119 new jobs expected with vehicle-related manufacturing firm in Salem

Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 10:05 AM EST
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - STS Group AG, a global supplier of interior and exterior parts for commercial and personal vehicles, will establish its North American headquarters and manufacturing operation in the former General Electric building in the City of Salem, representing a $32 million investment, according to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s team and Roanoke Regional Partnership.

At its peak, the General Electric plant in Salem employed more than 3,000 people. In 2018, the GE Plant shut down.

“We saw it slowing down. You know you can realize what’s coming,” said Salem Mayor Renée F. Turk. “But the hurt that happens when something like this closes and goes is tough.”

Now, a new vehicle-related manufacturing company will call the old GE plant home.

“Having that corner that meant so much to so many people, employing more people from this area again. It makes it very special,” added Turk.

City of Salem Director of Economic Development Tommy Miller says of roughly 700,000 square feet, the German company will occupy 200 thousand square feet.

“It’s a step in the right direction. They do have the intent to grow in the future and service, not just Volvo is a key customer, but they want to grow and expand and diversify their customer base as well,” said Miller. “Which will include all of the Atlantic and some of the Midwest from this position.”

Roanoke Regional Partnership Executive Director John Hull says the arrival will boost the region’s economy.

“The employment of folks in manufacturing and a good wage opportunity will contribute to consumer expenditures in the region,” explained Hull. “So, that contributes to new retail developments, (and) new restaurants. Folks will have more discretionary money to spend.”

Operating as STS Group North America, the new facility will supply commercial truck assembly operations by Volvo Trucks in Pulaski County, as well as other truck and automotive facilities throughout the Midwest and Southeastern U.S. markets. The project will create 119 jobs, according to the governor’s office.

Officials say they expect full production to begin in 2024.

STS Group is already hiring for the Salem plant, and interested applicants can visit adlerpelzer.com/career to view open positions and apply.

The mayor of Salem says there are still possibilities to bring other companies to the region.

“We’re looking forward to more growth, more jobs, more businesses coming to this area and we’re in the perfect location to do that,” said Turk.

In April 2021, STS Group AG announced an investment in a new greenfield project in Wythe County, but has replaced that project with the Salem development due to “changing market conditions and rising construction costs for a new building.”

“Salem is a perfect base for STS Group to start its footprint in the USA, following existing customers locally and extending the customer portfolio,” said Alberto Buniato, CEO of STS Group. “On top of a perfect existing location in a suitable industrial cluster, we were delighted to find very attentive and helpful support from the City of Salem, Roanoke Regional Partnership, and Virginia Economic Development Partnership.”

“When STS Group’s business needs changed, Virginia quickly pivoted to an alternate solution to ensure we retained the project in the Commonwealth,” said Youngkin. “I am pleased that the former General Electric building in the City of Salem could meet the company’s needs, representing 119 new jobs for hardworking Virginians and a vacant facility’s return to productive use. Collaboration, innovation, and solutions are Virginia trademarks, and we are proud to officially add STS Group to the Commonwealth’s corporate roster.”

“We welcome STS Group to Salem and Virginia’s Blue Ridge region and are confident this high-tech facility and its new locally trained workforce will prove to be the perfect fit for the area and a thriving success for years to come,” said Mayor Turk. “Using creative and collaborative teamwork, STS has taken an available and strategically located facility in Salem and will create a well-positioned, state-of-the-art manufacturing space that will benefit all involved.”