Governor Northam Announces 60 New Jobs in Giles County

~Cogar Manufacturing to invest $2.5 million to relocate and expand manufacturing operation~

RICHMOND, VA – Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Cogar Manufacturing, a manufacturer of material handling equipment primarily for the natural resource industries, will invest $2.5 million to relocate its manufacturing operation from Beckley, West Virginia, to the former Caterpillar facility in Giles County. The company has expanded its manufacturing capabilities with the addition of a patented water removal and feeder system for coke producers, increasing Cogar’s customer base and requiring the expansion of its manufacturing footprint. The project will create 60 new jobs.

“Cogar Manufacturing’s decision to move operations from West Virginia to Giles County and expand production is a great testament to the Commonwealth’s competitive operating costs, extensive transportation network, and robust workforce,” said Governor Northam. “The New River Valley’s manufacturing community is booming, and Cogar will be a strong addition. I am thrilled that this new addition will revitalize a vacant facility and create 60 quality jobs in the local economy. We are proud to add another impressive manufacturer to the Commonwealth’s corporate roster, and look forward to Cogar’s future success in Giles County.”

Cogar Manufacturing was established in 1979 and has grown throughout the years, thanks to the dedication of its employees and the help of its customers. Headquartered in Beckley, West Virginia, the company has over 100 years of combined experience manufacturing new equipment and rebuilding existing equipment. Cogar manufactures crushing machines and materials handling and conveying equipment, primarily for the natural resource industries, but has been expanding into refineries and barge and ship transloading. The company has manufacturing facilities in West Virginia and Illinois and a sales and operations office in Texas.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cogar Manufacturing to Giles County and the Commonwealth, and look forward to building a successful partnership,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Esther Lee. “Cogar will move into the former Caterpillar facility in Pearisburg, bringing 60 critical employment opportunities back to the region. Virginia’s robust manufacturing workforce of over 240,000 guarantees a solid pipeline of talent for years to come, and we are confident that Cogar Manufacturing will be pleased with its decision to relocate to the New River Valley and the Commonwealth.”

John Cogar, Vice President of Cogar Manufacturing, expressed gratitude to the Commonwealth and to Giles County for the support offered to Cogar in making this decision to move to Virginia: “We are excited about the facility, which offers our company a viable opportunity to expand; we are excited about the work force of Giles County, which offers our company a highly qualified and experienced employee base, and we are grateful to the Commonwealth of Virginia and Governor Northam for supporting our efforts through a grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Giles County and Onward New River Valley to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $150,000 Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund investment to assist the County with the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“We are very pleased that Cogar has chosen Giles County for its expansion. They represent true American manufacturing and will bring quality job opportunities here for our citizens,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff Morris.

“This is another great project for Giles County and a testament to the quality of resources, infrastructure, and workforce, that exists in the New River Valley,” added Giles County’s Industrial Development Authority Chairman Dr. S. Lee Wheeler.

“I’m proud of Giles County’s efforts to continue building on recent economic successes, which have brought more than 100 new jobs to the County in recent months,” said Delegate Chris Hurst. “We look forward to welcoming Cogar Manufacturing to the New River Valley.”

“I am very pleased that Cogar Manufacturing chose to relocate to Giles County,” said Senator John Edwards. “The collaborative efforts of Giles County and State Agencies in processing the opportunity funds will greatly benefit the region by providing 60 jobs at the former Caterpillar facility in Pearisburg. I welcome Cogar Manufacturing and commend them for investing in Virginia’s economy and the future of Giles County.”

Full Release

Office of the Governor
Contact: Ofirah Yheskel

Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Contact: Suzanne Clark
Phone: (804) 545-5806

Cogar Manufacturing
Contact: John Cogar
Phone: (304) 252-4435


Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.

Entrepreneur Month Workshops in the NRV

Date:  November 9, 2016

New River Valley Economic Development Alliance

New River Valley, VA – This November, the New River Valley, along with communities all across America, are celebrating National Entrepreneurship Month by hosting community workshops.  These workshops aim to educate and empower individuals interested in starting or expanding their small businesses in the region, and will be led by local business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Learn more about how you can join a local entrepreneurship workshop and launch your next big idea in the New River Valley!

The Entrepreneurship Option

When: Thursday, November 10, from 6 – 8 pm

Where: New River Community College, NRV Mall Site, 400 New River Road, Christiansburg, VA 24073

Cost: $10


New River Community College is teaming up with VT KnowledgeWorks to offer a one-night entrepreneurship workshop.  This workshop will help participants understand what it takes to embark on the entrepreneurship path and is open to anyone considering starting their own business.

Jim Flowers, Executive Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, will share his knowledge and experience on a variety of topics including things to consider before starting a business, common misconceptions about small businesses and fundamental characteristics shared by successful entrepreneurs.  He will also offer individualized attention to answer questions and advise attendees of the session.

Register in advance at


Entrepreneur Express

When: Wednesday, November 16, from 9 am – Noon

Where: Pearisburg Town Hall, 112 Tazewell Street, Pearisburg, VA 24134

Cost: Free


In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the New River Valley Regional Commission, the Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier DiversityOpportunity Southwest Virginia and the Roanoke Small Business Development Center have partnered to host a FREE training event. The Entrepreneur Workshop connects small business owners, and those thinking about becoming entrepreneurs with programs and resources to help move their plans forward.  The program includes interactive discussions and exercises covering key elements of business practices and will be presented by Virginia’s small business support partners.

Advanced registration is required.  Please register at

If you have any questions, please contact Patrick O’Brien at the New River Valley Regional Commission at 540-639-9313.

About Us:

Virginia’s New River Valley is a vibrant community that’s home to two state universities, Virginia Tech and Radford University, and a diverse industry base ranging from large international corporations to small technology startups. The region is designated the Blacksburg-Christiansburg Radford Metropolitan Statistical Area and encompasses the counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski and the city of Radford.

The New River Valley Economic Development Alliance is a public/private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market the New River Valley, to foster job creation, facilitate new investment and to improve the quality of life in the region.