3/2023: Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that STS Group AG, a German leading global supplier of interior and exterior parts for commercial and personal vehicles, will establish its North American headquarters and manufacturing operation in the former General Electric building in the City of Salem, representing a $32 million investment. STS Group’s customer base includes a number of major automobile and commercial vehicle producers. The company operates 12 plants in four countries on three continents, with production facilities in its key regional markets of Europe, China, and the Americas. Operating as STS Group North America, the new facility will supply commercial truck assembly operations by Volvo Trucks in Pulaski County as well as other truck and automotive facilities throughout the Midwest and Southeastern U.S. markets. The company will upfit approximately 200,000 square feet of the existing space and construct a 32,000-square-foot addition. The project will create 119 new jobs.
STS Group AG announced an investment in early 2021 greenfield project in Wythe County, but changing market conditions and rising construction costs, the company identified the existing facility in Salem to proceed in Virginia as more economic. “When STS Group’s business needs changed, Virginia quickly pivoted to an alternate solution to ensure we retained the project in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “I am pleased that the former General Electric building in the City of Salem could meet the company’s needs, representing 119 new jobs for hardworking Virginians and a vacant facility’s return to productive use. Collaboration, innovation, and solutions are Virginia trademarks, and we are proud to officially add STS Group to the Commonwealth’s corporate roster.”
“It was a priority to keep STS Group’s planned operation in the Commonwealth, boosting our automotive manufacturing sector and foreign direct investment,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “The GE facility has remained vacant since 2019 and will now be revived as a North American headquarters and manufacturing operation that complements the booming automotive cluster in the Roanoke region—a tremendous win for the City of Salem, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and STS Group.”
“Salem is a perfect base for STS Group to start its footprint in the USA, following existing customers locally and extending the customer portfolio,” said Alberto Buniato, CEO of STS Group. “On top of a perfect existing location in a suitable industrial cluster, we were delighted to find very attentive and helpful support from the City of Salem, Roanoke Regional Partnership, and Virginia Economic Development Partnership.” “We were all disappointed when General Electric left Salem a few years ago, and it is encouraging that STS Group will be filling the void at this very workable site. There’s no better place for businesses than the Roanoke Valley. I commend Governor Youngkin, VEDP, the Roanoke Regional Partnership, and the City of Salem for bringing this deal home” commented other regional Executives this landing success.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Salem and the Roanoke Regional Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Youngkin approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Salem with the project. Support for STS Group’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System and other higher education partners, with funding support from the Governor’s administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.
Photo: ©2023 STS Group AG, Germany