RICHMOND — Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Wednesday that Kingsport-based Eastman Chemical Co. will invest $40 million over the next three years to expand its manufacturing operation in Henry County.
Eastman acquired the site in 2012 and became the leading global manufacturer of window films for the automotive and architectural markets. The company’s facility in Henry County is one of the largest and most integrated window and performance-coated film manufacturing sites in the world.
The investment in Henry County is expected to create 25 new jobs.
Speaking about the announcement, Gov. McDonnell said, “An investment of this caliber from a major employer in Henry County is significant for Southern Virginia. Eastman’s Henry County operations are unique in their ability to take the manufacturing process from raw materials all the way to a finished product. The decision to invest will not only bring new jobs, but will help support the development of innovative, energy-saving product applications to grow Eastman’s performance films business.”
Mark Costa, president of Eastman said, “Eastman’s investment in Henry County will target specific initiatives and include infrastructure and technology upgrades, warehousing improvements, environmental, safety and reliability enhancements and production capacity expansions to support growth. To enable each of these, Eastman anticipates an increased need for skilled employees. The partnerships with Patrick Henry Community College and New College Institute are critical for successful workforce development.”
Eastman serves customers in about 100 countries and had 2012 pro forma revenues, giving effect to the Solutia acquisition, of about $9 billion.
The company employs about 14,000 people around the world.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation to secure the project for Virginia.
Gov. McDonnell approved a $75,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Henry County with the project.