According to a statement from Gov. Ralph Northam, EarthLink, a high-speed internet service provider, would invest $5.4 million to create 285 customer support jobs for a new center. 

The company is relocating its customer service activities to the United States and will construct a 30,000-square-foot facility at the 200-acre Project Intersection development at the intersection of US Highways 23 and 58.  “EarthLink’s new support center in Norton will play a major role in bringing the company’s customer service operations to the United States, creating economic opportunity and new jobs for Virginians,” Northam said. 

The rural regions of the commonwealth successfully compete for and attract projects due to their infrastructure jobs, business-friendly operating costs, and dedicated and highly skilled workforce. We look forward to supporting EarthLink’s growth and achievements in the commonwealth.” 

EarthLink, founded in 1994, is an online pioneer and a leading provider of internet services in the United States. EarthLink is a self-contained corporation that achieved a Great Place to Work Certification in 2020 and 2021 in honor of its exceptional workplace experience. 

Our partners in Southwest Virginia have worked tirelessly to foster a business climate that attracts global companies,” said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. 

 “EarthLink’s decision to establish an operation in the Project Intersection development demonstrates the impact of their efforts. This project will provide a tremendous boost to the region’s economy, and we are excited to welcome a new partner and 285 well-paying jobs to the region.” 

EarthLink Chief Executive Officer Glenn Goad said, “Having grown up in this area, it gives me great pride to further EarthLink’s efforts to provide award-winning customer experiences through our new sales and service center in Norton. We look forward to a long partnership with this community and the employees who will become part of EarthLink.” 

To secure the project for the state, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership collaborated with Norton, the LENOWISCO Planning District Commission, InvestSWVA, the Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority, and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. 

Northam authorized a $686,500 New Company Incentive Program award from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund. As part of the New Company Incentive Program, eligible enterprises that meet the statutory investment and employment requirements in traded sector industries and are looking to establish a new presence in Virginia are provided potential access to the fund. 

The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission also granted a Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund grant of $62,500 for this project. EarthLink is eligible for state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit for creating new, full-time jobs. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will give funding and services to help the company create jobs. 

 “This announcement is the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort by local and state leaders, the EarthLink team, and many others,” said LENOWISCO Executive Director Duane Miller. 

 “We are all excited to have a company with an iconic name like EarthLink, who has been consistently honored with the coveted Great Place to Work Certification, locate to Southwest Virginia.” 

The Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority and its member localities are excited to welcome EarthLink, said Wise County Administrator and Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority Chairman Mike Hatfield.  “EarthLink is the first company to announce that it is locating within the LPRIFA’s Project Intersection development in Norton,” Hatfield said. 

Source & Image Credits: TimesNews