Morgan Olson, LLC, will establish a new manufacturing operation in the former IKEA plant in Danville-Pittsylvania County. The project will create 703 new jobs and Morgan Olson plans to invest $57.8 million in the 925,000 square foot facility.
The Tobacco Commission is supporting this project with a $1.195 million Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund (TROF) grant, according to a release from Gov. Ralph Northam.
Tobacco Commission member, Del. Danny Marshall said, “This is a huge win not only for Danville and Pittsylvania County but our entire region. Morgan Olson has a long history of producing a quality product used by some of the biggest names in shipping, and I am proud that they will now be producing those trucks right here in Southside Virginia.”
Tobacco Commission member, State Sen. Bill Stanley said, “Finding a new manufacturer to come in and fill this space so quickly shows how resilient our economy here in Southside Virginia has become. As I’ve said before, we have the workforce and assets to compete on a worldwide level for good jobs from respected companies like Morgan Olson. I wish them the best as they get their operation underway here in Danville-Pittsylvania County.”
Headquartered in Sturgis, Michigan, Morgan Olson’s legacy of building their iconic step vans began in 1946 with the production of the first “all-aluminum” step van. Moving forward to today with the growth of e-commerce, Morgan Olson’s step vans are in demand to deliver these on-line purchases to homes and businesses throughout North America. In 2003, Morgan Olson was purchased by J.B. Poindexter & Co., Inc. (JBPCO), a diversified manufacturing company headquartered in Houston, Texas. JBPCO has eight profitable subsidiaries, with combined revenues of $1.4 billion and 6,200 employees. The new Virginia plant represents the company’s fourth expansion in the last six years.
President & CEO of Morgan Olson, Mike Ownbey said, “Morgan Olson walk-in step vans are in demand more than ever. We’ve been very fortunate with capturing large orders from major parcel package delivery companies; however, other important industries and valued customers use Morgan Olson walk-in vans every day, too. Baking and snack food distributors, textile rental and uniform companies, and even city municipalities all rely on Morgan Olson walk-in vans for their business services. We’re expanding to keep up with our customers’ needs for our product. One of the most attractive aspects of locating in Danville-Pittsylvania County is that we will be able to take advantage of the new Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, which will help us quickly attract and train the high-quality workforce we need to deliver for our customers.”
“With this announcement, Morgan Olson will become the largest private employer in Pittsylvania County, and we are grateful for the company’s long-term commitment to the community,” said Robert “Bob” Warren, Vice-Chairman of the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority and member of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors.