Blue Ridge Optics expands in Bedford County
The Bedford County Economic Development Authority (EDA), and the Town of Bedford EDA, are pleased to announce that Blue Ridge Optics, an industry leader in laser optics and thin film coatings, will expand its business in the Town within Bedford County, adding 10 new jobs over the next three years and an investment of more than $695,000 in new equipment and real estate upgrades to meet increasing customer product demand.
The expansion will drive the company’s need to significantly upgrade its electric infrastructure to increase power capacity to support additional manufacturing equipment that will be added as a result of the business expansion. Blue Ridge Optics is working with the Town of Bedford to assist with this increased infrastructure. Once the upgrade is complete, the company will acquire new machinery needed to meet the requirements of its military and defense contracts.
“We’re proud of the success we’ve had in Bedford and appreciate the support provided by the County and Town of Bedford,” said Justin Siehien, General Manager. “We’re pleased with our continued growth in the optics industry and are committed to remaining in Bedford for years to come.”
Blue Ridge Optics opened in 2006 with CEO and former Lockheed Martin engineer Walter Siehien who brought more than 30 years of optics and thin film coating experience. The company has grown annually at a rate of 15-20% and currently employs 42. Blue Ridge Optics has become an industry leader in the manufacturing of precision thin films and fabrication of high-end laser components that go into such products as military defense systems, medical imaging and sensors, and mobile phones and manufacturing machinery.
“The EDA is pleased to assist Blue Ridge Optics in its growth in Bedford County,” said Jim Messier, Chairman of the Bedford County EDA that provided a cash incentive tied to performance for this expansion. “This is a company that provides quality jobs and quality products and has done so for nearly 15 years. We are glad they continue to expand their operations in Bedford.”
“The Town of Bedford EDA recognizes Blue Ridge Optics as a premier high-tech employer within our municipality and are excited to have the opportunity, through a recently-established job creation grant program targeting advanced industrial and manufacturing businesses, to assist with their expansion,” said Jonathan Buttram, Chairman of the Town of Bedford EDA. “I would like to congratulate Blue Ridge Optics on their continued growth and for their essential economic support for the Town and surrounding communities.”
In 2019 the company was selected to participate in the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) and Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s VALET Program. The VJIP program helps support the retraining of existing employees on new equipment. VALET is an award-winning, two-year international business acceleration program that offers a powerful combination of capital resources provided by the Commonwealth and professional services from expert, private sector partners.