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PPD Expansion to Bring 190 New Jobs to Henrico

PPD, Inc., a global contract research organization providing drug discovery, development and lifecycle management services, announced today that it plans to invest $28 million to expand its Lab Services Division in Henrico County during the next three years, creating an estimated 190 new jobs during that time. The operation provides research and development services and clinical trial services for drug development.

“This major expansion will continue to position PPD as a strong player in the life sciences industry, a target industry for Henrico County, the Greater Richmond region and the Commonwealth of Virginia," said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. "Not only will the company create 190 new jobs, the average salary for those jobs will be higher than the prevailing average wage for the region. I look forward to PPD’s continued success in Virginia.”

“PPD chose to expand at its Henrico County facility due to the quality of the current employees and the skilled workforce available in the region,” said Jim Cheng, Virginia secretary of Commerce and Trade. “With this significant investment and new job creation, PPD ensures that its future business prospects are bright and further growth is likely.”

PPD's clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations. With offices in 42 countries and more than 10,500 professionals worldwide, PPD applies innovative technologies, therapeutic expertise and a commitment to quality to help clients and partners accelerate the delivery of safe and effective therapeutics and maximize the returns on their R&D investments. The company's worldwide headquarters are in Wilmington, N.C.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Henrico County to secure the project for Virginia. McDonnell approved a $150,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Henrico County with the project. The Governor also approved $500,000 in a performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies.

“PPD’s decision to establish their Dabney Road facility as a ‘Center of Excellence’ and add 190 professional jobs is wonderful news,” said Patricia S. O’Bannon, Chairman of Henrico Board of Supervisors. “In such a competitive economic environment, this announcement confirms that Henrico County offers a high-quality workforce and a pro-business climate in a community with the quality of life necessary to attract talent from anywhere in the world.”
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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Gallmeyer Farms will host its fourth annual Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Pumpkin Patch, 4506 Millers Ln. There will be live entertainment, hay rides and… Full text

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