Governor credits new Virginia Tech program for attracting jobs to Halifax County

BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 25, 2005 – The new Virginia Tech Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (VT-STEM) program that was launched in Halifax County in November is already helping to bring new jobs to the Southside area, according to Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner.

Warner announced Jan. 20 that Lindstrand USA Inc., a manufacturer of inflatable structures such as flood barriers, portable bridges and aircraft hangars, will invest $2.5 million to open its first U.S. aeronautical fabric engineering and manufacturing facility in South Boston that will create 50 jobs.

"Lindstrand USA has chosen Virginia for its first U.S. manufacturing facility thanks to the competitive incentives offered by the commonwealth as well as the support and expertise offered by Virginia Tech's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program in South Boston," Warner said. "This project will provide excellent high-tech job opportunities for Southside Virginians as we continue to work to diversify the region's economy."

Virginia successfully competed with California, Kentucky, and Texas for the project.

Lindstrand USA Inc. is a subsidiary of Lindstrand Technologies Ltd., which is based in Shropshire, England. Products designed by Lindstrand USA are targeted for homeland security, portable first aid and logistics, and recreation markets. Lindstrand is the exclusive supplier to all Formula 1 racing teams for fireproof racing car covers.

Virginia Tech launched its STEM program in South Boston in November with Carole C. Inge as its director. Halifax County provided $180,000 in funding to the university to help underwrite startup expenses for the new initiative.