For Immediate Release: March 2, 2015
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Rachel Thomas, (804) 225-4262, Rachel.Thomas@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Economic Development Partnership: Suzanne Clark, (804) 545-5806, Sclark@yesvirginia.org | Oak Hall Cap & Gown: Joe D’Angelo, (540) 387-0047, joe@oakhalli.com

Governor McAuliffe Announces 100 New Jobs in Grayson County

~Oak Hall Cap & Gown to invest $1.2 million to establish new 85,000-square-foot textile manufacturing operation~

 

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Oak Hall Cap & Gown, a manufacturer of quality academic, judicial and religious apparel, will invest $1.2 million to establish a textile manufacturing operation in the Town of Independence in Grayson County. The company will renovate and up-fit an existing 85,000-square-foot facility and create 100 new jobs. 

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Oak Hall Cap & Gown’s significant investment in Grayson County to establish its fourth operation in the Commonwealth is a great testament to our competitive business environment.  This is a home-grown Virginia company that has thrived since its founding in 1889 and is an ideal fit for a region that has a rich tradition in the textile industry.  We thank Oak Hall for this expansion that stimulates growth, helping to build the new Virginia economy.” 

“Establishing a manufacturing operation like this in the Town of Independence is a great win for Grayson County,” said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “With this important expansion, Oak Hall Cap & Gown will further expand its footprint in the Commonwealth and help the region continue its economic rebound.” 

Founded in 1889 in Roanoke, Virginia, Oak Hall has steadily built a reputation for the finest quality and service in academic, judicial, and religious apparel in the country. In 1976, the company acquired the Bentley and Simon Company, a New York-based manufacturing firm recognized throughout the world as the hallmark for quality custom-made robes, and the robe supplier for the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and many U.S. colleges and universities.  Oak Hall started with one small plant and has grown to three sewing factories and warehouses totaling more than 370,000 square feet. A family-run business, the company is dedicated to keeping the textile industry alive in the U.S. Oak Hall is proud to have been the pioneer that introduced sustainable caps and gowns to higher education in 2009, and employs regular practices to reduce its carbon footprint. 

“Oak Hall is excited to be expanding our manufacturing into the Town of Independence,” commented Oak Hall President Joseph D’Angelo. “Opening our fourth facility clearly demonstrates our commitment to keep the textile industry alive in the Commonwealth. We explored several locations in Southwest Virginia and North Carolina, and after touring Independence and meeting with County Administrator Jonathan Sweet and his team, we felt that the Town of Independence provides the dynamics of what we look for in a partner. Oak Hall is much more than a cut and sew textile business; our employees are intricately involved in the creation, design, and manufacturing of regalia that is worn by students, faculty, and University Trustees and Presidents. Over 6,000 high schools and 1,700 colleges and universities partner with Oak Hall to manufacture their regalia, including seven of the eight Ivy League Universities.  We are extremely proud of our employees and the memorable impact they have on one of the most important events in a person’s life. It is important that we continue this same level of dedication, and with the backing of the community of Independence, we’re proud to carry on this tradition.” 

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Grayson County, the Town of Independence and Virginia’s aCorridor to secure the project for the Commonwealth.  The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $385,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. Additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. 

“Grayson County is excited to welcome Oak Hall to our business community, and we are extremely honored to have been chosen as the location to expand their world-class manufacturing operations,” stated David Sexton, Chairman of the Grayson County Board of Supervisors. “In understanding Oak Hall’s long history of success and seeing the way they care for their employees, we couldn’t ask for a better corporate addition. I am certain that this project wouldn’t have been possible without our exceptional economic development team and our strong partnership with the Town of Independence.” 

“Oak Hall’s decision to locate its expansion facility here is a great win for the Town, the County and the Commonwealth, as well as a reflection of the dedication and hard work of all involved,” stated Mayor Butch Reeves, Town of Independence. “In 2011 the Independence Town Council made the decision to purchase this former manufacturing facility so that the opportunity to attract new jobs would be enhanced. Their foresight has allowed us to welcome a great company with a great history and new employment opportunities to our community.” 

“On behalf of the Virginia Tobacco Commission, I want to congratulate Grayson County on its fourth qualified announcement in the past eight months,” said Senator Bill Carrico, member of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. “Oak Hall’s decision to locate operations in Independence, Virginia and bring with them 100 new jobs further demonstrates this area’s quality workforce and the capabilities of the local economic development team. The Virginia Tobacco Commission is delighted to have been a part of this major project, and we are enthusiastically looking forward to the positive impact Oak Hall will have on the region.”

"I am very pleased that Oak Hall Cap & Gown has chosen to invest in our region,” said Delegate Israel O’Quinn. “As a longstanding Virginia business, their investment will put Virginians to work and be a boost to Southwest Virginia. Grayson County continues to be a statewide leader in job creation, and I am honored to work with them as we continue to create an environment where businesses can grow and flourish."

 

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