~ LASCO Bathware to invest $1.7 million to expand manufacturing~

January 23, RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that LASCO Bathware, Inc. will invest $1.7 million to expand in Halifax County. The company, which will expand its manufacturing operation to include an additional line of upscale bathware marketed under their “Aquatic” label, will create 50 jobs and save an existing 280 jobs. Virginia successfully competed with Michigan, Texas and Washington for the project.

“I am thrilled that LASCO chose its Halifax County location for this expansion, retaining 280 jobs and adding an additional 50 positions,” Governor Kaine said. “It is also noteworthy that the average annual salary of these jobs will be above the prevailing wage for the region. The continuing success of this existing industry will have significant impact on the future economy of Halifax County.”

LASCO Bathware, Inc. is the largest manufacturer of bathing fixtures in the United States, producing nearly a fourth of bathing fixtures sold. LASCO, headquartered in Anaheim, California, began doing business in 1965.

“We are pleased to be moving forward with the expansion of our manufacturing operations in Virginia,” stated Gary Anderson, President of LASCO Bathware.  “Ultimately, the track record at our existing Virginia facility of producing quality product and providing excellent service is what led us to choose this site for expansion over alternatives in other states. We owe our reputation for quality and service in large part to the talent of the workforce in Halifax County.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Halifax County and the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Kaine approved $60,000 from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Halifax County with the project. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $200,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. The Tobacco Commission has, as a significant part of its mission, the promotion of economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities. To date, the Commission has awarded 1,068 grants totaling more than $518.9 million across the tobacco region of the Commonwealth.

Chairman of the Halifax County Board of Supervisors William Fitzgerald said, “We are very proud to partner with LASCO Bathware in retaining important jobs in our community. Business retention is a critical element to surviving in a difficult economic downturn. Keeping our industries strong is a primary focus to continue moving Halifax County forward.”