Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Navien, Inc., a leader in condensing technology for water heaters and boilers, will invest $77.5 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing and assembly operation in the former Lumber Liquidators facility in James City County, which will create 180 new jobs. The company will triple the footprint of the existing building, bringing it to nearly 900,000 square feet. Virginia successfully competed with Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania for the project.
“Navien’s decision to locate its first U.S. manufacturing operation in James City County demonstrates the competitive advantage that Virginia offers to international companies looking to expand into new markets,” said Governor Northam. “This project is an important win for the Greater Williamsburg region and our Commonwealth, as Navien will bring a key facility back into productive use, create 180 high-quality jobs, and utilize the nearby Port of Virginia as its gateway to the world.”
Navien, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Seoul-based KD Navien, is one of the fastest growing companies in the home comfort sector in North America. The company has over 40 years of experience with advanced boiler and water heating technology. Navien is a leader in condensing technology and providing condensing and non-condensing tankless water heaters, combi-boilers, and boilers that have state-of-the-art technology, high efficiency, and reliable quality.
“We are proud to welcome Navien to Virginia and James City County, and look forward to building a strong corporate partnership as the company expands its footprint in North American markets,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The Commonwealth offers the location, infrastructure, and robust workforce that attract global companies like Navien, and I congratulate all the partners involved in securing this significant project.”
“The close proximity of this property to the Port of Virginia and the flexibility to expand and allow for Navien’s continued investment over time helped us make this decision,” said Navien CEO Sangkyu Lee. “Establishing an East Coast facility will support Navien’s growth and allow for faster delivery to primary eastern markets while balancing current shipments coming into California. We look forward to working with the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program as we grow this facility and its importance to Navien’s overall leadership position in North America.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with James City County, the Greater Williamsburg Partnership, and the Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved an $850,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist James City County with the project. The company is also eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program.
Support for Navien’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a new workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System, with funding support from the Northam administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation. Navien is the fourth company to benefit from the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program.
“I am excited to welcome Navien, Inc. to the County,” said James Icenhour, Chairman of the James City County Board of Supervisors. “This investment is the largest in James City County in nearly two decades. I am pleased that our economic development staff assisted VEDP in attracting this foreign investment to James City County.”
“Navien’s decision to invest $77.5 million to build its East Coast assembly and manufacturing operation in James City County says, very clearly, that Virginia is a world-class business destination,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. “This move will bolster the Virginia economy with new jobs and economic investment. It is also an example of a manufacturer recognizing the value of the Commonwealth’s many business advantages and assets, and among them is expanding global reach of the Port of Virginia.”
“Navien’s decision is good news for the Commonwealth and great news for James City,” said Senator Thomas K. Norment, Jr. “By locating here and choosing to triple the size of an existing facility, Navien has demonstrated its confidence in the quality of our workforce and made a sound and wise investment.”
“I am pleased to welcome Navien, Inc. to James City County,” said Delegate Amanda Batten. “Their investment in our community is a testament to James City County’s favorable business climate and highly qualified workforce. The addition of 180 new jobs will further strengthen our economy, and I wish Navien continued success and growth.”