Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) today delivered the following remarks after Norhurst, Inc. announced that it has expanded and will now operate out of the old Dan River Executive Campus. In doing so, Norhurst will bring over 100 new jobs to Danville.
"I am proud to be able to represent Virginia's 5th District in the United States Congress and I can't tell you how glad I am to be here today.
"You know, growing up a little north of here in Chatham, Virginia -- I think for those of us who grew up here, we always took the fact that Dan River Mills was here for granted. The fact that it had been here and it had been part of this community for decades -- we took these things for granted.
"And I can tell you that certainly at its height, Dan River Mills was a beautiful, beautiful company. We all know that back in the 50's, Dan River Mills was the second largest employer in the state of Virginia, only behind the shipyards, and the reason that it became the company that it did and hit the heights that it did was because of the people here. It has everything to do with the people here, the resources here. And it had everything to do with the fact that it made the finest quality products that people all of the world wanted. And that I think was the recipe to its success.
"And so there is nothing that broke the hearts of folks more than to see the decline of that company. And was there anything that was more heartbreaking than to see the buildings that represented this great company dismantled brick by brick, and we all recall as we watched that process take place.
"But the thing that I think is remarkable, and I love what Mr. Norton said in his prayer -- this is a resurrection, this is the story of a comeback. And just as the bricks of these buildings were taken apart over in Schoolfield, it is our job to make sure to make sure that we rebuild those buildings brick by brick. And so there are so many people to thank for that vision.
"I thank Danny Marshall and Frank Ruff, and the General Assembly and the Tobacco Commission for the work that they have done, not only in supporting jobs in Southside Virginia and across this state, but also for the policies that come out of Richmond. When you stop and think about the policies that make Virginia one of the best places in this country to do business, that doesn't come just by accident, that comes through hard work.
"And then I think of the city. Talk about vision -- the vision of this city, Mayor Saunders and the City Council, Jeremy Stratton and the economic development team, talk about hard work, putting those bricks back together piece by piece and rebuilding our economy. We are grateful for your vision, we are grateful for your hard work. Often thankless work, but the result we see here today.
"And then finally, none of these things are possible without the private sector -- without Tim Norton and his company that are willing to make the investment here. And let me tell you, I love what he said when I talked with him minutes ago, he talked about this: he said, "We make products, we have services we provide, we make IT products that people all over the world want,' and he said, "We want to be as big as Dan River once was.' And that's the secret ingredient to the American Dream and it's taking place right here.
"And so Tim, I thank you. I thank you for that American can-do attitude that says we will continue to compete in this global economy and we will dominate. We will dominate because of the people here in this community and because of the resources that come to bear here. So it is a proud day for me to be with you all today.
"On behalf of the people of the 5th District, make no mistake, we are grateful that you are here. And we have a flag that we have flown over the capitol in Washington and as a token of our appreciation, on behalf of the people of the 5th District, we want to welcome you, we want to wish you the greatest success, and above all we want to thank you for your commitment to Southside Virginia."