Due to the weather, some customers may experience late delivery of The Roanoke Times. We apologize for the delay.
The announcement is being called the largest of its kind in the town since 2005.
Jacob Demmitt | The Roanoke Times
Falls Stamping and Welding announced Thursday it will renovate and open a facility to supply parts for the nearby Volvo plant, using the former Renfro building in downtown Pulaski.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
PULASKI — Falls Stamping and Welding Company announced Thursday that it will open a supply facility in downtown Pulaski, creating 112 jobs and investing $5.7 million.
The announcement is being called the largest of its kind in the town since 2005, offering a much-needed shot in the arm to a community that has struggled to attract businesses since the furniture and textile industries left the region decades ago.
Falls is an Ohio-based manufacturer that supplies automobile makers with metal parts like straps that go around large gas tanks. Volvo Trucks in Dublin has long been one of the company’s largest customers, which was a major reason why it chose Pulaski for its new site.
Lars Blomberg, manager of the nearby Volvo plant, said they’re excited to have Falls close by for obvious reasons. They’ll get parts faster and spend less on shipping .
To sweeten the deal, Falls also received a $175,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund.
Lane Witte, the company’s vice president for sales, said they hope to move in and start renovating an existing facility on Jefferson Avenue by September.
After that, he said, they’ll hire and train a primarily local workforce for a wide range of jobs, mainly in the manufacturing sector.
“This is a lot more high-tech than our other plant so it’s going to require some very skilled positions as compared to what we do at our other facilities,” Witte said.
These new jobs could be the first bump to Pulaski’s downtown economy in a while, as the area has been plagued with decades of factory closings and random bad luck.
Even the Pulaski Railway Station where the ceremony was held is a testament to the hard times. The historic building was nearly destroyed by fire in 2008 and had to be rebuilt from the ground up.
Pulaski Mayor Jeff Worrell spoke of this and other recent misfortunes to hit the “tough” little town before rattling off a more recent list of successes.
“We will bounce back from anything,” Worrell told the crowd. “And I know this because I’ve seen it over and over and over.”
Falls will be moving into the former Renfro facility, which made socks until it closed in 2003. Like many of Pulaski’s old factories, the large, brick building has sat vacant ever since.
Worrell said that with this week’s news, it’s now “coming back to life.”
“It just takes a few successes and a few wins to change people’s perceptions and attitudes about things,” said Aric Bopp, the executive director of the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance. “This, obviously, is a big step, taking the old Renfro sock shop in downtown Pulaski that has been sitting vacant for eight-plus years and breathing some life into it and getting people working in downtown. You get a few successes like that in a row and it’s amazing what can happen.”
Weather JournalNew batch of moisture for PM