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Virginia Lands Contract For New Titanium Plant
January 9, 2008

Ohio-based RTI International Metals Inc., along with Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, has announced plans to build a $100 million titanium-producing factory at a site located in Henry County. RTI, a publicly held company employing some 1,400 people in 18 locations around the world, sells more than half a billion dollars of titanium a year to a variety of clients including the U.S. military and companies associated with the aerospace industry. The new plant, located in the Patriot Centre Industrial Park jointly operated by Henry County and the City of Martinsville, is expected to create approximately 150 new jobs with an average wage of $35,000 per year when completed.

According to RTI Vice Chairman and CEO Dawne Hickton, the new titanium plant will help the company meet an ever growing demand for the metal. She went on to note that last year RTI received contracts for $4 billion worth of titanium. With an international demand for 6,000 new airplanes, prospects are good that employees at the new plant in Henry County will be busy for well into the foreseeable future.

County and state economic development officials were understandably delighted with the announcement. Not only will the newly created positions be a welcome addition to an area where the unemployment rate has reached double digits during the past decade as textile mills and furniture makers have closed or moved overseas, the new plant will also become the county’s largest taxpayer and utility user .

But nothing comes without a price. To help lure RTI, Governor Kaine gave the community more than $633,000 from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund, and the Virginia Tobacco Commission approved $1.3 million in expenditures to support the project.

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