Howell Metal will invest $8 million to expand its metal factory in New Market, adding over 100 jobs in the process, Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Tuesday.

Northam made the announcement inside the New Market factory, which will grow by 200,000 square feet as a result of the expansion. Northam spoke about how important it is to bring jobs to the Commonwealth and reiterated that it’s his top priority. “We want to make sure that all Virginians have a job that can support themselves and their families,” Northam said.

“Howell Metal’s 50-year tenure is a tremendous success story for Shenandoah County, and with this expansion and the addition of more than 100 high-quality jobs, I am confident the company will continue to be a major asset to the local economy,” Northam later added in a statement

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Shenandoah County and the Port of Virginia to lock down the project for Virginia. Northam also approved a $400,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help Shenandoah County secure the project. 

The company will also be eligible to receive sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment and benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program.

Devin Malone, president of Howell Metal’s parent company, Mueller Streamline Co., said that Howell was eager to invest in the region. “Our manufacturing expansion, training initiatives, and other investments in New Market are the latest examples in our ongoing industriousness to work with the town, county, and state authorities to provide jobs, growth, and new opportunities to the region and its people,” Malone said.

Construction on the 200,000 square foot expansion project has already begun on the project and is expected to take 24 months, Malone told the Northern Virginia Daily.

While Howell Metal is not technically within New Market town boundaries, Town Manager Todd Walters told the Northern Virginia Daily that the project will still provide a huge benefit to his town. “I think I’ve said this one hundred times but anything that is good for Shenandoah County is good for New Market,” Walters said.