Eastman expanding

Eastman Corporation is expanding into this former Stanley Furniture Inc. plant in the Bowles Industrial Park near Martinsville.

Eastman, which manufactures window filming products at two large facilities in Martinsville and Henry County, is expanding its presence in the county, the company announced in a press release.

Eastman is investing $7.7 million, the release said, to add capacity at its Patriot Centre facilities and expand into the former Stanley Furniture facility in the adjacent Bowles Industrial Park.

The announcement came after a joint meeting of the Henry County Board of Supervisors and the Henry County Industrial Development Authority.

Henry County will contribute a $200,000 grant to Eastman to assist with site development. The grant money is being provided to Henry County by The Harvest Foundation as part of the Foundation’s recently announced incentive pool funding program.

Eastman's announcement said the expansion would allow the company to keep up with growing demand within its performance films, paint protection and window film products produced in Henry County by creating additional production space at the company’s current warehouse in the Patriot Centre.

That warehouse supports that additional facility in the business park as well as the company’s production facility in Fieldale. Eastman is leasing the Stanley building.

Eastman employs 776 people at its Henry County facilities. While this expansion will not immediately result in additional positions, company and local officials are confident that future job growth is possible, the release said.

“This expansion is just another example of Eastman’s commitment to growing with our customers around the world,” Travis Smith, vice president and general manager of Eastman’s Performance Films business, said in the release. “Our continued investments further solidify Eastman’s commitment to the window and paint protection films markets and to making our manufacturing site in Henry County a state-of-the-art facility that produces the world’s highest quality films products.”

Said Jim Adams, chair of the Board of Supervisors, in the release: "Eastman entered our community in 2013, and it has been an employer of choice ever since. We are blessed to have Eastman here and we look forward to even more growth in the future.”

Eastman is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as local EZ benefits from Henry County, the release said.

Allyson Rothrock, president of The Harvest Foundation, said in the release that “opportunities like these are why the Foundation's incentive pool program was created. Martinsville-Henry County is fortunate to have a corporate partner that values our community's assets and works hard to support them. We are excited to see what the future holds for Eastman and Martinsville-Henry County.”

CORRECTED: An earlier version of this article stated incorrectly one of the organizations that announced this expansion. It was the Henry County Industrial Development Authority, which meets with the Henry County Board of Supervisors a few times each year.

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