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Morgan Olson LLC, a maker of walk-in van bodies, will establish a new walk-in panel van assembly operation in the Cane Creek Centre plant currently owned by IKEA. The $57.8 million investment is expected to generate 703 new jobs.
Headquartered in Sturgis, Michigan, Morgan Olson was founded in 1946 and is the largest producer in the world of commercial truck bodies and the largest worldwide fabricator of high-capacity delivery vans for UPS, FedEx, and others. In 2003, Morgan Olson was purchased by J.B. Poindexter & Co., Inc. (JBPCO), a diversified manufacturing company headquartered in Houston, Texas. JBPCO has eight profitable subsidiaries, with combined revenues of $1.4 billion and 6,200 employees.
Fred Shanks, chairman of the Danville Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority and Danville City Councilman, stated, “It’s such a joy to welcome Morgan Olson to the region. We are confident that this automotive walk-in step van assembly plant will have a positive economic impact throughout the region by providing living wage jobs, and also bringing the supply chain needed to support an industry of this scale.”
Robert “Bob” Warren, vice chairman of the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority and member of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors, noted that Morgan Olson would become the largest private employer in Pittsylvania County.
“We are proud that our excellent workforce was able to attract North America’s premier walk-in van manufacturer,” Warren said. “We welcome Morgan Olson and J.B. Poindexter & Co., Inc. to our growing community, and we look forward to seeing trucks made in Pittsylvania County on our country’s roadways for many years to come.”
“The rapid response and collaboration between the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County, and the Commonwealth of Virginia ensured the optimum win for both Morgan Olson and the Southern Virginia region,” said Mark Gignac, chairman of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance Board of Directors. “As the company moves forward with its original equipment manufacturing facility in Danville, we stand prepared to assist and know that our workforce will be a key to the company’s continued prosperity.”
Gov. Ralph Northam and Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball joined federal, state, and local leaders at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research today for the announcement.
In addition to establishing a state-of-the-art facility in the 925,000 square-foot building owned by IKEA, which is winding down operations, Morgan Olson intends to acquire 188 acres of surrounding property owned by RIFA for a needed storage yard for chassis and finished trucks/vans.
Cane Creek Centre, a 900-acre industrial park located in Pittsylvania County just outside of the City of Danville, is a regional collaborative between the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County.