MOUNT CRAWFORD—Governor Ralph Northam today celebrated the grand opening of a major new cold storage facility by third-party logistics provider and developer, InterChange Cold Storage, LLC, during a ribbon cutting ceremony. The Rockingham County-based company’s 250,000-square-foot state-of-the-art cold storage and blast-freezing operation is the largest such facility to be built in the region in over 20 years.
“From our booming manufacturing sector to our unrivaled transportation network and strong pipeline of skilled talent, this project underscores why Virginia the best place to do business and why leading companies like InterChange are choosing to invest in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “I commend InterChange Group on the completion of this new state-of-the-art facility which will support the Valley’s thriving food and beverage industry and help ensure the economic competitiveness of this vital region of the Commonwealth for years to come.”
The new cold storage facility, which represents an investment of $41.6 million and 88 new jobs, will provide cold-chain warehousing and value-added services to the region’s large and growing cluster of food and beverage manufacturers. These industries, in turn, provide major new markets for Virginia farmers. InterChange’s long-term plans include more than doubling total cold storage space to approximately 600,000 square feet. The new facility will become an integral component of the supply chain supporting the Shenandoah Valley’s growing food and beverage manufacturing industry. This sector directly employs more than 9,200 individuals and supports thousands more jobs in region’s farming community.
“Home to many of the top agriculture counties in Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley’s food and beverage manufacturing sector has grown hand-in-hand with its agricultural sector,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “Logistics companies like InterChange play a critical role in the supply chain to connect these important sectors and bring the bounty of Virginia farmers to customers all over the country.”
In August 2018, Governor Northam announced that 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 and approved a discretionary award of $300,000 from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which is administered by VDACS. The company will be supported by employee training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which is administered by VEDP.
The project also received $650,000 from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Economic Development Access Fund and $450,000 in Rail Industrial Access Program funding from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit. Road improvements and new rail service to the site will connect the InterChange Cold Storage facility to area manufacturers and the Port of Virginia, enhancing the potential for exporting the region’s food products overseas.
“We are pleased to celebrate the completion of the first two phases ahead of schedule,” said Devon Anders, President of InterChange Group. “It represents InterChange’s largest project to date and utilizes new and innovative technologies for the cold storage industry. We designed and built this project for the food and beverage companies that rely on our local agriculture, productive and skilled workforce, transportation infrastructure, and friendly business climate to produce, store, and ship their products around the world.”
“Virginia is a gateway to the world, and logistics companies like InterChange play a critical role in connecting Virginia to global markets,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Virginia’s multimodal transportation system serves as the platform for Virginia’s economy, supporting the efficient flow of goods and services, from the point of origin to the point of consumption.”
“I am proud to celebrate the grand opening of InterChange Cold Storage in Rockingham County, which will add to the logistics assets available to food and beverage manufacturers in the Shenandoah Valley and further strengthen the region’s position as a leader in the industry,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This new facility is a great addition to the Valley’s thriving food and beverage cluster, and InterChange’s major investment to broaden its supply chain from Rockingham County speaks volumes about the region’s strategic location, pro-business environment, and skilled manufacturing workforce.”
“On behalf of the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors, I would like to commend Interchange on the completion of their cold storage facility,” said Chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors Michael Breeden. “This project not only brings additional jobs to the county, it also showcases the area’s longstanding title as a leader in agriculture and the food and beverage industry of Virginia.”
“The InterChange Group is a tremendous asset for not only Rockingham County, but also for the Shenandoah Valley, with their investment in this new cold storage facility and continued commitment to the region,” said Executive Director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership Jay Langston, Ph.D. “InterChange Group is a pivotal player in the Shenandoah Valley’s food and beverage sector growth, greatly contributing to our recognition as a top emerging market.”
“With InterChange Cold Storage we, again, have another great example of the state teaming with industry to put Virginia at the forefront of modern technology and innovation,” said Senator Emmett Hanger. “I am pleased we can bring jobs to this area in the ever-important agriculture and manufacturing industry while improving growth opportunities throughout the Commonwealth. Building on these partnerships puts us all in a more marketable position to attract even more competitive businesses and jobs.”
“The Shenandoah Valley continues to thrive thanks to companies like InterChange Cold Storage that are investing in its workforce and facilities,” said Delegate R. Steven Landes. “This project reflects the type of economic development possible from public-private partnerships I envisioned when I introduced legislation creating the AFID Fund in 2012. This facility will serve as a tremendous asset to the agricultural markets in the region and a welcome enhancement to our infrastructure.”
“It’s exciting to see this major project come to fruition,” said Delegate Tony Wilt. “This new facility will work to create even more opportunities for the Shenandoah Valley’s food and beverage industry and our farmers. I am grateful for Interchange Group’s continued investment in both new jobs and capital in our community. Now that we have also achieved the successful passage of a meaningful I-81 improvement plan, I am confident we will continue to see similar investments in our region by job creators in the logistics sector.”
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