Two metal recycling companies based in Sheffield, England, will open their first United States joint-venture operation in the former Ridgeway Clocks building, company and local officials announced Wednesday.
Advanced Revert LLC will operate at the former DH Griffin property at 1131 Mica Road in Ridgeway. It will recycle and resell complex nickel alloys or high-temperature alloys, according to John Cox, vice president operations, and a news release.
Advanced Revert’s plans were announced Wednesday at the Commonwealth Centre for Advanced Training (CCAT) in the Commonwealth Crossing Business Center. The announcement was part of events marking the official opening of the CCAT.
The new company plans to invest approximately $5 million in the property and equipment and hire more than 30 employees over the next few years. Mark Heath, president/CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp., said the company’s pay will exceed Henry County’s “prevailing wage” of $32,000, which is $15.39 an hour without overtime.
Andrew Skinner, vice president commercial, said the operation will open and begin hiring in a few weeks. Hiring will be done in stages and increase as the operation grows, he said.
At first, employees need a good work ethic but no special skills as the company ships equipment to the Ridgeway site and sets it up, Cox said. Eventually, metal sorters and machinery operations will be added, he said.
Advanced Revert LLC is a joint-venture partnership between Advanced Alloy Services Ltd and Revert Alloys and Metals Ltd, both well-established companies in the historic metals and mining region around Sheffield. The two companies compete but also cooperate, according to Skinner, who also is commercial director of Revert Allows and Metals, and Stephen Hall, president of Advanced Revert and managing director of Advanced Alloy Services.
Advanced Alloy has 32 employees and about $40 million in annual sales; Revert Alloys and Metals has about 20 employees and $18 million in annual sales, Hall and Skinner said.
“We both do business in the United States. We both wanted to do more and realized we could do more together,” Hall said.
The companies recycle a wide variety of grades of specialist steels, nickel, cobalt and titanium-based superalloys and pure metals. The metals are sorted, segregated, processed, certified and then sold to end-users around the world to be melted into new superalloys used in high temperature and harsh environment applications including aerospace, power generation, oil and gas and the medical industry, the release stated.
At first, the joint venture will ship recycled materials to the U.S. and distribute them from here. Skinner said their plan is to have the entire recycling and distribution operation here within three years. The new operation will allow Advanced Revert LLC to service the growing U.S. market that both companies currently serve from the United Kingdom, according to an EDC news release. The combined company will afford greater ease of access and faster service to existing and new customers.
“Once again an international company has chosen Henry County as the location for its first U.S. operation,” said Jim Adams, chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors. “Not only will Advanced Revert LLC call Henry County home but it will bring life back to the former DH Griffin and Ridgeway Clocks location.”
Ridgeway Clocks produced grandfather clocks at the Mica Road location, and the winners of races at the Martinsville Speedway traditionally have been given clocks. To honor that history, a small replica of a grandfather clock was included in a gift basket that Heath gave Advanced Revert officials.
EDC and Henry County officials worked with Advanced Revert LLC to bring the company to Henry County. The company initially was introduced to the EDC by Joe Anwyl of Invest Southern Virginia, an initiative of Mid Atlantic Broadband (MBC) and the Virginia Tobacco Commission.
“We are grateful for Advanced Revert LLC’s decision to locate in Henry County,” Larry Ryder, chairman of the EDC board of directors, stated in the release. “Advanced Revert LLC continues Martinsville-Henry County’s growing international presence and adds the fourth U.K. company to our manufacturing base.”
Allyson Rothrock, president of The Harvest Foundation, also noted the growing list of international companies locating in Henry County. The resulting “blend of new and old, national and international (companies) strengthens the community,” she said.
She noted that Harvest’s vision of economic development has become a reality as workers have become more skilled, wages have risen and the area is at full employment with the help of partners in the community. The area is a “comeback kid,” and opportunities abound, she added.
In lieu of a traditional incentive package, Advanced Revert preferred to work directly with American National Bank due to the nature of its worldwide business model. The EDC and the Harvest Foundation will make funding assistance available as the company progresses toward its initial capital investment and employment goals.
“We can’t say enough about the warm welcome we have received” in Martinsville-Henry County, Skinner stated in the release. “We thank Henry County, the EDC, Billy Kirby at American National Bank and attorney John Gregory for their assistance throughout this process. Starting a new venture in a new country can be a daunting and at times a confusing journey, but everyone here went above and beyond to make this work and we say thank you to all who have helped us.”
Cox, who also is managing director of Revert Alloy and Metals, and Hall also thanked those agencies and people who helped the company locate in the U.S. Hall said their “personal focus and attention … has been nothing short of amazing. It made Ridgeway an easy choice for the location of our first facility in the US. We are all very excited and looking forward to getting started.”