Danville Register & Bee
ALTON – An automotive training company is moving its headquarters to Southern Virginia, creating 24 new jobs in an $8.9 million project.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin visited Virginia International Raceway on Tuesday to announce that the Skip Barber Racing School will be moving its headquarters — currently in Lakeville, Connecticut — to the massive racing facility tucked away in the rural Alton countryside.
VIR will construct a 25,000-square-foot building at Motorsport Technology Park to lease to the Skip Barber Racing School, according to a press release.
“We are proud to welcome Skip Barber Racing School to the Commonwealth and add another corporate headquarters to our growing roster,” Youngkin said in a press release. “Virginia International Raceway is an invaluable employer in Halifax County, an engine for tourism and economic development in Southern Virginia, and a premier street course in the United States.”
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Virginia competed with California and Texas for the project, Youngkin said.
“We would like to thank both the Office of the Governor and Halifax County for working so diligently with us to provide the Skip Barber Racing School with the opportunity to make their home at Virginia Motorsport Technology Park,” said Connie Nyholm , CEO and co-owner of VIR. “Motorsport has deep roots in Southern Virginia and this will further deepen our already robust network of motorsport companies locally and in Halifax County.”
Skip Barber CEO Anthony DeMonte said his company’s relationship with the Commonwealth began with VIR.
“The more our team worked with Connie Nyholm and VIR, the more apparent it became that Virginia and Halifax Country would be the ideal location for our new headquarters,” DeMonte said in a statement. “The support that the Office of the Governor and Halifax County provide to motorsport companies and the automotive industry is unmatched.”
Skip Barber founded the racing school in 1975, and since first grade, more than 400,000 students have become racers and champions, the governor’s release said.
The company is now one of the world’s largest for education and entertainment.
In terms of funding, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Halifax County, the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to land the project.
Youngkin approved a $100,000 grant from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund to help Halifax County and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved a $32,500 grant from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund.
Skip Barber is eligible for state benefits under the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, and the Virginia Jobs Investment Program provides funding and assistance for the company’s employee training initiatives.
“The Skip Barber Racing School operates at the intersection of technology and motorsport, providing a quality experience for both training and entertainment,” said Linda Green, executive director of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance. “This partnership will be a winning combination for Halifax County and Skip Barber’s world-renowned team.”