|RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that BWX Technologies, Inc., a leading supplier of nuclear components and fuel to the U.S. government, will make a multimillion-dollar investment to create a manufacturing and research and development center to showcase their services and technology in Campbell County. The new center, called the BWXT Innovation Campus, will sit on an 11-acre property adjacent to the company’s existing facility.
Virginia successfully competed with three other states for the project, which is expected to create 97 new jobs with an average expected salary of more than $115,000 per year.
“BWXT’s continued investments in the Commonwealth are a testament to our world-class higher education institutions and talented workforce,” said Governor Northam. “When we invest in people, companies invest in Virginia—and that is exactly what has happened. We look forward to BWXT’s continued success.”
Headquartered in Lynchburg, BWXT is a Fortune 1000 and Defense News Top 100 manufacturing and engineering innovator that provides safe and effective nuclear solutions for global security, clean energy, environmental remediation, nuclear medicine and space exploration. With approximately 6,700 employees, BWXT has 12 major operating sites in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, BWXT joint ventures provide management and operations at more than a dozen U.S. Department of Energy and NASA facilities. The company currently has three locations in Central Virginia and employs 2,630 workers across those facilities.
“It is exciting to see BWXT expand and diversify its already extensive operations in central Virginia and Campbell County with this new Innovation Campus,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The creation of 97 new, high-paying jobs is a welcome addition to the region’s economy. We thank BWXT for its investment in the Commonwealth and look forward to our continuing partnership with the company.”
BWXT plans to relocate 150 employees from nearby facilities to the new campus, as well as its Nuclear Services Group and research, development, and production center for new microreactors and nuclear fuels designed for space exploration and national security. BWXT expects to make significant investments in capital improvements to the facility through 2023. The company also anticipates making substantial investments in machinery, tools, and tangible personal property over the same period of time to support the expected growth in the microreactor and fuels business. When fully developed, the Innovation Campus will serve as an exhibit of the company’s ‘factory of the future’ for visiting customers that include NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy.
“Campbell County and Central Virginia have been home to our thriving nuclear manufacturing business for 65 years,” said BWXT. Government Operations President Dr. Rob Smith. “BWXT plans to continue to invest locally in the company, our employees, community partners, and schools to extend that legacy. We’re grateful for the support of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Campbell County, and the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Campbell County and the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $400,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Campbell County with the project. A performance-based grant of $700,000 from the Virginia Investment Performance Grant was also given, which is designed to encourage continued capital investment by existing Virginia companies. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“Campbell County is excited to join our state and regional partners to celebrate the expansion of BWXT,” said Campbell County Administrator Frank Rogers. “BWXT has a long history in Campbell County, and we are grateful for its strong corporate citizenship as both an employer and a supporter of community programs. We look forward to the continued growth and advancement that this remarkable investment will bring to the nuclear technology field and to our region.”
“BWXT is a long-time innovator and partner in the Lynchburg region, and an excellent employer,” said Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance Chief Executive Officer and Chief Economic Development Officer Megan Lucas. “This was a competitive project between Virginia and three other states, and the fact that our region was selected speaks volumes about the competitive advantages our region provides. We are proud that BWXT continues to choose to invest into our region of Virginia. This new Innovation Campus will retain young, local talent from area universities and create many quality jobs and new technologies that will propel us to greater heights in healthcare, energy, and space exploration.”
“Congratulations to BWXT for investing again in Campbell County and the central Virginia region,” said Senator Stephen Newman. “This new facility will help grow the manufacturing of coated fuel, create a medical isotope pilot program, and encourage innovative technologies within the company’s space program. All of this will further cement the region as a leader in global cutting edge nuclear solutions. And, more importantly, the 97 new jobs will positively impact the lives of individuals and families in the community.”
“It is exciting to see that BWXT has the same confidence in Virginia that Virginia has within itself,” said Delegate Matt Fariss. “BWXT has been a great partner and a huge part of central Virginia’s economy for a long time and we look forward to continuing to grow that relationship for many years to come.”