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Orange to gain 323 jobs

Printing is making its way back to Gordonsville plant after three years and bringing 323 jobs.

“It’s a damned good day,” exclaimed S. Teel Goodwin, chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

What brought that reaction was the announcement Friday by Gov. Terry McAuliffe that Green Applications LLC will bring 323 jobs back to Gordonsville.

Green Distribution is one of the largest printers and distributors of textile merchandise and heat-applied graphics on the East Coast.

In the summer of 2011, American Press shut down, cutting about 130 jobs at what had been one of the largest privately owned printers of catalogues and special interest magazines.

“It was devastating to Orange and Gordonsville when American Press shut down,” said Karen Epps, director at the Orange County Office of Economic Development. “So many jobs were lost, and some people had been there for 30–40 years. Retirement was lost. It was a very sad situation.”

Gordonsville Mayor Bob Coiner was hopeful in 2011 that another company would discover the skilled workforce of Gordonsville.

And he was right.

The same building that housed American Press for about 40 years is now going to be filled by Green Applications LLC, a division of Green Distribution. Green Applications is investing $9.75 million to establish its first Virginia foothold in Orange County.

It was founded in 2009 and has grown from six to 450 employees in the last five years.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Orange County, Gordonsville and the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development to secure the project.

“This really shows how economic development is such a team sport. When the regional group and the county and the town and the state and everybody work together, we can really make great things happen,” said Helen Cauthen, president of Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development.

McAuliffe approved the Governor’s Development Opportunity Fund for the project with a grant of $540,000. The fund is a discretionary incentive available to the governor to secure a business location or expansion project.

“The investment in Gordonsville is a testament to the superior workforce in Orange County and the return of a formerly—vacant building …to productive use is a symbol of economic revitalization in the region,” McAuliffe said.

Virginia beat out New Jersey and Florida for the project in the end, according to a press release issued by the governor’s office.

“Virginia is a great state with a strong workforce to lead our East Coast expansion,” said Robert Butters, Green Applications owner and chief executive officer.

Gordonsville had a facility that was ready to go and suitable for what Butters wanted to do with the expansion of Green Distribution. Virginia is also located in the middle of the East Coast, and Green applications can ship anywhere along the East Coast in two days, according to Goodwin.

Germanna Community College also played a part in securing Green Applications, Epps said.

“Sharing what Germanna Community College will do to work with companies and train the workforce for jobs that are needed in the area, was a great push,” said Epps.

Over the next three months, Green Applications will be installing equipment and hopes to have the majority in before the summer. Hiring will begin soon for a variety of jobs, including manufacturing, management, art and design and distribution.

“I think that we are going to be a really good neighbor and partner. Beyond jobs, we will bring a certain energy. Orange gets a vibrant, young company, and we get to work with a great labor force in a great location,” Butters said.



Katelyn Leboff: 540/374-5417


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