Daikin McQuay Invests Millions to Upgrade Augusta Headquarters
More than 50 years old, Daikin McQuay is already one of Augusta County's oldest and largest employers. Wednesday, the company announced a major upgrade that means more high-tech, high-paying jobs.
On the rooftop of a school or shopping center, there's a good chance the huge air-conditioning unit is stamped with the name McQuay. The company builds and tests them at their plant in Verona, which employs 460 people. That number will swell to more than 500 by the end of the year.
While the building still looks like low-tech bricks and mortar that have stood in Verona for more than 50 years, Daikin McQuay, maker of commercial air handlers, will get some cutting-edge upgrades.
"This allows us to test those areas of higher efficiency, more environmental friendliness and sustainability as it relates to new refrigerants. So this investment will allow us to test those products before we actually go into production," said Michael Swartz, CEO of Daikin McQuay.
That investment will total more than $9 million.
Construction at the plant will take place over the next nine months and, by the time it's finished, make way for 50 new jobs.
"We have kids getting very sophisticated degrees, and then they've come home and they want to find places to work. They can come now to McQuay International if they're an engineer or have a specific skill set in welding, and they can find a good-paying job," said David Karaffa, an Augusta County supervisor.
Daikin McQuay has facilities on six continents but the Verona plant is its global headquarters for industrial chillers.
The company says Augusta County workers have the skill sets to fill nearly all the new jobs.
"Some of the testing requirements and engineering requirements that we have are very sophisticated. So it takes very special individuals in those key roles," said Swartz.
The governor's opportunity fund and Augusta County each offered $250,000 as extra incentive for McQuay. State and local funds will also help pay the cost of employee training.
Augusta supervisors say the expansion will pump close to $5 million a year into the local economy.
Office of Governor Bob McDonnell Press Release
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that Daikin McQuay, a subsidiary of Daikin Industries, Ltd., will invest $9.2 million to expand its operation in Augusta County. Daikin McQuay is the world's largest global manufacturer of commercial heating, ventilating, air conditioning, refrigeration and building management equipment and systems. The company will be upgrading the facility to increase its ability to generate market leading, energy-saving global chiller products. The project will create 50 new jobs.
Governor McDonnell met with Daikin Industries, Ltd. officials in Japan during his Asia Marketing Mission in 2011. He also met with the company in New York City on marketing trips in 2011 and 2012.
Speaking about today's announcement, Governor McDonnell said, "I am thrilled to see this project come to fruition. Daikin McQuay has been an industry leader in Augusta County for nearly 60 years. These facility upgrades will not only create 50 new jobs, they will also enable market growth, and allow energy-saving HVAC innovation and product improvements to happen on U.S. soil. Daikin McQuay's significant investment and expansion will create good paying jobs and new products that will help conserve energy and reduce our dependency on foreign oil."
"Daikin McQuay's upgraded facilities represent an aggressive approach to growing the company's leadership role in energy-saving HVAC solutions," said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "We are proud that this innovative work will be centered at the thriving Augusta County operation, and will create 50 new jobs that pay well above the average wage in the region."
Daikin McQuay applies its industry-leading HVAC technologies in innovative ways to provide comfortable indoor environments for customers around the world. Daikin McQuay HVAC systems and solutions are energy efficient and environmentally friendly and are available through a global network of dedicated sales, service and parts offices.
"We have a very long history in our Virginia manufacturing and R&D facility. These new investments will allow us to expand our ability to develop industry leading chiller products," said Julie Smith, Daikin McQuay Vice President and General Manager, Chiller Products.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Augusta County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $250,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Augusta County with the project. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment and training activities.
"On behalf of the Augusta County Board of Supervisor, I am delighted by today's news," said Jeffrey A. Moore, Chairman, Augusta County Board of Supervisors. "Daikin McQuay is a vital member of our industrial community. Their longstanding presence here in Augusta is reflective of our pro-business climate and quality workforce. Further, the commitment and dedication of the Verona Daikin McQuay team has made this expansion a reality. We commend their efforts and look forward to a successful, long-term partnership."
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