Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Brian Whitesell
Lynchburg,VA - Retailer J. Crew is expanding their distribution facility in the Hill City, and that means 177 new jobs in the area.
Economic directors and job seekers are hopeful this is a sign that the economy is turning around.
When Thurman Evans heard of J.Crew jobs coming to town he jumped at the chance to apply. He has been looking for a job for more than a year.
"Any news of jobs coming is good news. There are so many people without jobs right now," said Evans.
Recent college grad Melissa Arcand hopes the new job openings will be a chance to finally land some full time work.
"I'd probably look into it if it's something that would allow me to use my skills and talents," said Arcand.
The jobs will be at the J.Crew distribution plant where they plan to expand the facility by 100,000 square feet. This expansion will mean opportunities for both full time and seasonal employment.
"The jobs will be to support their distribution center, and there will be some support opportunities as well" said Marjette Upshur, Economic Director for the City of Lynchburg.
Economic Director Marjette Upshur says J.Crew's expansion will also provide a boost in possible construction jobs.
"Anytime you have an expansion like this hopefully your local firms in town are able to offer their services, and offers a boom to the economy," said Upshur.
Upshur says the fact that J.Crew is expanding in Lynchburg shows the Hill City is a place where businesses can succeed and grow.
Lynchburg, VA - Governor Bob McDonnell announced the expansion of the J.Crew Group, Inc. distribution center in Lynchburg. The project will add 100,000 square feet to the facility and create 177 new local jobs, according to Governor McDonnell.
"J.Crew's decision to expand their operations in the City of Lynchburg is exciting and welcome news and we look forward to assisting them with this project," said Lynchburg Mayor Joan Foster. "J.Crew has been a valued member of Lynchburg's business community since 1986. This investment will expand the City's tax base and provide employment opportunities for our citizens and is consistent with our economic development goals and efforts."
The J.Crew distribution center was established in Lynchburg in 1986, three years after the company debuted. The company now operates 249 retail stores, two web stores, an active catalog business and 85 factory outlet stores.
"J.Crew has obviously been pleased with the labor pool available in Lynchburg," said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "The expansion will enable the company to serve its customers all over the U.S. from this location."