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Economic Development

Posted on: January 3, 2024

Universal to Create 45 Jobs Right Here in Botetourt County & Invest $50 Million

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Universal Logistics Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: ULH) is poised to undertake an important expansion as it ventures into a new industrial building situated in the 1700 block of Lee Highway in Botetourt County, which is located within the Roanoke Region of Virginia. Universal expects to invest approximately $50 million and generate 45 new employment opportunities with the expansion. The move marks a strategic initiative for Universal's heavy truck division, a key player in providing third-party assembly, sequencing, and other value-added services within the logistics sector.

This expansion aims to further bolster Universal's heavy truck capabilities in servicing Class 8 truck assembly operations. The 254,000 square-foot facility will be instrumental in catering to the growing demands of the heavy truck industry and is expected to commence operations in 2025 after a comprehensive 12-month facility customization process.

"Our expansion in the Roanoke region represents an exciting phase for Universal's heavy truck division as we fortify our commitment to delivering top-tier services within the logistics and transportation sectors," stated Universal's CEO Tim Phillips. "Our investment not only signifies our dedication to growth, but also underscores our pledge to contribute meaningfully to the local economy while creating employment opportunities for the community."

Universal's investment in this expansion initiative is a testament to its vision of enhancing operations and fostering economic growth in the region. The creation of 45 net new jobs will provide a platform for skilled individuals to contribute to and benefit from the flourishing logistics landscape.

Botetourt Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Amy White said, “We are extremely excited this project is locating to Botetourt County in a space that had been previously used for a warehouse operation.  Universal will upgrade the use of the facility to manufacturing and will allow the talent of our community to excel.  This announcement, along with the announcement of the commercial growth, is enhancing Botetourt in every direction.” 

“The expansion of Universal demonstrates the region’s competitiveness in automotive manufacturing,” said John Hull, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “The Roanoke Region is truly a center of excellence when it comes to automotive and heavy truck manufacturing with a strong portfolio of products and components.”

Over the next 12 months, Universal will upgrade the Lee Highway building to accommodate its specialized services, ensuring it aligns seamlessly with the company's operational requirements and quality standards. This expansion initiative signifies Universal's commitment to innovation, efficiency, and excellence in delivering comprehensive assembly and logistics solutions to its clients.
Universal Group worked with Botetourt County, Roanoke Regional Partnership, and Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) in support of the project. The company will receive local assistance with talent solutions. In addition to the initial job creation and investment, the Roanoke Regional Partnership projects an annual economic impact of $43 million in the Roanoke Region from the project, adding an additional 83 indirect and induced jobs.

Universal Logistics Holdings, Inc (“Universal”) is a holding company that owns subsidiaries engaged in providing a variety of customized transportation and logistics solutions throughout the United States, and in Mexico, Canada and Colombia.  Universal's heavy truck division provides third-party assembly and value-added warehouse services within the industrial sector. The company is dedicated to leveraging innovation and expertise to offer cutting-edge solutions, contributing significantly to the advancement of logistics services for original equipment manufacturers.

The Roanoke Regional Partnership, founded in 1983, is the public-private economic development marketing and strategy organization supported by Alleghany, Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke Counties, the Cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem, and the town of Vinton as well as more than 200 businesses. The organization has worked with its partners to create more than 19,000 primary jobs and $19 billion in investment by attracting companies such as Orvis, Altec, McAirlaids, Bimbo Bakeries, Cardinal Glass, Balchem, Eldor, Mack Trucks, Traditional Medicinals, Constellation Brands and others to the region.

About Botetourt County: Botetourt County (Pop. 33,494) is a 546 sq. mile community in Southwestern Virginia. The rural community is in the southwestern portion of the state in the scenic Roanoke Valley of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Strategically located on Interstate 81, and just 20 miles south of Interstate 64, Botetourt County is accessible to the markets of the Mid-West, the Mid-Atlantic, and the entire Eastern Seaboard. Botetourt County has a five-member elected Board of Supervisors which oversees most of the county’s government-related operations. In addition, Botetourt County has a complete administrative staff that works under the direction of a County Administrator who is hired by the Board of Supervisors to run day-to-day operations.

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