Leading lawn and garden product manufacturer to locate in city
Published 4:28 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2022
The second largest manufacturer of lawn and garden products in North America will locate its second Virginia location in Suffolk, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Wednesday.
Oldcastle APG, which has a lawn and garden location alongside Mountain Materials in Russell County, will renovate a vacant building in the city into what it says will be one of its most technologically-advanced manufacturing operations while creating 28 new jobs, according to the announcement.
The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city to secure the project for the state, with Youngkin approving a $50,000 grant from the governor’s agriculture and forestry industries development fund, administered by the department. The city’s Economic Development Authority will match the award with local money.
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The company also said it would commit to buying 80% of all forest products from state forest landowners. The state competed with North Carolina for the project. It plans to work with area mills, loggers and tree service businesses to source those products, including Virginia-grown logs, bark and pulpwood products over the next three years, and then convert the material into a variety of premium garden soils, potting mixes and mulches, either bagged to be sold at major retailers in the mid-Atlantic region or for bulk sale to commercial landscapers and nurseries.
“The expansion of Oldcastle Lawn and Garden into Suffolk is an exciting announcement for our city,” said Mayor Mike Duman in a statement, “and the economic impact it will have on our community is tremendous. We are appreciative of the 28 jobs this creates in Suffolk.”
Youngkin said the fact that Oldcastle APG is locating a new facility in the state showcases its success in reinvigorating job growth and making the state a good place to do business.
“I am thrilled this international company is choosing to grow its presence in Virginia,” Youngkin said, “and thank them for the new jobs and economic opportunity they are bringing to the city of Suffolk.”
State Secretary of Agriculture Matthew Lohr noted the $21 billion economic impact of forestry on the state as it supports more than 108,000 jobs.
“Virginia’s loggers, mills and landowners need strong markets for every part of the tree in order to drive our forestry industry forward,” Lohr said. “That is why I am grateful to Oldcastle APG for this investment and the major new market the facility will create for bark, chips and other co-products from our lumber and paper industries.”
Oldcastle Lawn & Garden president Joe Ertel said the state has served for a long time as an important foothold into its business in the state and region. Oldcastle Lawn & Garden is a division of Oldcastle APG.
“We are so appreciative of the opportunities Oldcastle APG has with Virginia and the city of Suffolk to continue growing our business and enhance our outdoor living solutions while mutually benefiting the local community,” Ertel said.
State representatives, Sen. John Cosgrove and Del. Clinton Jenkins also celebrated the announcement.
The company’s lawn and garden division has more than 1,100 employees across 43 U.S. manufacturing sites. The company is headquartered in Atlanta.