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Braven Environmental to bring jobs to Cumberland County

Braven Environmental, a company that derives fuel from landfill-bound plastic, will invest $31.7 million to establish a manufacturing operation in Cumberland County’s shell building.

The development, announced by Gov. Ralph Northam Tuesday, June 2, will create 52 new jobs in the county, which has not had an economic development announcement since 2009. Virginia officials were competing with North Carolina and South Carolina for the project.

“Braven Environmental will bring well-paid job opportunities to the citizens of Cumberland County while lessening our overall environmental footprint in the years to come,” Northam said. “Providing the business environment and infrastructure to attract operations of this kind to rural Virginia is critical to our efforts to generate economic growth in all corners of the commonwealth. Our economy is hurting right now, and these new jobs will have a great impact in the region.”

A release from the governor’s office said Braven Environmental uses the science of pyrolysis, not incineration, to break down waste plastics with minimal emissions. The output can be used to create new plastics or as fuel produced with much lower carbon emissions than traditional oil or gas production. Braven Environmental’s new plant will stop waste plastics from entering landfills, oceans, and waterways, while also reducing Virginia’s greenhouse gas emissions by ending the impact of long distance transportation used in current waste plastic solutions. Braven Environmental is committed to hiring locally and providing good jobs in the Cumberland County community. The company plans to create a total of over 80 new jobs within 18 months of the first phase of this project. 

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Cumberland County and Virginia’s Growth Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $150,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Cumberland County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $65,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project, and funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“Braven’s decision to locate in Cumberland County represents a great economic boost for our community,” District 1 Supervisor and Cumberland Board of Supervisors Chairman Brian Stanley said Wednesday. “Cumberland citizens will have the first opportunity for the 52 jobs Braven brings to the enterprise.

“This development will be the first company to occupy our commercial business park on commerce drive in Cumberland, and has been the catalyst for needed infrastructure improvements on site. We look forward to Braven joining our community, and look forward to a prosperous future for all Cumberland citizens.”