Danish toymaker LEGO Group announced on June 15 that it will build its first toy manufacturing plant in the United States in southeast Virginia, a project that will cost more than $1 billion and create 1 760 new jobs.
The plant will be the company’s seventh global plant and second in North America. Currently, LEGO construction toys sold in the United States come from its factory in Monterrey, Mexico.
The new 1.7 million square feet. The plant will be located on 340 acres in Chesterfield County’s Meadowview Technology Park, just off the Meadowville exit of Interstate 295 south of Richmond, the Petersburg Progress-Index newspaper reported.
Construction will begin this fall, with completion expected in 2025, LEGO said in a statement.
Plans also call for the construction of a high-bay warehouse for distribution next to the LEGO manufacturing buildings. Previously, the famous toymaker announced that it would set up a temporary packaging operation at the site in 2024.
LEGO CEO Niels B. Christiansen called the move an “exciting step” as it gives the toymaker a presence in one of LEGO’s biggest markets. Although it has its US headquarters in Enfield, Connecticut, until recently LEGO had no plans for a manufacturing plant there, according to the Petersburg news source.
“Our factories are located close to our largest markets, which shortens the distance between our products [must] trip,” LEGO COO Carsten Rasmussen explained in the company’s statement.
“This allows us to respond quickly to changing consumer demand and manage our carbon footprint. Our new plant in the United States and the increased capacity of our existing site in Mexico means that we will be able to better support long-term growth in the Americas. we are fortunate to find a place where we can start construction quickly and create temporary capacity in less than two years. »
According to LEGO, the Virginia plant will rely 100% on solar energy.
Governor Glenn Youngkin’s office released a statement praising the decision to bring LEGO to Meadowville.
“The LEGO Group’s decision to establish its US manufacturing facility in Virginia highlights the benefits that make the Commonwealth the best shopping location in the country, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with this company. iconic,” Youngkin said. .
Carrie Coyner, Member of the State House of Delegates, representing Chesterfield County, said in the same statement that she “couldn’t think of a better company to join us with her power-of-play mission and commitment. towards more than 1,700 new jobs.”
In exchange for building in Virginia, LEGO will be eligible to receive a performance grant of up to $56 million and obtain up to $19 million in site development improvements.
LEGO toys are made with precision
Like all LEGO facilities, the company noted, operations at the new factory will include applying modern technology to mold, process and package its products, and ensure they meet rigorous safety and company quality.
As an example of LEGO precision manufacturing, each LEGO brick is molded with hair-width precision to ensure the perfect “clutch power” that holds its toy creations together, the manufacturer says. of toys.
“Our bricks are made to last for generations, so we need skilled employees trained to work with investment casting technology,” Rasmussen said. “We look forward to working with the Virginia Talent Accelerator program to help build a great team driven by our mission to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.”
The Progress-Index noted that LEGO will begin accepting job applications later this year. Anyone interested in learning more about LEGO employment should visit www.LEGOcareersvirginia.com.
A ninety-year-old toymaker has become the world’s largest toymaker
LEGO, which takes its name from the Danish phrase “leg godt” – which means “play well” – started making its classic plastic building blocks in 1932 and is now the world’s largest toymaker.
Beginning in the 1990s, he enjoyed a renaissance with additions to his inventory such as Batman and other DC Comics action heroes. He opened several “Legoland” theme parks around the world, including three in the United States, and produced several television shows and theatrical films featuring his characters.