Drake adds equipment, will hire 25
The Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. (EDC) and the Henry County Board of Supervisors made that announcement in a news release Thursday.
Drake recently invested $3 million in new machinery to expand its product lines and will hire 25 full-time employees. The new skilled equipment operators will earn an average wage of $14 per hour, the EDC and the board announced.
Based in England, Drake makes polypropylene fiber used by the automotive, home furnishings and carpet industries. Its plant in the Martinsville Industrial Park is its only one in the United States.
"We have expanded six times since opening our facility here in 1995," John Parkinson, Drake's chief executive officer, said in the release. He said the local work force and business climate are factors in Drake's success locally.
"Drake is committed to Martinsville-Henry County and appreciates the community's commitment to our organization," Parkinson added.
"It is always exciting to have existing industry expand," Mark Heath, the EDC's president and chief executive officer, said in the release.
"One of our main focuses," Heath said, "is to help our existing industry grow, and for Drake to have increased their tax base by $6 million within the last 18 months and hire nearly 50 people is rewarding."
"Drake is an exceptional corporate citizen and we look forward to future growth," he said in the release.
Parkinson could not be reached for further comment Thursday. Heath and Lisa Lyle, the EDC's recruiting and marketing director, did not return phone calls.
"Drake Extrusion continues to be one of our best success stories," said Jim Adams, the county board's chairman. "Its growth solidifies the company's commitment to our community, and we appreciate the confidence in our citizens."
In assisting Drake, the EDC worked with the Virginia Department of Business Assistance, which offers recruiting and training support through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, according to the release.