from staff reports
An automotive education company is moving its headquarters to Southern Virginia, bringing 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 move its headquarters — currently in Lakeville, Conn. — to the massive racing facility tucked away in Alton’s rural landscape.
VIR will construct a 25,000-square-foot building at the Motorsport Technology Park to lease to the Skip Barber Racing School, according to a news release.
“We are proud to welcome Skip Barber Racing School to the community, adding another corporate headquarters to our growing list,” Youngkin said in a news release. “Virginia International Raceway is an invaluable employer in Halifax County, an engine of tourism and economic development in Southern Virginia, and the nation’s premier road course.”
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Virginia is competing with California and Texas for the project, Youngkin said.
“We want to thank both the Governor’s Office and Halifax County for working so diligently with us to make it possible for the Skip Barber Racing School to move its home to the Virginia Tech Motorsports Park,” said Connie Nyholm, CEO director and co-owner of VIR. “Motorsports runs deep in Southern Virginia and this will add further depth to our already robust network of motorsports here locally and in Halifax County.”
Skip Barber CEO Anthony Demont said his company’s relationship with the community 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 perfect location for our new headquarters,” De Monte said in a statement. “The support that the Governor’s Office and Halifax County provide to motorsports businesses and the automotive industry is second to none.”
Skip Barber founded the racing school in 1975, and since the first class, more than 400,000 students have become competitors and champions, the governor’s announcement stated.
Now the company is one of the largest in the world for education and entertainment.
As for the funding, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership is working with Halifax County, the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to bring the project to fruition.
Youngkin approved a $100,000 Commonwealth Opportunity Fund grant to assist Halifax County, and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved a $32,500 Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund grant.
Skip Barber will be eligible for state grants from the Virginia Enterprise Zone program, and the Virginia Jobs investment program will provide funding and assistance for the company’s employee training initiatives.
“Skip Barber Racing School operates at the intersection of technology and motorsports, providing a high-quality learning and entertainment experience,” Linda Green, Executive Director of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance. “This partnership will be a winning combination for Halifax County and the world-renowned Skip Barber team.”