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Chesapeake-based industrial company expands, creates new job opportunities

Plasser American Corporation cut the ribbon on a new three-story office building. It will create almost 100 jobs in South Norfolk.
Credit: Kaicey Baylor, 13News Now

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Celebrating 60 years, Chesapeake and state leaders cut the ribbon on the start of a big expansion project in South Norfolk.

“Because you are in the South Norfolk tiff, the tax increment financing district with this investment, [the] investment you make here will make way for further investment, capital investment,” said Del. Cliff Hayes.

Plasser American Corporation is an industrial equipment supplier. The company provides railway inspection and railway repair vehicle services. Plasser American also has a first-of-its-kind training program that enables apprentices to gain hands-on experience while studying at Tidewater Community College.

Thursday morning, leaders dedicated a 45,000 square foot office building. Plasser American Corporation President Thomas Blechinger said the three-story building is the first structure in the company’s $52 million expansion project.

“When we started this expansion project, we had two clear objectives – to demonstrate our commitment to the city of Chesapeake and the product made in the United States,” Blechinger said.

The project will also include a new 82,000 square foot manufacturing facility which will double production capacity and allow the company to buy more equipment. Most importantly, it’ll create 98 new positions at the site. The company currently has over 300 employees.

It’s an opportunity Governor Ralph Northam said is much needed in the South Norfolk community.

"If you ask the average person about what’s the most important thing, it’s a job, that you can support yourself and your family with,” Northam said.

To say thank you, Chesapeake Mayor Rick West presented a $450,000 check to the company.