The HEYCO Werk USA plant in Greensville County. Photo courtesy of HEYCO.

Here’s a roundup of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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Auto parts maker to expand Greensville County plant

An automotive parts manufacturer will invest $5.4 million in its Greensville County facility, creating 21 new jobs, the governor’s office announced Thursday.

HEYCO Werk USA Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the Germany-based HEYCO Group, makes precision plastic molded parts for the automotive industry and other industrial markets, Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a news release.

The company services automotive products for BMW SUV models worldwide and is expanding production to meet the needs of BMW plants in South Carolina, China and South Africa, according to the news release.

The company currently has 68 employees at the Greensville County plant, and the expansion is planned over the next four years.

“With this latest investment,” HEYCO Werk USA CEO and President Daniel Dittmar said in the news release, “we set an important milestone for the future of our manufacturing operation and prepare the plant with new technologies, ensuring both the long-term success of our company and our position as an attractive and viable employer in Greensville County.”

Founded in 1937, HEYCO Group has 1,250 employees across eight locations globally. It bills itself as “a leading supplier of products and engineering services in the area of metal and plastic processing technology.” 

HEYCO Werk USA opened its first U.S. facility in 2014 and opened the Greensville County plant in 2019, according to the governor’s news release.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Greensville County on the project, and Youngkin approved a $135,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help the county. HEYCO Werk USA also will be eligible for enterprise zone benefits and employee training support from the state. 

“The Virginia operation has expanded HEYCO’s production footprint to serve BMW plants worldwide, and we are thrilled the company will create more high-quality manufacturing jobs for the hardworking citizens of Greensville County,” Youngkin said.

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Opportunity Appalachia will showcase regional projects to potential investors

Opportunity Appalachia, a project of Appalachian Community Capital, is hosting a virtual investor convening May 31 through June 1. Registration is open for investors, funders, project developers, business owners, elected officials, economic development professionals, community members, and others at

Opportunity Appalachia works to bring new investment to underserved Central Appalachian communities.

The investor convening will feature 33 Opportunity Appalachia projects seeking to develop relationships with investment partners. The 2023 project portfolio includes downtown development, manufacturing, IT, healthcare, education, food systems, clean energy, and heritage tourism and recreation. All told, the portfolio is seeking $187 million in financing and is anticipated to create 3,000 jobs.

The investor convening will feature remarks from Tom Barkin, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and participation from the Richmond Fed’s Investment Connection program leaders.

For more information, contact Donna Gambrell at 202-547-5155 or or visit

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Entrepreneur and author Clifton Taulbert to speak in Danville

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville will host a talk by author and entrepreneur Clifton Taulbert on June 6.

Taulbert is president and CEO of the Freemount Corp., a human capital development company; president and CEO of Roots Java Coffee; and an entrepreneurial mentor. His first book, “Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored,” became a national bestseller and a motion picture. 

The event will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and includes dinner. It is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

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New nonprofit to take over Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival

The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce is in the process of transferring ownership of the annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival to a new nonprofit organization.

Hook Lines and Singers Inc. will organize and operate the event with proceeds donated to charities, according to a news release from the chamber. This year’s festival is slated for Sept. 23-24 at Crazy Horse Marina.

Tim Reith, a local music enthusiast and owner of Mango’s Bar & Grill, formed the nonprofit in 2022 to help local and national songwriters showcase their talents while providing a venue to raise money for charities.

The chamber has organized 32 wine festivals over the past 34 years, with the fundraiser canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Andy Bruns, the chamber’s executive director, said that while the festival has served the organization well over the years, the pandemic required the nonprofit to pivot to a different business model.

For more information about the festival, visit or

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Claytor Lake State Park reopens campground D, debuts new bathhouse

Claytor Lake State Park has completed the renovation of the bathhouse in Campground D, allowing the park to open 40 additional campsites.

Campground D is the park’s only campground that offers water and electric hookups and can accommodate RV units up to 40 feet. The campground usually opens in March but remained closed at the start of the season for a complete overhaul of the 1980s bathhouse to address several issues, including limited ADA accessibility, aging fixtures and communal showers, according to a news release.

Campground D will open May 26. Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis at or by calling 800-933-PARK (7275).