$2 billion Chinese factory breaks ground, expected to bring thousands of jobs to area

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A $2 billion Chinese factory broke ground along the James River in Chesterfield Thursday morning.

“What we’re doing here today is a renaissance for America and the commonwealth of Virginia, and Tranlin is the first flag down,” Governor Terry McAuliffe said during a groundbreaking ceremony.

The governor says the factory is going to transform the manufacturing industry in Virginia. Tranlin, a Chinese pulp and paper company, is expected to create 2,000 jobs by 2020.

“They will become the largest single private taxpayer in the county, and one of the largest employers,” said Garrett Hart, director of Chesterfield Economic Development.

It’s the largest investment by a private Chinese company in U.S. history.

“It will significantly transform this area and the region,” said Hart.

The news comes as the employment commission has shown that while the state’s employment rate has gone down, so has the number of new jobs. The state has been trying to attract more private companies to the commonwealth as government jobs continue to be lost. According to the commission, the private sector increased by 2,100 jobs last month, but government jobs decreased by 2,300.

“Employment opportunities I find to be extremely limited,” said Raheem Muhammad.

Muhammad has been looking for employment for the past six months, let go from the non-profit he worked for because of downsizing.

“It has been extremely frustrating,” said Muhammad.

He’s hoping many more private companies, like Tranlin, invest in the state and bring jobs with them.

“Generally I’m an optimistic person and certainly would like to see more job opportunities available,” said Muhammad.

The company has already hired a number of senior managers. The hiring is on-going and Tranlin says they have multiple openings including some senior positions. Postings are going up in engineering, sales and logistics. They’re posting jobs on www.tranlin.net/jobs. The company says it particularly welcomes applications from bi-lingual talents with Chinese language capabilities for certain roles.

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