Zollner Elektronik investment in Danville will create 80 jobs

Zollner Elektronik, a Germany-based electronics manufacturing services company, will expand its presence in Virginia and create 80 new jobs in Danville, according to a release from Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office Wednesday morning.

In 2022, Zollner acquired Electronic Instrumentation & Technology, which is headquartered in Leesburg and has locations in Danville and Salem. The Danville location currently employs 50 people.

EIT serves customers in the industrial, communications, aerospace, defense and health care sectors. The expansion by Zollner includes a $14 million investment to expand its manufacturing operations in Danville, located in the city’s Cyber Park, which is owned by the Regional Industrial Facility Authority.

Another $4 million and 20 jobs will go to Loudoun County, where Zollner will expand its U.S. headquarters. Virginia beat out North Carolina and West Virginia for this project, the release said.

Lee Vogler, chairman of the Danville Pittsylvania RIFA, said that this expansion is yet another step in Danville’s comeback.

“The eyes of the world are on Danville and Pittsylvania County because of the track record of success we’ve had with manufacturing over the years,” he said in an interview. “This is another example of that.”

The Danville-Pittsylvania County area has made headlines recently for attracting companies bringing thousands of jobs, like Caesars Virginia. But 80 new jobs with salaries that are above the region’s average is “a great win” for the area and “a life changer” for the people impacted by them, Vogler said.

“We obviously love the home runs, but singles and doubles are great too, and they add up on the scoreboard when you get enough of them, and we consistently bring them in,” Vogler said. “It’s easy to get wrapped up in these big numbers on a piece of paper, but we always try to keep in mind the individual impact that comes from these additional jobs.”

EIT was founded in 1977, and since then has had considerable support from Virginia and local government agencies, David Faliskie, president and CEO of EIT-Zollner, said in the release.

“The acquisition by Zollner AG will give us the advantages of a global company while being able to maintain our Virginia presence,” Faliskie said. “Our locations in Leesburg and Danville have workforce availability and are supported by complete transportation systems, so we look forward to continued growth through the acquisition by Zollner.”

Faliskie said that the 80 new jobs will be added over time.

“Based on the labor market conditions, it’s going to take some time,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “Our business is growing pretty aggressively, obviously. So if we’re going to more than double our labor force, we have to vet all those employees and make sure that we’re getting qualified people in there.”

The expansion timeline will depend on the supply chain and availability of equipment, he said.

“We’re prioritizing the equipment we need first, and we’ll start with those things and try to get them as quick as we can,” Faliskie said. “But we’ve been working with equipment suppliers for a while now, so we’re already well down that path in terms of placing orders, and we’ll see what we can get and how fast we can get it in.”

Zollner, founded in 1965, has more than 12,000 employees and 20 locations around the world. The acquisition of EIT furthers the company’s goals to increase its United States operations.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city of Danville, Pittsylvania and Loudoun counties and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to bring the project to Virginia.

Youngkin approved a grant of $360,000 from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to aid Danville with the project. The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program will provide support for Zollner’s job creation.

This announcement is a “clear indicator of the rebirth of manufacturing in our region,” Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, said in the release.

“The great City of Danville has proven over and over again how a collaborative effort between private and public interests can lead the way in economic revitalization in Southside Virginia,” Stanley said.

Faliskie said that he’s hoping for a long-lasting relationship with Zollner.

“[Zollner] needed a presence in the U.S., particularly on the East Coast,” he said. “We expect that business to grow more and more over the years. This is what I hope will be just the start of aggressive growth.”

by GRACE MAMON is a reporter for Cardinal News.