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Faneuil officially opens city branch
From left, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling; Faneuil CEO Anna Van Buren; local businessman George Lester, who owns the Commonwealth Centre; Martinsville Mayor Kim Adkins; and Gianna Clark, vice president of customer service operations for Dominion Virginia Power, take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday. Faneuil officially opened its new branch in the Commonwealth Centre. (Bulletin photo)
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Tuesday to welcome Martinsville's newest company, which plans to hire at least 250 people during the next three years.
Faneuil Inc. (pronounced like "Daniel" but with an "F," company officials have said) cut a red ribbon to formally unveil its call center for Dominion Virginia Power customers who want to connect or disconnect their service.
The company is located in The Clock Tower at Commonwealth Centre in Martinsville, formerly the Tultex Corp. plant.
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling was among the state and local dignitaries, company officials, employees and others who attended the event. Bolling is the cabinet-level "jobs czar" in Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration.
He praised Dels. Don Merricks, R-Pittsylvania County; Danny Marshall, R-Danville; and Ward Armstrong, D-Collinsville, and other state officials for their bipartisan efforts in bringing jobs to this area and the state as a whole.
In the region that includes Henry, Franklin and Patrick counties, Bolling said there have been seven economic development announcements and "a little over 800 jobs created" since McDonnell took office in January.
There were 87 employees working in the call center on Tuesday, according to Anna Van Buren, president and CEO of Faneuil. Another 16 will begin training in about two weeks.
The finished portion of the center in Martinsville has the capacity to handle up to 172 employees, she said.
"We have already spent the money for the second bay" or portion of space to expand, Van Buren said. She did not know the timeline for that expansion, but "we grow fast. ... Our company has been growing fast for the last several years."�
Jobs pay between $9 and $10 per hour to start, plus benefits, Van Buren said.
The company received $590,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission and is eligible for state enterprise zone benefits and tax credits. Faneuil was to invest at least $2.4 million in the Martinsville facility when it announced plans to locate here in April.
"We have made a serious investment, and we are here to stay," Van Buren said.
Gianna Clark, the vice president of customer service and operations for Dominion, said Faneuil's values are "very close to our values. We believe in service excellence and so do they."�
The arrangement between the two companies "is a win/win for everybody," Clark said. "We are very committed to making sure we have a secure future in Virginia."�