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RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Valley Guard Supply LLC will invest $1 million to establish a personal protective equipment manufacturing facility in the City of Harrisonburg. A service-disabled, veteran-owned company, Valley Guard produces three-ply disposable masks that are 100 percent made in the United States and intends to manufacture other types of safety and security gear in the future. The project will create 45 new jobs.
“Domestic manufacturers of personal protective equipment are critical as we battle this global pandemic, and we thank Valley Guard Supply for answering the call right here in Virginia,” said Governor Northam. “The company’s new Harrisonburg operation will play an important role in localizing our supply chain and keeping health care workers and citizens safe. Valley Guard is a veteran-owned small business with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and we extend our gratitude for their service to our Commonwealth and our country.”
Founded by James Madison University alumni, Valley Guard Supply is a new start-up manufacturer of personal protective equipment that launched in April 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic began. The company has leased a facility, is purchasing machinery, and hiring full-time staff to establish its first permanent location in Virginia. Valley Guard has a strong sense of social responsibility and has started working with Harrisonburg officials to donate masks to local nonprofits and community organizations serving families in need.
“We are excited to add this homegrown Virginia company to our roster and thank Valley Guard Supply for creating 45 new jobs in the Shenandoah Valley,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This project is a great success story of proud JMU alumni with first-hand knowledge of the region’s assets and talent who are committed to the Harrisonburg community and the Commonwealth. We thank Valley Guard for its investment and look forward to our partnership.”
“Without a doubt, talent was the driving force behind Valley Guard Supply’s decision to locate its ‘Made in the USA’ operation in Harrisonburg,” said Andy Perrine, Strategic Advisor at Valley Guard Supply. “James Madison University’s ranking as Virginia’s best school for getting a job and the university’s programs teaching innovation—most notably JMU X-labs—gives the company great confidence that our plans for growth and expansion can rely on a steady stream of top talent.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the City of Harrisonburg to secure the project for Virginia, and connected Valley Guard Supply with GenEdge, which has since approved the company for the GO Virginia-funded Retooling Virginia Manufacturers for Strategic Industries Program. VEDP will support Valley Guard’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP), which provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and 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 citizens.
“We are thrilled to have attracted a ‘Made in the USA’ PPE manufacturer to Harrisonburg,” said Harrisonburg Mayor Deanna Reed. “We love seeing JMU alumni launching businesses in our city, especially when that business is showing its commitment to the health and wellness of our community during a time when that is most needed. It speaks to the impact that the people and beauty of The Friendly City have on students who come to Harrisonburg for college.”
“Thanks to Valley Guard for working in partnership with the Commonwealth and the City of Harrisonburg, we have a veteran-owned small business here in the Shenandoah Valley providing more job opportunities,” said Senator Mark Obenshain. “This project will greatly benefit our region and state with an increase in supply of personal protective equipment, which is critical as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a supporter of small business, I am extremely excited about this announcement.”
“I appreciate Valley Guard Supply’s commitment to Harrisonburg,” said Delegate Tony Wilt. “The pandemic has made clear the need to manufacture personal protective equipment and other medical supplies here in the United States. Having these facilities in our own community is an even greater benefit and a win-win for job creation and public health.”
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