SUFFOLK, VA - Custom office furniture firm Friant and Associates is expanding its manufacturing base eastward. The Oakland, CA-based manufacturer announced it will invest $17.4 million to open a new plant in Suffolk, VA.

The new plant is expected to create 166 jobs for the area.

“With a new manufacturing point in Virginia, we can better serve our customers and partners on the East Coast,” said Paul Friant, Friant and Associates’ founder and CEO. “This is an ideal location logistically with great access to the port. We look forward to the opportunities to come as we experience this milestone in our company history with the people of Virginia.”

Founded in 1990, Friant and Associates designs and manufactures custom furniture including office systems, casegoods and seating.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said the state successfully competed against Maryland for the project.  In announcing the news Sept. 25, Gov. McAuliffe noted, "The unrivaled global access provided by the nearby Port of Virginia was a major factor in winning this tremendous project. Friant and Associates will also be able to capitalize on Virginia’s outstanding business climate and our world class workforce.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Suffolk, the Port of Virginia, and the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. In addition to a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Suffolk with the project, funding and services for training will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

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