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RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that IMS Gear, a German-based manufacturer of automotive equipment, will invest $1.05 million to upgrade its CNC cutting machine in the City of Virginia Beach. The company’s 115 existing employees will be retrained to operate the new machinery with support from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).
IMS Gear is a participant in the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program, which helps employers recruit, hire, train, and retain highly skilled veterans. In addition, the company administers a registered apprenticeship program through Tidewater Community College.
“IMS Gear has been a tremendous partner to Virginia Beach and the Commonwealth for nearly 20 years, and a great example of a company that has recognized the value of state and local partnerships,” said Governor Northam. “We are proud to support this important retraining project, and thank IMS Gear for making it a priority to provide quality job opportunities for our veterans.”
Founded in 1863 and headquartered in Germany’s Black Forest region, IMS Gear is a leader in gear and transmission technology. The company manufactures power seat gears for more than 70% of the automotive market in the United States. From development to manufacturing and logistics, IMS Gear builds standard components and complete gear solutions at the highest level.
“The Hampton Roads region is an ideal location for manufacturers and exporters with its strategic East Coast location, close proximity to the Port of Virginia, and a robust talent pool, which includes many exiting members of the military,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Retraining projects are increasingly important as we work to build a stronger economy with more 21st-century jobs, and we commend IMS Gear on its success and commitment to the region.”
“IMS chose to stay and expand in Virginia Beach due to our location close to shipping routes, quality of life, and our established, solid workforce here,” said Guenter Weissenseel, President of IMS Gear Virginia. “The City of Virginia Beach, schools and universities, and workforce development organizations like Opportunity Inc. are all in close contact with us, and we have built a great network to fulfill our needs for the foreseeable future. With unemployment below 3% and the competition for tradesmen in the U.S., this is still a challenging pursuit, which is why we are investing in the training of our workforce, and we appreciate the help we can get from our government to make this a success.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support IMS Gear’s job retraining through VJIP. VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change to support employee training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for its citizens.
“IMS Gear exemplifies how global manufacturers are finding success in North America,” said Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris. “The company has grown exponentially since it established operations in Virginia Beach in 2000. It has also been a leader in training and workforce development. IMS Gear has set an example for other companies with its ability to create innovative training programs to ensure its workers, from interns to management, truly keep on the forefront of high-performance manufacturing.”
“IMS Gear’s decision to stay and invest in Virginia Beach is a testament to the strong economic environment we have created in Hampton Roads and across the Commonwealth,” said Senator William DeSteph. “I applaud IMS Gear’s efforts to prioritize the hiring, employment, and training of our veterans. In a fast-paced economy, these types of job retraining projects are vital to the success of our local businesses and families.”
“IMS Gear is discovering that for quality of life, availability of highly trained and motivated workforce and veterans that bring instant leadership experience to any private business, nothing beats Virginia Beach,” said Delegate Jason S. Miyares. “We are thrilled by their continued investment and commitment to their workers and our community.”
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