An international boiler company will be investing $77.5 million in James City County with its first U.S. manufacturing and assembly operation, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.
Navien, Inc. is a U.S. subsidiary of KD Navien, based in Seoul, South Korea. The company is one of the fastest growing in the home comfort sector in North America with more than 40 years of experience in advanced boiler and water heating technology, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
The new manufacturing and assembly operation will be in the former Lumber Liquidators facility. The operation is expected to create 180 new jobs and will triple the footprint of the existing facility, bringing it to approximately 900,000 square feet, according to the governor’s office.
Christopher Johnson, the county’s director of economic development, told James City County supervisors Tuesday the average pay for the jobs is $52,000 a year, which is 36 percent above the county’s prevailing wage.
With the establishment of an East Coast facility, the company hopes to support its growth and provide faster delivery to eastern markets while balancing its current shipments to California, Sangkyu Lee, CEO of Navien, said in the news release.
“We are proud to welcome Navien to Virginia and James City County, and look forward to building a strong corporate partnership as the company expands its footprint in North American markets,” said Brian Ball, secretary of commerce and trade, in the news release.
Virginia won the project over Illinois, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Jim Icenhour, chairman of the James City County Board of Supervisors, said this will be the largest investment in the county in nearly two decades.
RELATED STORY: Lumber Liquidators to leave Toano for Richmond
Support for the jobs comes from the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a new workforce initiative from Virginia Economic Development Partnership that accelerates new facility start-ups through recruitment and training services. The services are provided at no cost new qualifying companies.
Navien is the fourth company to benefit from the program.
“Navien’s decision to locate its first U.S. manufacturing operation in James City County demonstrates the competitive advantage that Virginia offers to international companies looking to expand into new markets,” Northam said. “This project is an important win for the Greater Williamsburg region and our Commonwealth, as Navien will bring a key facility back into productive use, create 180 high-quality jobs, and utilize the nearby Port of Virginia as its gateway to the world.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, James City County, the Greater Williamsburg Partnership and the Port of Virginia worked to secure the project with an $850,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund approved by Northam.
In addition, Navien is also eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program.