An economic development announcement today will bring news concerning one of Henry County’s bigger employers, Eastman Chemical Company.
The announcement is schedule to follow an unusual joint meeting of the Henry County Board of Supervisors and the Henry County Industrial Development Authority.
Those involved in the meetings won’t say why the two boards are meeting jointly and what would be announced later, other than the acknowledging the involvement of Eastman in the events.
Here are the basics: This joint meeting will be at 11 a.m. in the fourth-floor conference room of the Henry County Administration Building, and the economic development announcement will follow at 11:30 a.m. on the first floor of the Henry County Administration Building in the Summerlin Meeting Room.
The only items listed on the agenda for the joint meeting are: “call to order – Board of Supervisors; call to order – Industrial Development Authority; consideration of performance agreement with Eastman Chemical Co.; adjournment.”
An invitation to the economic development announcement says: “The Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation and Eastman invite you to attend an economic development announcement….”
County officials and supervisors declined to comment about specifics, but those contacted seemed clear about what would unfold and acted as a united front to preserve the mystery.
Eastman has two facilities in the area — at 4210 The Great Road in Fieldale and at Patriot Centre Industrial Park near Martinsville — and Henry County Deputy Administrator Dale Wagoner said the company is one of Henry County’s larger employers, with about 750 employees.
The company makes performance films, paint protection and window film, Wagoner said.
The company’s website said its division in Feidale produces window film sold under Eastman’s portfolio of brands. That’s where employees dye “base film and ultraviolet weatherable films, evaporation metallizes, sputter coats, provides sophisticated protecting top coating and laminates multiple combination layers of components.”
The facility at Patriot Centre Industrial Park produces window film for automotive and architectural use.
The Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.’s website says Eastman’s third-largest facility is in Fieldale. That building was built in 1956, and Eastman purchased the facility and business from Solutia Performance Films in 2012. Eastman invested $40 million over three years to expand the facility, which the EDC’s website said “is now one of the largest and most integrated window and performance-coated film manufacturing sites in the world.”
At Patriot Centre, the EDC said, Eastman “acquired the former Commonwealth Laminating & Coating in 2014, adding an experienced workforce and Commonwealth’s expertise, paint protection technology, brand and channels to the portfolio.”
Paul Collins is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. Contact him at 276-638-8801, ext. 236.