The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that Virginia Beach-based Stihl Inc. has been awarded the National Business of the Year Award by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA). Because of its emphasis on building a strong and able workforce, Stihl Inc. is a company that exemplifies the Governor’s vision for the New Virginia economy.
Stihl Inc. manufactures the number one-selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America. The company began U.S. operations in 1974 in Virginia Beach with 37 employees in a small warehouse, which after numerous expansions, now covers 2 million square feet and employs nearly 2,000 employees, exporting its products to more than 90 countries. Stihl Inc. supports the local workforce by partnering with local high schools and educational centers, such as the Virginia Beach Advanced Technology Center. The mission of this support is to address the increasing demand among Hampton Roads’ employers for a well-trained and educated future workforce, especially in areas of STEM and global business.
Stihl Inc. is committed to the development of its employees and to being a leader in the community and state. Through extensive and in-house driven training programs, Stihl Inc. associates learn the skills needed to be successful in today’s manufacturing arena. Whether it be advanced leadership, lean manufacturing principles, or Six Sigma techniques, it is vital that Stihl Inc. provides a platform for its employees to learn, develop, and grow. Development and retention of employees is a key element in the drive for competitive advantage and sustained profitability and growth.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said, “Virginia businesses are showing the rest of the country how to develop and support the 21st century workforce. Stihl has set the standard for everyone else to follow.”
“Stihl engaged the state workforce system in innovative and productive ways that have benefited the company and its community,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “I’m delighted that NASWA has recognized Stihl’s tireless efforts to develop a world-class workforce.”
The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) is an organization of state administrators of unemployment insurance laws, employment services, training programs, employment statistics, and labor market information. Throughout its more than 75-year history, NASWA has strengthened the workforce system through information exchange, liaison, and advocacy.