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Apparel firm moves operations to Fluvanna County

Silk City Printing, LLC is relocating its corporate headquarters to Fluvanna County, and says it will invest $5.7 million in a new facility that it hopes will provide nearly 100 jobs.

According to a news release from the office of Gov. Ralph Northam, the move will see the company relocating its headquarters from Paterson, New Jersey to Fork Union, Fluvanna County. Silk City will be taking over the former Thomasville facility, which has been vacant since 2007.

“We are honored that Silk City Printing has chosen Fluvanna County and Virginia as its new home,” Northam said in the release. “This important project will create 93 valuable jobs for a rural community while also transforming a long-vacant facility into a state-of-the-art production operation.”

Silk City Printing was established in 2017 and produces silkscreened apparel for retail outlets.

“Our intention as a company is to build a world-class facility in Fork Union with the most modern and technologically advanced machinery available within the industry,” Mark Summers, president of Silk City Printing said in the release. “Silk City Printing fully plans to recruit locally with training programs supported by Fluvanna County.”

According to Summers, Silk City moved its operations to Virginia in the beginning of September and was fully operational by Oct. 1. So far, he said they’ve hired between 20 and 25 employees and expect to hit close to 35 by Christmas.

“The work is highly technical so I don’t want to hire too many people at once and not be able to devote the time needed to get everyone trained,” he said in an interview with The Daily Progress. “That said, the people we’ve already hired have learned quickly and are an asset to the company.”

Summers said the move had been planned for around a year but was put on hold for a few months due to the pandemic. Though he expects to downsize the New Jersey operation, Summers said Silk City has actually grown during the pandemic thanks in large part to consistent orders from Target and Walmart, its two biggest clients.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Fluvanna County and the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development to secure the project for Virginia, competing with New Jersey. Silk City will still operate an additional facility located in New Jersey, per the release

Northam approved a $70,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Fluvanna County with the project. This is the first such grant awarded to Fluvanna County. Funding and services to support Silk City Printing employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, per the release.

Public officials and county officials also issued statements Tuesday, expressing their excitement at the new addition to the locality.

“Virginia is admirably skilled at communicating our assets to established businesses from across the country looking to relocate or expand,” said Del. R. Lee Ware, Jr, R-Powhatan. “We have great communities like Fluvanna with good schools and transportation, prudent tax rates, and vast natural resources and beautiful places.”

“The fact that this new job creation is coming during trying economic times and incorporates the far-sighted career-ready approach by Fluvanna County Public Schools makes the news that much better,” said Sen. Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg.

Mozell Booker, the Fluvanna County supervisor representing Fork Union, said the county is delighted to welcome Silk City and hopes they will find the community to be friendly and caring.

“Our popular saying is that ‘Fluvanna is a great place to live, learn, work, and play,’” Booker said. “The staff will enjoy the rural and natural beauty of the Fork Union area.”

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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