RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that InterChange Cold Storage, LLC will create 88 new jobs and invest $41.6 million in Rockingham County to build a 250,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art cold storage and blast freezing facility. The company, owned by Rockingham County-based third-party logistics provider InterChange Group, Inc., will provide cold-chain warehousing and value-added services to the region’s food and beverage manufacturers.
“This project creates vital infrastructure for the large and growing cluster of food and beverage industries in the Shenandoah Valley, which in turn produce major markets for Virginia farmers,” said Governor Northam. “I am proud to support this effort that will bring new jobs and significant investment in the region, while also bolstering the manufacturing and agricultural sectors that are so important to our rural economies.”
Road improvements and new rail service to this site will connect the InterChange Cold Storage facility to area manufacturers, as well as the Port of Virginia, enhancing the potential for exporting the region’s food products overseas. This facility will also offer blast freezing to the poultry industry, a service that adds value to processed and packaged fresh poultry by quickly freezing the product in specialized low-temperature freezers for preservation and improved marketability.
“As one of the Commonwealth’s leading agricultural regions, the Shenandoah Valley will especially benefit from this new facility, which will provide an important service within the increasingly-sophisticated agricultural supply chain. I am pleased the Commonwealth could partner with Rockingham County through the AFID Program to support this important new investment,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring.
“Virginia’s accessibility to world markets has helped make the Commonwealth a leader in food and beverage manufacturing,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “This investment by InterChange and the transportation improvements the Commonwealth is making to support it highlight how our multimodal transportation system serves as the platform to drive Virginia’s economy forward.”
“A strong workforce, world class logistics, and effective collaboration by state, regional, and local partners are the hallmarks of economic development in Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We thank InterChange for this significant investment in the Shenandoah Valley and Virginia, which will make the Commonwealth even more attractive and more competitive for additional investments in our agriculture-manufacturing and logistics sectors.”
“InterChange is pleased to increase our cold storage capacity and deepen our investment in Rockingham County, the Shenandoah Valley, and the Commonwealth,” said Devon Anders, President of InterChange Group. “Enhancing our service offerings and investing in new technology is what our customers require. The integration of advanced warehousing, renewable energy, blast freezing, repackaging, product tracking, and asset-based, multi-modal transportation provide the safe and efficient cold chain demanded by today’s consumer. We also look forward to expanding our team of associates to increase economic prosperity in the Shenandoah Valley.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership worked with Rockingham County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $300,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund to assist Rockingham County with the project.
The County is also receiving $650,000 from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Economic Development Access Fund and $450,000 in funding from Rail Industrial Access Program administered by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). Rockingham County is providing $300,000 in local matching funds to be used for making rail and road improvements at the site.
“Interchange is a shining example of a locally grown business that has adapted and expanded to meet market needs, including the addition of this cold storage project to support Rockingham County, the Commonwealth’s leading agricultural producer,” said Pablo Cuevas, Chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors. “Rockingham County is appreciative of the support provided by the Commonwealth with the award of an AFID grant for this project.”
“This new commitment to the Shenandoah Valley by one of our premier statewide existing employers leverages our region’s prime access to markets, our expertise in agriculture and manufacturing, and our ability to support a strong industry supply chain for both,” said Carrie Chenery, Executive Director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. “InterChange’s investment in Rockingham County will allow our entire region to further capitalize on our agribusiness assets as a premier logistics corridor on the East Coast.”
“InterChange Cold Storage, LLC is leveraging state AFID dollars to bring about better technology and renewable energy opportunities in their new facility to meet the cold-storage and blast chill needs of many in the agricultural and retail beverage communities,” said Senator Emmett Hanger. “I am pleased to see this much-needed facility built along the I81 corridor, while also building on rail services and utilizing the Port of Virginia. The job growth and potential for additional economic development with this project is a big win for our area and the Commonwealth.”
“The Shenandoah Valley continues to thrive thanks to companies like InterChange Cold Storage, LLC that are investing in its workforce and facilities,” said Delegate R. Steven Landes. “Thanks to support from the Commonwealth, including a $300,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, InterChange Cold Storage will create 88 new jobs and build a new state-of-the-art cold storage and blast facility. This project will result in the type of economic development resulting from public/private partnerships I envisioned when I introduced legislation creating the AFID Fund in 2012. This facility will be a tremendous asset to the agricultural markets in the region and a welcome enhancement to its infrastructure.”
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