November 11, 2017 - Jennmar recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony to open its new manufacturing facility in Lebanon, Russell County, Virginia. In the company of customers, local dignitaries and employees, Tony Calandra, Executive Vice President and Co-Owner of Jennmar, was joined by Gary Varney, Kendall Wright, Troy Dolan, and Shannon Wright at the event. Also present was Bob Wise, Jennmar COO, who led the plant tours.
“We are very excited about the next few years in the coal industry under this government and have great pleasure in opening this plant,” said Calandra as he cut the ribbon to mark the official opening. “Already, JM Conveyors, a Jennmar affiliate, has become the largest distributor of conveyor belting in the United States through our alliance partnership with Fenner Dunlop and this plant we are opening today builds heavy duty conveyor systems to complement that product,” he explained. Calandra added that $2 million of grants had been received to help toward start-up costs and thanked a number of organizations for their considerable help in making the move into the plant possible.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Russell County and the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) to secure the project. VCEDA approved a loan of $1.5 million to the Industrial Development Authority of Russell County towards the purchase and equipping of the buildings and a grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund of $100,000 was made available. In addition, the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $215,000 in funds for the company. Funds for training activities are being provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program administered by VEDP. The Russell County Board of Supervisors, the Town of Lebanon, and New Peoples Bank all played a vital role in making this project successful.
After the plant tours guests and employees enjoyed a hearty BBQ lunch on the shop floor. The plant presently has 21 employees, who have been hired locally except for the Plant Manager, Gary Varney, who hails from Tennessee. Another 20 employees will be hired in the near future. The facility consists of two buildings: one of 40,000 sq. ft. and a second one of 60,000 sq. ft. providing a large area for the manufacture and assembly of conveyor structure. Office space comprises an additional 3,000 sq. ft.
Jennmar Conveyors is well-placed for the future in moving into this large well-equipped plant. The combination of the wide range of Fenner Dunlop conveyor belting and the new line of Jennmar Conveyors structure brings together two highly-respected names and allows solutions to be provided for both large and small conveying projects primarily throughout the coal mining industry, as well as the automotive, aviation, construction, electronics, and transportation industries. The opening of the new plant clearly shows Jennmar’s optimistic view of the coal mining industry both today and in the years ahead.
For a complete description of the new plant and more photos click here (PDF).
JM Conveyors new plant in Lebanon, Virginia