LEGO investing $1 billion in Chesterfield plant, bringing 1,760 jobs

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 8:56 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2022 at 7:20 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia isn’t just for lovers; now it’s for LEGOs too. Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Wednesday that LEGO Group is investing more than $1 billion to construct its U.S. manufacturing plant in Chesterfield.

The project includes a new 1.7 million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Meadowville Technology Park, bringing 1,760 new jobs to the region.

“This world-class facility will be built brick by brick,” Youngkin said. “The LEGO leadership team knows exactly what best looks like. Therefore, we had a very straightforward negotiation; a very straightforward discussion in order to bring this about, and I’m just very, very pleased.”

Youngkin made the official announcement by connecting a heart made of the iconic brick to a rendering of the state of Virginia made entirely of LEGO round tile elements, representing the first of many bricks in the commonwealth.

The 1.7 million square foot building will put Virginia on the map as the country’s first LEGO factory. The factory will do everything from producing the company’s full range of bricks, mini-figures, and product lines for distribution throughout the U.S. market.

“The LEGO Group’s decision to establish its U.S. manufacturing plant in Virginia shines a global spotlight on the advantages that make the Commonwealth the best business location in the nation, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with this iconic company,” said Youngkin.

Wednesday’s announcement was made at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond.

“The LEGO Group not only has one of the most accessible, fun, and engaging products that help our children learn, but also brings values such as caring deeply for their employees, environmental sustainability, and innovation to reach the highest quality in everything they do,” said Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors Chair Chris Winslow.

Niels B. Christiansen, CEO of the LEGO Group, said the company was impressed with what Virginia offers, including its workforce, manufacturers, and transport links. He says Virginia competed with many states across the country for more than a year before LEGO Group finally settled on Virginia.

Each LEGO brick is molded on a hair’s width accuracy to ensure the clutch power that holds LEGO creations together. The company believes the Commonwealth has the high-skilled workforce necessary to produce the product to the highest standards.

Youngkin reinforced his commitment to investing in the state’s K-12 schools to ensure that LEGO has a solid workforce to pull from for years to come.

“That is reflective of the workforce that’s there, but it’s also very much reflective of the workforce that we are going to build in Virginia, and that’s why our K-12 education initiatives are so important,” Youngkin said.

Additionally, Christiansen says he wants this new manufacturing plant to be LEGO’s greenest project yet.

LEGO Chief Operations Officer Karsten Rasmussen says the factory will be designed to operate as a carbon-neutral facility. In addition, a solar park will be built next to the factory that Rasmussen says will match 100% of the plant’s day-to-day energy needs.

“It’s not just about having zero CO2 emissions, but also working in water reduction, less use of energy, and waste reduction. And for us, this is a very important ambition because we want to ensure the planet is safe for the next many generations,” Rasmussen said. “The children are our role models, and we need to make sure that the world is safe for them.”

Rasmussen says efforts will be made to create LEGO bricks out of more sustainable plastic materials so that over time, it will be a more sustainable product that will be made more sustainably.

“We appreciate the support for our ambition to build a carbon-neutral run facility and construct a solar park and are looking forward to building a great team with support from the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program,” he said.

The plant is projected to open in mid-2025, but a temporary packaging site will open in an existing building nearby the technology park in early 2024 and create up to 500 jobs.

For a list of available jobs at the new LEGO manufacturing plant, click HERE.

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