I represent the Staunton River District, which encompasses much of the northern end of Pittsylvania County. After the 2007 closure of Hurt’s Burlington Industries manufacturing facility, which was the economic linchpin of the region and one of largest employers in the entire region, the Town of Hurt and much of the northern end of the county experienced some economic decline.
But under the direction of the current Board of Supervisors, the northern end of Pittsylvania County is on its way to thriving again due to targeted efforts to bring industry to the Southern Virginia Multimodal Park and enhance Wayside Park.
In a bittersweet and symbolic representation of the end of an era, the final smokestack in the old Burlington Industries site, which is now part of the Southern Virginia Multimodal Park, toppled to the ground in January of 2020. Just a few months later Staunton River Plastics announced that it would develop a new facility in the textile giant’s footprint, investing $34 million and creating 200 new jobs. Staunton River Plastics has been delayed slightly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the company is still moving forward with its plans to invest heavily in our region. With its significant space and capable infrastructure, the Industrial Park has the ability to host even more impactful employers, bringing more prosperity to our region.
It’s not just the jobs and the industries that are seeing on the rise; it’s also the quality of life. Wayside Park – a historic landmark from the 1940s that had fallen into disarray – has been transformed to match its former glory and serve as a regional attraction. Between Wayside and the Industrial Park, the northern end of Pittsylvania County is beginning to experience revitalization and hope.