Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) update

 

After reviewing over 70 properties, the Obama administration announced in April 2014 its decision to locate the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) at Fort Pickett in Nottoway County, VA. More information about the project follows:

Currently, diplomatic security training is conducted at a number of diffuse, leased and contracted facilities nationwide. A May 2008 report to Congress identified the need for a consolidated facility to improve training efficiency, decrease operating costs, and provide priority access to training venues which meet current facility standards.

To achieve these goals, the U.S. Department of State is establishing the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC). The Department has invested considerable time and effort over the years in reviewing over 70 properties with the U.S. General Services Administration, including the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, before identifying 1,500 acres of publicly-owned land within Fort Pickett, Virginia. Over the last two years, the U.S. Department of State has worked extensively to conduct environmental studies at Fort Pickett, begin negotiations for land use agreements, secure community support and ultimately reassess and reduce the scope of the FASTC project. The cost for a hard-skills exclusive facility at Fort Pickett, as verified by an independent construction cost estimator, is estimated to be $461 million. Some funding has already been appropriated, and the Department continues to look for opportunities to further reduce these costs.

This facility will be dedicated to providing consolidated hard skills security and life saving training to the foreign affairs community. This training develops the practical skills necessary to operate in today’s overseas environment. Hard skills training allows the foreign affairs community to learn how to detect surveillance, provide emergency medical care, increase identification skills to recognize improvised explosive devices (IED), participate in firearms familiarization, and perform defensive/counterterrorist driving maneuvers. Such training improves security and life safety for the protection of U.S. personnel operating abroad.

Diplomatic security training is conducted at a number of diffuse, leased and contracted facilities nationwide. A May 2008 report to Congress identified the need for a consolidated facility to improve training efficiency, decrease operating costs, and provide priority access to training venues which meet current facility standards. The creation of FASTC will allow for the consolidation of ten of the current eleven leased or use fee facilities the Department utilizes for hard skills training.

from the US Department of State website

 

Governor McAuliffe Announces 110 New Jobs for Charlotte County

The Corsi Group to invest approximately $5 million in first Virginia manufacturing operation

KEYSVILLE - Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that The Corsi Group, a leading manufacturer of custom and semi-custom cabinetry, will invest approximately $5 million to establish its first Virginia manufacturing operation in Charlotte County. Virginia successfully competed against Kentucky for the project, which will create 110 new jobs.

Speaking at today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “The addition of more than 100 new jobs is significant news for Charlotte County as it continues to rebound economically.  As The Corsi Group expands its footprint and establishes its first manufacturing operation in Virginia, we celebrate a new corporate partner in a region that offers a robust, skilled workforce and improved cost competitiveness to the company’s expanding customer base. This new manufacturing operation will complement the existing industry base in Southern Virginia well, and we look forward to the mutual benefit and success for Charlotte County and Corsi.”

“We welcome The Corsi Group to Virginia and Charlotte County,” said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “Advanced manufacturing is a thriving industry in the Commonwealth, and Corsi joins an impressive roster of manufacturers that have invested more than $13.7 billion in Virginia over the last 10 years. We are confident that the company will benefit from the business friendly environment in Charlotte County and the Southern Virginia region.”

Headquartered in Indianapolis, The Corsi Group was founded in 1973 as a designer and manufacturer of custom cabinetry, and today has completed more than 50,000 projects.

“We are confident in our choice of Charlotte County as our best for quality labor, a business-friendly governmental environment, and area supporting companies with whom we will work,” said Pat Corsi, Founder and Chairman and CEO of The Corsi Group. “We plan to continue our past practices of community involvement to add local value beyond the jobs we will be creating.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Charlotte County and Virginia’s Growth Alliance to help secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Charlotte County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $375,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. The company may be eligible to receive benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity will provide funding and services to support the company’s training activities.

"The Corsi Group's reputation precedes itself, and Charlotte County and its Industrial Development Authority are extremely appreciative of their decision to locate the company's third U.S. manufacturing facility to our County,” said Dr. Nancy Carwile, Chairman, Charlotte County Board of Supervisors. "We are excited and pleased with the faith they have shown in Charlotte County's workforce and the employment opportunities that Corsi will provide for our citizens. We look forward to working with the company."

"The Virginia Tobacco Commission is extremely proud to welcome the Corsi Group to Charlotte County, and we look forward to the many benefits that Corsi will provide the citizens through good jobs and their community involvement,” said Gary D. Walker, Commissioner, the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. “This announcement could not come at a better time for our people and the future of our county."

“This is such an exciting day for Charlotte County and the entire region. Hiring more than 100 people will impact many of the communities that make up the region. We hope this is just the start of many announcements as we work together to fill the Heartland Business Park. I think that the future is very bright for the entire region and we are impressed that Jeff has achieved this success for our group in such a short period of time,” said Susan Adams, Deputy Charlotte County Administrator. “His energy and excitement has ignited the entire group.”

“This is a tremendous success that we have announced today on behalf of our regional marketing organization. For our first announcement to be one with the reputation and standing of the Corsi Group is indeed a huge coup for VGA. I cannot stress enough all the heavy lifting that was done by Charlotte County and our allies to make this a reality,” said Jeff Reed, Executive Director of Virginia’s Growth Alliance (VGA).

Charlotte County is one of eleven jurisdictions that make up Virginia’s Growth Alliance, a regional economic development agency.

Gov. McAuliffe Statement on Announcement that Foreign Affairs Security Training Center Will Be Located at Fort Pickett

Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement today in response to the Obama administration’s decision to locate the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) at Fort Pickett in Nottoway County, VA:

“I am pleased that the administration has finalized its decision to bring the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center, and the jobs that come with it, here to the Commonwealth of Virginia. This project will create hundreds of jobs in Nottoway County and bring millions in federal investment here to help grow Virginia’s economy. It will also add to Virginia’s considerable national security assets and complement the activities of other related organizations working in the area and across the Commonwealth.

“I was happy to work alongside Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and members from Virginia’s House delegation to convince the State Department and the Office of Management and Budget that Fort Pickett is the best place for the Center. Bringing key economic development projects like this one to areas of the Commonwealth that need them most is my top priority as Governor, and I look forward to working with members of both parties to continue the progress we are making.”

The FASTC will provide hard and soft skills training for U.S. State Department law enforcement and security staff and all foreign affairs employees, especially those assigned to critical and high threat posts. It is expected that the FASTC will provide training for up to 10,000 students per year. The U.S. General Services Administration has indicated that the construction phase of the FASTC will create hundreds of jobs and bring millions in federal investment to Nottoway County and the surrounding area. The Virginia National Guard, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the local government of Nottoway County helped Virginia compete for this project against Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Governor McAuliffe Announces 40 New Jobs in Nottoway County

Trout River Dry Kiln to Invest $5.5 Million, Purchase More Than $30 Million in Lumber from Virginia Sawmills Over Next Three Years

Venture Marks Nottoway’s Largest Industrial Job Creation Project in Recent Years

RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today in the Town of Crewe that Trout River Dry Kiln, LLC will open a major hardwood kiln operation in Crewe, located in Nottoway County.  The company, which will dry lumber to be made into hardwood flooring, will invest more than $5.5 million to build nine new kilns and create 40 new jobs, making it the biggest industrial job creator for Nottoway County in recent years.  The Commonwealth of Virginia is partnering with Nottoway County, the Town of Crewe, and Trout River Dry Kiln on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID).

Speaking in Crewe about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Virginia’s wood products industry supports good jobs in our rural communities, provides important market opportunities for the Commonwealth’s private forestland owners, and is a major driver of export sales and shipping containers through the Port of Virginia.  Partnering with a company like Trout River Dry Kiln furthers the recovery of Virginia’s forestry industries, which were hit hard by the economic recession, and the important income and jobs they provide.  Trout River’s expansion and relationship with Lumber Liquidators means that Virginia wood will be found in homes and businesses throughout this country.”

In addition to the investment and jobs created in Nottoway County, Trout River Dry Kiln will spend more than $30 million to purchase from Virginia sawmills approximately 34 million board feet of lumber – or 85 percent – of the 40 million board feet the company will need over the next three years, providing new opportunities for Virginia’s logging and sawmill industries.  Trout River Dry Kiln will trim, dry, and grade the lumber before sending it to its sister company, Trout River Lumber, to be made into hardwood flooring.

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Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center Receives Two Grants to Expand Otterdam Road

The Virginia Tobacco Commission has awarded a fourth grant to the Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMaC) in excess of $4.4 million. The award, serving as a match to $3.3 million grant award from the Virginia Department of Transportation, completes funding for the expansion of Otterdam Road to serve the site from I-95. Greensville County, Mecklenburg County and the City of Emporia are partners in the Regional Industrial Facilities Authority created to support the site’s growth. The localities submitted a joint application to the Tobacco Commission for this funding opportunity.

Senator and Tobacco Commission Vice-Chair Frank Ruff stated,”The Tobacco Commission is very supportive of the regional effort that is being made in Greensville County toward the development of a first class mega site that will have the assets needed to attract a major employer.  In the last several years, Virginia had missed opportunities to recruit major companies because we were not ready with a site large enough to fulfill their needs. All of us believe MAMac will allow Virginia to compete."

Otterdam Road, a two lane rural route, will serve as the gateway to MAMaC. Engineering for the road upgrades from Interstate 95 exit 13 to the northern portion of MAMaC is 90% complete. The Virginia Department of Transportation awarded a $508,000 grant to fund the engineering. This award was made through the Economic Development Access program. Construction will begin by summer 2014.

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Florida-based Patriot Rail Co. acquires Alderman Railcar Services

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Patriot Rail Co.  LLC  has acquired through the bankruptcy process the assets of Keysville-based Alderman Railcar Services Inc., a railcar repair and cleaning service.

The repair facility has been renamed Blue Ridge Railcar Repair LLC.

Patriot Rail owns and operates 13 short-line freight railroads operating on about 500 total rail miles in 13 states.

“We are excited about this investment, as it supports Patriot Rail's long-term strategy to expand the mechanical repair services within the rail industry," John Fenton, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement. "Our operational strategy for Blue Ridge is designed to provide fleet owners with a network that delivers consistent, high-quality and responsive maintenance services that will reduce overall fleet downtime."

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