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February 2021

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Investments Create New Opportunities in Virginia

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has announced that International Automotive Components Group (IAC Group), a global supplier of automotive components and systems, will invest $4.6 million to expand its manufacturing operation in the Town of Strasburg and add new auto component lines and products to its existing capabilities at the facility. Virginia successfully competed with Ohio for the project, which will create 47 new jobs.

"International Automotive Components Group has been a valued employer in Shenandoah County for more than a decade, and we are thrilled that the company is reinvesting in its operation and employees," said Governor Northam. "IAC Group exemplifies the success that major businesses can find in rural Virginia and we thank the company for its continued confidence in Virginia and for creating high-quality manufacturing jobs at a critical time in our economic recovery."

Headquartered in Luxembourg, International Automotive Components Group is a leading supplier of automotive components and systems, including instrument panels, console systems, door panels, headliners, and overhead systems to automakers around the world. IAC Group operates more than 45 manufacturing facilities in 16 countries and has more than 60 total locations in 18 countries, including 14 business and innovation centers. The company employs more than 18,000 people globally.

"As a major global player in the automotive sector, IAC Group's growth in Shenandoah County serves as a testimonial to other industry leaders," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. "We are confident the region's infrastructure and dedicated workforce will contribute to the operation's future longevity."

"A seasoned team with a history of successful launches as well as access to additional talent around the region made the Strasburg, VA, facility the smart choice for IAC," said Nick Proctor, Director of Manufacturing for IAC Group.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Shenandoah County, the Town of Strasburg, and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. VEDP will support IAC Group's job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).

Silent Falcon UAS Technologies

Gov. Northam also announced that Silent Falcon UAS Technologies, an unmanned aircraft systems service provider and OEM, will invest $6 million to locate its new East Coast headquarters for research, development and manufacturing at the Front Royal-Warren County Airport in Warren County. Virginia successfully competed with Massachusetts and New Jersey for the project, which will create 249 new jobs.

"Silent Falcon UAS Technologies' decision to establish its East Coast operations in Warren County and create a new workforce development partnership speaks volumes to Virginia's leadership in the fast-growing unmanned systems industry," said Gov. Northam. "With one of the nation's largest transportation networks, an unmatched talent pipeline and competitive operating costs, the Commonwealth is an ideal location for the company to reach its expanding customer base. This project is a major win for the Northern Shenandoah Valley, and we are thrilled to welcome the company to Virginia."

Silent Falcon UAS Technologies manufactures patent-pending, state-of-the-art unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) components and sensors for security, military and commercial markets, including oil and gas and pipeline inspections, power utility inspections, large-scale agriculture, natural resource management, security/ISR, public safety and mapping/surveying. Silent Falcon is the only solar electric UAS to provide long endurance and range, silent operations, and an open interface payload bay, accommodating a wide variety of payloads that are also quick and easy to change. Silent Falcon's decision to locate in Virginia coincides with a significant expansion of the service portion of the company's business, which focuses on data collection, specifically for runway inspections at airports.

Randolph-Macon Academy's Unmanned Systems Lab (R-MA) will partner with Silent Falcon as part of its pre-professional pathway initiative through the R-MA drone program, which provides students with the tools and real-life experience to leverage the potential of unmanned technology in a range of career fields. This out-of-the-classroom learning opportunity allows students to experience first-hand how drones and drone-collected data can be applied to real-world community management, business, environmental and economic challenges. R-MA will work with Silent Falcon to design new program curricula to prepare students for the next generation of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations, while crafting data acquisition and data analysis solutions using artificial intelligence.

"We are excited to be opening our operations and manufacturing center in Front Royal," said Grant Bishop, CEO of Silent Falcon UAS Technologies. "We are particularly excited about collaborating with the Randolph-Macon Academy and its innovative UAS program under the leadership of General Wesley, which has been at the forefront of training future UAS pilots and specialists. We look forward to being of assistance to their efforts and to having their input into our future development."

"Randolph-Macon Academy's goal was to create a nationally-recognized and accredited UAS flight training and drone applications program serving as a direct pipeline to industry career opportunities, as well as a pathway to emerging four-year university UAS programs," said Brian Kelly, Director of Unmanned Flight Operations at the Randolph-Macon Academy. "Thanks to our early investment in this industry and the support of partners like Silent Falcon, R-MA is positioned to become the leading high school UAS program in the country. Silent Falcon's investment in Front Royal will do great things for Warren County and the region as a center for cutting-edge innovation, and we are excited about the opportunities created by this strategic partnership."

For more information contact:

Virginia Economic Development Partnership

901 East Cary Street

Richmond, VA 23219


Silent Falcon UAS

International Automotive Components Group

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