Nationwide Custom Homes to expand Martinsville facility

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) A modular home builder will expand its production and hire 59 additional employees in Martinsville. Nationwide Custom Homes and the Martinsville Henry County Economic Development Corporation announced the expansion Monday.

In a news release, Nationwide's president said the expansion will increase production by about 35 percent. All phases of the project should be complete by the end of the year.

Here is the complete announcement:

MARTINSVILLE, VA - Nationwide Custom Homes is planning to expand its production and create approximately 59 new jobs at its Martinsville facility. Nationwide President Andy Miller said the two-phase, $986,342 project involves up fitting one of the four plants at the Rives Road site to extend its production line. This expansion will increase production by about 35 percent to accommodate growth in demand for the company’s modular housing.

“The housing market is much better than it was. Last year was good. This year is equally as good and I think it will get even better,” Miller said.

Phase 1 of Nationwide’s project is expected to begin in 90 days and take about six weeks to complete, Miller said. The second phase will take four weeks to complete, likely in the fourth quarter of this year. The company already has added 15 employees to its 190-person work force. It expects to hire 20 more for Phase 1 of the expansion project and another 24 for Phase 2.

The company needs people with construction skills, such as in carpentry, drywall, finishing, electric and plumbing. “We’ll train the right people,” Miller said. “We will take unskilled people and train them.” Interested persons should apply at Nationwide’s Rives Road plant.

The Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. (EDC) has approved a $100,000 grant to help fund Nationwide’s expansion. It will provide $50,000 for each phase of the project. “The EDC is pleased to assist Nationwide with this project and we appreciate their efforts and commitment to grow their operations in the City of Martinsville”, said Chris Beeler, Chairman of the EDC Board.

Miller said the expansion probably would not be happening without the EDC grant. Instead, “we probably would have scaled back production or left it at current levels … and not gone after additional sales,” he said. “This grant allowed the company to make the decision to spend additional funds for construction. It’s very helpful.”

The EDC also is working with Nationwide to pursue state job grants through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, said Mark Heath, president/CEO of the EDC. “We’ve been working with them off and on for years on different projects. Nationwide is one of the largest, if not the largest, manufacturer in the city and they want to expand their work force. The EDC board felt it was the right thing to do to support them and help retain their operations in our community. The labor force suits them well here; they have a good situation here,” said Heath.

Nationwide produces modular housing for the single- and multi-family residential markets. It also serves commercial markets with apartments, hotels, student housing and rental cottages. Its customers primarily are in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Tennessee, as well as some in South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Ohio. It is an operating division of Palm Harbor Homes, which is part of the Phoenix, Ariz.-based Cavco family of manufacturers.