Plasser American Corp. announces $52.6M Chesapeake expansion
Expansion will create 98 jobs
Railway equipment manufacturer Plasser American Corp. will invest $52.6 million to expand its operations in the city of Chesapeake, creating 98 jobs, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday.
Plasser American Corp., which manufactures railway construction and maintenance equipment, will add a 45,000-square-foot, three-story office building and an 82,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The company will also renovate its existing infrastructure and add manufacturing equipment, including an industrial paint booth.
“Plasser American has been a valued employer and corporate partner to Virginia and the city of Chesapeake since the opening of its manufacturing facility 50 years ago,” Northam said in a statement. “Companies like Plasser with deep ties in our commonwealth understand the competitive advantages of the region’s infrastructure, access to The Port of Virginia, and world-class workforce. Growing Virginia’s substantial manufacturing industry is key to rebuilding from this public health crisis, and we thank Plasser American for playing an important role in our ongoing recovery efforts.”
Established in Chesapeake in 1970, Plasser American Corp. is a railway track maintenance equipment manufacturer for the North American railroad and transit system. The company currently employs more than 300 people at its Chesapeake operation and also provides railway inspections and railway repair vehicle services.
“This historical project is our proof of trust in the North American railroad system and confidence in the United States economy,” Thomas Blechinger, president of Plasser American, said in a statement. “I am proud of our company’s development in the United States over the last six decades and here in Chesapeake for 50 years. This milestone is our chance to show our commitment to the region and to support local talent, employees, and suppliers.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city of Chesapeake Economic Development Authority and The Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia, and Northam approved a $450,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help Chesapeake with the project. The company could also receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant Program and the Railroad Industrial Access Program administered by the Department of Rail and Public Transportation and subject to approval by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide funding and services to support training activities.
“When a company like Plasser American leverages the benefits of The Port of Virginia to expand its operations, it is good news for Virginia because the results are economic investment and job creation,” Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director John F. Reinhart said in a statement. “This is a growing, heavy-equipment manufacturer that will be able to continue its expansion in Chesapeake, in part, because of the investments we are making in our port to increase access to global markets.”