200 jobs expected with upcoming tri-county salmon facility

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 12:17 PM EST
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TAZEWELL COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - More than 200 new high-paying jobs are anticipated with the arrival in Tazewell County of a salmon aquaculture facility.

That’s according to Delegate Will Morefield (R-D3), who says he traveled to Israel seven years ago in search of new economic opportunities for southwest Virginia. That’s when he says he saw several large-scale aquaculture pilot projects that became the inspiration for a similar project coming to the Cumberland Region in 2023.

Project Jonah, Morefield says, will be the largest vertically integrated indoor aquaculture facility in the world. It will be shared among Buchanan, Russell and Tazewell counties, which will share tax revenue and made joint contributions to incentives for the project.

Construction will be led by a company called Pure Salmon. The company plans to invest about $228 million in the creation of the facility, which will be built between Tazewell and Russell counties, with a goal of raising and producing about 20,000 tons of salmon each year.

Delegate Morefield said, “I am honored to have been able to advocate for this project and help it become a reality for the hardworking families in our region. Southwest Virginia has been hit hard in recent years as the coal industry has declined. This will be a great opportunity to employ deserving workers while providing a world-class facility that will positively impact Appalachia. I am so proud of the local leaders for their effort in working together. A tremendous amount of work has gone into this project since I was first invited to Israel by my friend Aaron Roberts to seek out economic opportunities for Southwest Virginia. I thank God, my family for supporting me throughout this endeavor, and the people of Southwest Virginia for making this a reality. We are confident this will be the beginning of many great projects to come. Combined with local, state, and federal incentives, Southwest Virginia can offer companies an even better reason to locate here. Project Jonah is a leading example of how we can start attracting investment on an international level and rebuilding our economy from the ground up. We can and must work together to ensure that our region has a bright future.”

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