwest Virginia as a whole.”

Office of the Governor
Contact: Alena Yarmosky
Email: Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Contact: Suzanne Clark
Email: sclark@vedp.org

Torc Robotics
Contact: Eileen Quirk Baumann
Email: press@torc.ai
Phone: (540) 953-0073

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

New Modea Headquarters in Blacksburg, VA

Modea to Invest $100,000 and Create 20 New Jobs in Blacksburg

Montgomery County, VA — Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Modea, a technology company that specializes in digital strategy for healthcare organizations, will invest $100,000 to grow its operation in Montgomery County. Headquartered in Blacksburg, Modea recently moved to a larger office space located at 301 South Main Street and will expand to accommodate new business, creating 20 new jobs.

“Modea’s success in Montgomery County is demonstrating that growth in the tech industry is happening across diverse regions of Virginia,” said Governor Northam. “This pandemic continues to highlight the value of digital health solutions like those that Modea offers its customers. The New River Valley has become a hub for technology businesses of all sizes, and we are proud to see this homegrown company expanding and creating new jobs in our Commonwealth.”

“The New River Valley has become a hub for technology businesses of all sizes, and we are proud to see this homegrown company expanding and creating new jobs in our Commonwealth.”
– Governor Ralph Northam

Modea was founded in Virginia in 2006 and focuses exclusively on the healthcare industry. The company provides strategic consulting and integration services, and designs customized software solutions and mobile applications for hospital systems and other healthcare organizations. Modea’s clients include Vanderbilt University Health, Children’s National Health System, and Carilion Clinic.

“Modea has been an important employer in Montgomery County for nearly 15 years, serving high-caliber healthcare clients’ IT needs from its growing operation in Blacksburg,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The company’s ability to adapt and develop solutions in the constantly changing health tech industry is impressive, and we thank Modea for its commitment to the region and the Commonwealth.”

“Modea was founded in Blacksburg, Virginia because of the incredible quality of life and the availability of technical talent in the New River Valley,” said Christopher Riegger, Chief Operating Officer at Modea. “COVID-19 is shining a bright light on the need for better digital tools in healthcare and demand for our services is growing quickly. As we scale to meet this need, doing so here in Blacksburg allows us to leverage strong, local relationships and retain our company culture.”

“Modea was founded in Blacksburg, Virginia because of the incredible quality of life and the availability of technical talent in the New River Valley.”
– Christopher Riegger, Chief Operating Officer at Modea

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Montgomery County to secure the project for Virginia and will support Modea’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for citizens.

“Modea has done an excellent job of identifying a need and quickly providing a solution to meet the need,” said Steve Fijalkowski, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors. “We’re proud companies like Modea choose to make Montgomery County their home, which in turn creates quality job opportunities for our citizens.”

“We’re proud companies like Modea choose to make Montgomery County their home, which in turn creates quality job opportunities for our citizens.”
– Steve Fijalkowski, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors

“Modea’s expansion is a significant win for our region’s future and our growing economy,” said Senator John S. Edwards. “Modea is a technology leader that exemplifies the New River Valley’s entrepreneurial spirit and world-class tech talent.”

“I have enjoyed working with Modea as they have grown as an industry leader in healthcare technology,” said Delegate Chris Hurst. “We are very proud that the New River Valley is home to such innovative technology companies as Modea. We look forward to their continued growth and success.”

Office of the Governor
Contact: Alena Yarmosky
Email: Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Contact: Suzanne Clark
Email: sclark@vedp.org

Modea
Contact: Chris Riegger
Email: chris.riegger@modea.com

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Torc Robotics Headquarters

Torc Robotics Plans to Grow Company 50% by End of 2020

Press Release from Torc Robotics Blacksburg, VA– Torc Robotics, a leader in self-driving vehicle systems, continues its strong recruiting efforts even under social distancing and safer-at-home orders. Torc has steadily added new employees since January and plans to increase the company size by more than 50 percent before year end. Torc’s recruiting process has changed to accommodate personal safety during the pandemic. “We are very fortunate that most of us can work from home – and our team has been using this time to scale up our virtual testing and future fleet infrastructure,” said Michael Fleming, Torc’s CEO. “Over the past 10 years, we’ve built our culture on winning teams and find that Torc’rs are great at solving problems – including bringing on new team members during a pandemic,” he said. Adaptations for full-time hiring have included video panel interviews and additional relocation assistance for full-time employees. Until the Torc offices reopen, new hires are working from home and being onboarded remotely. A new cohort of team members started this week, and all are quickly learning the ropes, according to Fleming. Torc is hiring across multiple software engineering areas, including infrastructure and tools, web development, Linux, and cloud technology. Torc also remains committed to summer internships and co-op positions, which have been transformed to remote work opportunities for summer 2020. Students in these positions are fully embedded into technical teams and interact with Torc’rs across the company via coffee chats, lunch & learns, and other collaboration opportunities. The company’s continued growth supports Torc’s automated truck development in partnership with Daimler Trucks North America, the market leader in trucking. “Over the next several years, we will continue to hire aggressively,” said Fleming. “Commercializing automated trucks on public roads is complex and we will need additional talent to get us there,” he said. “This is a marathon, not a sprint and our team is committed to the long-term.” To accommodate its growing team, Torc is completing a new headquarters expansion later this year, which will add nearly 16,000 square feet and is designing additional future expansion projects. Torc develops Level 4 self-driving technology, which does not require human intervention, but operates within specific areas or use cases, such as locations, or types of roads. Torc partners with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and mobility companies to integrate the technology on their vehicle platforms. In 2019, Torc joined the Daimler Trucks family to partner on commercializing self-driving truck technology. “At Torc, our mission is to save lives through self-driving technology,” Fleming said. “The fastest path to commercialized is through OEMs and the strongest business case is in trucking.” To learn more about employment opportunities at Torc Robotics, visit their Careers page. About Torc Robotics: Torc Robotics, headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia, is a member of the Daimler Trucks family. Torc offers a complete self-driving vehicle software and integration solution and is currently focusing on commercializing self-driving trucks. Torc has more than 10 years of experience in automating heavy equipment for safety-critical applications.
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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.” Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Obis One LLC Announces Ninety Percent Expansion in VT CRC

Blacksburg, VAObis One LLC, North America’s largest and most inventive manufacturer of organic black garlic, announces a 90% expansion to operations and R&D at their Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center headquarters in Blacksburg, Virginia.

In June of 2016, Dr. Patrick and Lisa Lloyd moved their residence to Jefferson National Forest and expanded business operations in Blacksburg, Virginia. The new facility at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center afforded a unique opportunity to increase research and development in food innovation and continue creating impeccable highest-quality, artisan products. What’s more, they are securing local organic farmers to continue the growth and quality of their premium garlic crop.

Obis One has 100% control over every ounce of well water irrigation, organic fertilization, planting, harvest, curing, aging, packaging and distribution. In addition, they plant a myriad of specialty plants and edible flowers in rotation with their premium garlic and deliver the freshest, hard to find specialties. Obis One actively supports culinary teaching and learning, especially to K-12, supporting their motto “Sharing the Goodness.”

With their customer base expanding from coast to coast by 23% in 2019, the operation is expanding production and R&D by 90%.

“This might seem to be a risky time to expand because garlic markets are at an all-time high due to present world health concerns, but that’s exactly why we’re marching forward. More importantly, we cannot and will not let down our valued customer base in America as they always come first. At Obis One we have an obligation to all people to get our healthy products in their hands, especially now.”
– Patrick W. Lloyd, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Obis One LLC.

In February 2020, Obis One attended Gulfood, the largest food show of its kind in the World.

“Thankfully, health, reputation and pristine quality always wins, and we received rave interest in Dubai, Jordan, India and Saudi Arabia”, said Patrick Lloyd, Founder and & CEO. “These responses are very similar to the love we’ve always received in the USA. This is a very organic and strategically sound venture by a small company proud to be in Virginia. Looking at risk and the bottom line becomes less scary when you know that your company creates products that are ultra-wholesome and makes us all better people. Yeah, let’s do that.”

The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center’s Chief Operating Officer, Dawn Myers, CPM, said, “We are thrilled to hear about the success of Patrick Lloyd, Ph.D., an innovative food entrepreneur, and are so proud he calls our research park home. When we hear about these achievements it solidifies that what we are doing, does makes a difference.”

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Obis One LLC is the leading producer of certified organic black garlic in the U.S. Located at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, VA, this family-owned business in centered on innovation, having developed over 17 original black garlic products in under 5 years. Owner and founder Patrick W. Lloyd, Ph.D. developed an extension of black garlic use when he invented Black CrackÒ. Pure cracked black garlic, the product was named in their Top 100 as Best Condiment by Saveur Magazine. It has become a launchpad for various other products over the past few years.

Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

NRV Commerce Park Welcomes Patton Logistics Group

Dublin, VA – Governor Ralph Northam today announced that The Patton Logistics Group will invest $12 million to establish a new logistics and warehousing operation in the New River Valley Commerce Park in Pulaski County.

Patton provides integrated supply chain solutions for clients throughout the United States and Canada. The facility will also serve as a hub for motor carrier freight services to reach major clients in Eastern United States markets. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project, which will create 33 new jobs.

“The Patton Logistics Group is a significant addition to Pulaski County’s New River Valley Commerce Park. This project will bring 33 new jobs and strengthen Virginia’s supply chain management sector. We are confident that the region’s top-notch workforce and access to expanding markets along I-81 and I-77 will help the company serve its growing client list.” -Governor Ralph Northam.

The Patton Logistics Group is comprised of three separate organizations employing 560 people throughout the United States. Watsontown Trucking Company is a family-owned and -operated asset-based motor carrier founded in 1941. They operate a fleet of 400 trucks and 1,150 trailers with a workforce of 475. Patton Logistics, LLC was organized in 2013 as an affiliated entity of Watsontown Trucking Company to provide transportation brokerage and third-party logistics services for its expanding customer base. Patton Warehousing, LLC was formed in 2015 and currently manages 1.6 million square feet of warehouse space in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Jersey. The Patton Logistics Group management team has over 150 years of combined transportation and logistics knowledge and can provide integrated supply chain solutions ranging from motor carrier transportation, warehousing, distribution services, logistics, and brokerage sourcing. Watsontown Trucking Company has received numerous service and safety awards from clients and business partners.

“Virginia’s unparalleled transportation infrastructure and access to domestic and global markets continue to attract high-caliber retail supply chain companies like The Patton Logistics Group,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “With interstate access and a cross-dock terminal located nearby, Pulaski County’s proximity to population clusters and easily navigable logistics options played a role in the company’s decision to expand its operations in Virginia. The New River Valley location will enable Patton Logistics to serve major nearby clients and grow its presence in Eastern United States markets, and we thank Patton for its significant investment.”

“Over the past several years we have developed a motor carrier transportation and logistics presence in Southwest Virginia and throughout the Southeastern United States,” said Steve Patton, President of Watsontown Trucking Company and Patton Warehousing and Logistics, LLC. “We chose to further expand in Dublin, Virginia, for several reasons: first, this location provides access to a superior workforce that is dedicated to help us develop a reliable logistics system for our clients. Also, the close proximity to the interstate highway system gives us the ability to provide daily service to population centers in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Tennessee. Finally, Southwest Virginia is home to two of our largest clients and having a location near them will only enhance our ability to serve their logistics needs in the future.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Pulaski County, Virginia’s First Regional Industrial Facility Authority (VFRIFA), and Onward New River Valley to secure this project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $150,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Pulaski County with the project. Patton Logistics is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

“Our economic development team worked hard to compete for and secure Patton Logistics’ site location decision, and we are delighted to welcome them as the newest member of our business community,” said Chair of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Joseph Guthrie. “Even better, since they are a highly capable 3PL resource, they will further support Pulaski County’s diverse advanced manufacturing sector. This announcement is a great way to begin 2020 as it continues the success the county has had recently in economic development, bringing Pulaski County’s new capital investment totals to nearly $475 million and more than 1,460 new jobs created in the past three years.”

“VFRIFA is excited to welcome Patton Logistics Group as the latest business to locate in the 1,000-acre NRV Commerce Park,” said VFRIFA Board Chair Mary Biggs. “This amazing project would not have been possible without the support from the 11 localities that make up VFRIFA: the counties of Bland, Craig, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Roanoke; cities of Radford and Roanoke; and the towns of Dublin, Pearisburg, and Pulaski. In addition, financial assistance from the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority and an ARC Grant administered by Virginia DHCD helped make this project a reality.”

“It’s good to see Pulaski County beginning a new decade with a continued growing economy,” said Delegate Nick Rush. “The addition of Patton Logistics will provide a double benefit to the New River Valley with expanded commerce and capital. We look forward to welcoming the Group to Southwest Virginia with our strong support and best wishes for success.”

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Excella Extension Center Plans Expansion

Blacksburg, VA – The old ‘Catch 22’ – you can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job. For the past ten years, the Excella Extension Center located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) has been training software engineering students to work on software development projects. Recently, Excella ranked #3 Best Tech & Engineering Internships and #6 Best Internships for Employment Prospects by Vault. Since 2009, approximately 80 students have already participated in their existing program, and 30 of them have accepted full-time employment within the company.

Excella co-founder and partner Steve Cooper will run a spinoff company, based on the Excella Extension Center model, set to open at the end of 2019. It will be located in the VTCRC and will provide talent and virtual workforce to Excella and other businesses. The program will benefit both businesses and students by allowing recent graduates to hit the ground running when they start working in the industry. Virginia Tech students will be the first to benefit, but Cooper has plans to expand the concept to other campuses, including Radford University.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Torc and Daimler

Torc Robotics Announces New Jobs and Expansion in Blacksburg

Blacksburg, VATorc Robotics announces building expansion ground breaking at their Blacksburg headquarters to accommodate their growing team. Torc Robotics, a leader in self-driving vehicle systems, broke ground mid-August on a new headquarters expansion that will almost double the existing space. The 15,800-square-foot addition will serve Torc’s growing team, which is expected to expand significantly with Daimler Trucks’ pending acquisition of a majority stake in the Blacksburg-based company. Torc and Daimler Trucks, a division in the Daimler Group, the inventor of the truck and world’s largest manufacturer of heavy and medium trucks, recently announced that they would be joining forces in a one-of-a-kind combination to commercialize highly automated trucks (SAE Level 4) on U.S. roads. This acquisition, combined with Torc’s expanding commercial capabilities and additional strategic partnerships, is contributing to Blacksburg’s growing national reputation for technology prowess. This livable, high-tech community is home to hundreds of innovative technology firms, specializing in information technology, unmanned systems, biosciences, advanced manufacturing and more. The region is free from brutal commutes and high housing costs found in many tech hubs. Once the acquisition is complete, Torc will be part of the newly established Autonomous Technology Group—part of Daimler Trucks’ global effort to put highly automated trucks onto the roads within a decade. Torc will remain a separate entity, retaining its name and expanding its team, existing customer base and facilities in Blacksburg.
“A larger team will position us to meet the growing demand of our customers in the self-driving space and engage the trucking market. We are a passionate, tightly-knit team, motivated to save lives and transform transportation. We are looking forward to adding new Torc’rs.” – Michael Fleming, CEO of Torc
Torc’s current job openings include positions in active sensing and information fusion, self-driving behaviors, path planning, systems engineering, vehicle safety and testing, senior-level management, planning and operations. The forthcoming two-story building, which will accommodate the surge of new employees, will include offices, community rooms, garage bays and parking. It is expected to be completed by March 2020.
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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.” Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.
1901 Group

1901 Group Officially Breaks Ground on Blacksburg Expansion

Blacksburg, VA1901 Group, the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC), and local leaders all join to celebrate the groundbreaking of 1901 Group’s Enterprise IT Operations Center (EITOC) expansion in Blacksburg, VA. The VTCRC will be building 1901 Group’s 45,000 square foot EITOC to provide a state-of-the-art Operations Center to support 1901 Group’s continued growth of cloud, cybersecurity, and managed services business. The expansion of the new EITOC building coincides with 1901 Group’s 10th anniversary and its’ mission to drive sustainable high-tech jobs in rural America. “1901 Group worked with the VTCRC to design the facility to support our rapid growth in the public sector. The layout and configuration are specifically designed for customers seeking substantial performance gains via innovative services to help them assess, migrate, and optimize their mission-critical applications through cloud computing and IT delivered “as a service”, said Paul Wilkinson, EVP 1901 Group. “1901 Group’s new Enterprise IT Operations Center in Montgomery County adds to the region’s economic momentum and booming technology sector,” said Governor Northam. “The company’s decision to expand its presence into rural Virginia speaks volumes about the area’s low operating costs, quality of life, and skilled workforce that continue to attract forward-thinking IT companies. We thank 1901 Group for investing in Montgomery County, and look forward to the company’s future success in the Commonwealth.” “The VTCRC is proud to have played a role in the 1901 Group’s expansion. Their commitment to excellence has enabled them to successfully demonstrate that they can hire, attract, train, and retain outstanding employees in this region.” Joe Meredith, Ph.D., VTCRC President and CEO. “For ten years, the 1901 Group has been providing high-quality IT services, including the kind of cybersecurity protections that are crucial in safeguarding against ever-changing threats and vulnerabilities online,” said Sen. Mark R. Warner. “I am glad to see that 1901 Group will be able to keep investing in the Blacksburg community and continue to create the kind of sustainable, high-tech jobs that will define our 21st century economy.” Many local organizations, financial intuitions, and leaders played a role in developing this project. Partners in the project include: VTCRC, VT Foundation, TKA Architects, EDC, and Avis Construction Company.
“We believed in the model of building IT factories, enterprise operations and development capabilities located in areas with access to talent, a great quality of life and an affordable cost of living. This milestone helps us achieve our vision of engaging rural communities across America to create the next wave of IT talent.” – Sonu Singh, President and CEO of 1901 Group
The new facility will house customer-facing software engineering, security, and operations teams along with 1901 Group’s FedRAMP authorized Cloud Migration Factory that provides full lifecycle cloud services from discovery and assessment to cloud managed services. To meet the rapidly increasing demand for cloud migration services in the public sector, 1901 Group has launched Cloud Pathways, a comprehensive training program designed to develop IT professionals into cloud architects and engineers. Additionally, 1901 Group is working in partnership with Virginia Tech and Radford University to develop the next generation of cloud, security, and operations engineering talent. 1901 Group is committed to growing talent in Southwest Virginia to address the deficit of skilled cloud practitioners in the public sector. “We applaud 1901 Group’s commitment to talent development and cooperative partnerships between industry, education, and communities across the urban-rural continuum as they build capacity to support and serve their customers,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “We look forward to working with them in their new VTCRC facility to further develop the talent pipeline, provide real-world student experiences, and meet the growing technology needs across the commonwealth and the country.” Onward NRV
“Congratulations to 1901 Group on its expansion in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. Virginia’s New River Valley is an emerging IT hub due to companies like 1901 Group. Our region provides a supportive culture, access to world-class universities, and a small-town lifestyle that is attractive to many IT professionals. 1901 Group exemplifies how companies are leveraging the many attributes of our region to support their success and growth.” – Charlie Jewell, Executive Director of Onward New River Valley
“We are proud to be involved with everyone who contributed to this groundbreaking effort,” said Singh. “It is an exciting time to see 1901 Group evolving into a market leader while improving quality, performance, and security of customers information technology solutions”.
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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.” Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

BimmerWorld to Invest $1 Million Expansion

<>Richmond, VA — Governor Ralph Northam today announced that BimmerWorld, a leading BMW parts supplier, will invest $1 million to expand its operation in Pulaski County. The company will increase warehouse space to accommodate its customer service center and growing demand for parts. The project will retain 25 jobs and create 15 new jobs. “BimmerWorld is a great example of what a homegrown Virginia startup can achieve in the New River Valley,” said Governor Northam. “This innovative company has built a solid reputation in a niche market, and the continued investment in its operation is a strong testament to the region’s skilled workforce and flourishing automotive sector. We congratulate BimmerWorld on its next phase of growth and look forward to the company’s continued success in Pulaski County.” Founded in 1997 by James Clay, BimmerWorld began as a supplier of used BMW parts and quickly grew to offer replacement parts, performance parts, and race parts for all BMW enthusiasts. Located in Southwest Virginia, BimmerWorld is a leading BMW parts supplier with customers spanning the globe.
“BimmerWorld has thrived in Pulaski County for more than two decades, and Virginia is proud to have this unique company on its corporate roster. The region’s pro-business environment, robust workforce, and training programs promote the success of companies of all sizes, and we thank BimmerWorld for continuing to invest and create valuable, 21st-century jobs in the New River Valley.” – Brain Ball, Secretary of Commerce and Trade
“We have built the leading independent BMW performance tuning and parts retailer in North America, and I am proud that it is rooted in Pulaski County where I grew up,” said company founder James Clay. “This newest expansion is a further investment in the local economy and workforce, which are critical to us as we continue to move forward with the growth of our business.” The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Pulaski County and Onward New River Valley to secure the project for Virginia. “We are so proud of BimmerWorld’s continued success here in Pulaski County and what their steady growth means for quality new job opportunities for the citizens of Pulaski County and the New River Valley,” said Chair of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Andy McCready. “BimmerWorld, like most of our business community, is buoyed by its world-class workforce that ultimately allows them to be industry leaders and effectively compete in the global market.” “Congratulations to James Clay and BimmerWorld on this very exciting news,” said Delegate Nick Rush. “As a successful family-owned local business that I’ve proudly watched grow since its inception, BimmerWorld is an exemplary model of employee talent and commitment in a continuously expanding, competitive industry. Pulaski County, Southwest Virginia, and the Commonwealth are certain to benefit greatly from their continued growth, production potential, and workforce investment.”
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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”   Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.  
Volvo Trucks

Volvo Group to Create 777 New Jobs in Pulaski County Expansion

Company to invest nearly $400 million to expand heavy-duty truck manufacturing operation Dublin, VA — Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Volvo Group will invest nearly $400 million to expand its Volvo Trucks North America New River Valley (NRV) assembly operation in Pulaski County. Major components of the investment include a new 350,000-square-foot building that will ultimately house truck cab welding operations; an expansion of the existing plant to allow for further improvements to the facility’s paint operations and overall material/production flow; and a variety of equipment upgrades, including installation of several state-of-the-art dynamometers for vehicle testing. Volvo considered sites in multiple other states for the expansion project, which will create 777 new jobs within approximately six years.
“As the leading private employer in the New River Valley, Volvo Trucks has been a bedrock of this community for more than forty years and has fueled the regional economy. The company’s decision to grow its footprint in the Commonwealth not only recognizes the strength of our manufacturing sector, but also reflects the skill of our workers, the quality of life in rural Virginia, and the competitiveness of our business climate.”
    – Governor Ralph Northam
This announcement represents one of the largest capital investments in the history of Southwestern Virginia, and I am confident that this expansion will both prepare the NRV plant for continued success and solidify Volvo’s presence in Pulaski County for decades to come.” Volvo Trucks provides complete transport solutions for customers, offering a full range of medium to heavy duty trucks. Customer support is secured via a global network of 2,100 dealers and workshops in more than 130 countries. Volvo trucks are assembled in 15 countries across the globe. In 2018, more than 127,000 Volvo trucks were delivered worldwide. Volvo Trucks is part of Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment, and marine and industrial engines. The Group also provides solutions for financing and service. Volvo Trucks’ work is based on the core values of quality, safety, and environmental care. The Volvo Trucks facility in Pulaski County is its largest in the world, with 1.6 million square feet on nearly 300 acres and 3,500 employees. “Volvo’s historic investment in an additional facility and upgraded, state-of-the-art equipment at its Pulaski County operation signifies the plant’s future growth, and we are honored to further strengthen Virginia’s corporate partnership with Volvo Trucks North America,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “With its access to markets, robust workforce, and pro-business climate, the New River Valley is a hub for manufacturers from around the world. This investment will position Volvo’s NRV plant for long-term growth and is a testament to the Commonwealth’s competitive advantage.” “This investment will give our employees the tools they need to continue providing our customers the highest quality products,” said Franky Marchand, Vice President and General Manager of the NRV plant. “We’re very grateful to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Pulaski County, and the citizens in this community for their continued support of our business and our people. Creating more value-added processes through these investments is good for our employees, our plant, and our region.” The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Pulaski County, the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission, and Onward New River Valley to secure the expansion for Virginia. The Volvo Group will be eligible to receive post-performance MEI custom grant payments totaling up to $16.5 million over 10 years, based upon achieving its pledged net new job creation and investment commitments. New job creation will be on top of the baseline employment level of 3,219 in place when project negotiations began in 2018. The company is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. “The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors and the Economic Development Authority are most excited to partner with the state to comprehensively support Volvo Trucks and the exceptional men and women who work there with this monumental expansion project, and we are ever confident that their investment and job growth will go a long way to ensuring this company continues to operate and prosper here in our community,” said Chair of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Andy McCready.
“This announcement is one of the largest capital investments in the history of Southwestern Virginia and it says a tremendous amount about the confidence and trust the Volvo Group has in the Commonwealth, in Pulaski County, in their dedicated workforce, and in the economic development professionals that helped make this project possible.” – Andy McCready
“Volvo Trucks represents the largest private employer in the New River Valley, and I am proud that the Commission could support the company’s continued growth in Virginia,” said Senator Frank Ruff, Chairman of the MEI Project Approval Commission. “This monumental project will enable the company to add nearly 800 new jobs to its existing workforce, creating opportunities for citizens of Pulaski County and the region and further strengthening the Commonwealth’s position as a leader in automotive manufacturing. We thank Volvo for its commitment to Virginia and for being a key source of job creation and investment in our economy.” “The NRV assembly plant is Volvo Trucks’ largest manufacturing facility in the world, and the company’s decision to reinvest in this operation is a significant win for the region and for the Commonwealth,” said Delegate Nick Rush, Vice Chair of the MEI Project Approval Commission. “With support from our local, regional, and state economic development partners, the company has been able to grow in Pulaski County for decades, and we are confident that this major investment will ensure that Volvo Trucks remains a critical employer in the New River Valley for years to come.” “Volvo Trucks’ continued investment and creation of new jobs is a huge opportunity for the hard working people of Southwest Virginia and the New River Valley,” said Senator Benton Chafin. “I want to thank Volvo Trucks for their commitment to the region and seeing the value of reinvesting in the regional workforce and economy. Volvo Trucks is a critical community partner and with the creation of nearly 800 manufacturing jobs, their investment is another step forward in creating a more thriving and diverse regional economy.”
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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”