Construction crews at Micron in Manassas have started work on one of the state’s largest manufacturing projects in modern history.
The 18-month effort to expand the facility is part of a $3 billion project expected to create 1,100 jobs by 2030.
The company officially started construction at the 123-acre property at 9600 Godwin Drive during the last week of November after receiving a special-use permit from Manassas. The permit allows Micron to construct the facility about 117 feet tall instead of 75 feet — the maximum allowable by city ordinance.
Tim O’Brien, Micron’s vice president and the Manassas site director, and Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish spoke Nov. 28 to dozens of Micron employees as they ate cupcakes with green and brown frosting to represent grass and dirt to celebrate the beginning of construction.
“It’s on time,” O’Brien said. “It’s moving and really happening.”
Spray paint outlined various points on part of the facility’s sprawling parking lot, showing where the building will eventually expand.
Parrish said Micron’s employees are “making a difference in the world,” because the products manufactured there are sold across the world. Micron officials said the expansion will solidify its position as the one of the largest exporters in Virginia.
Currently, 1,300 employees work at the location. Since the announced expansion, the company has hired 100 additional workers, including engineers and technicians, O’Brien said. Of the new hires, 45 were already located in Virginia.
Micron is looking to hire recent graduates of universities and community colleges, and veterans, O’Brien said.
“The work we’re able to do is the best in class, because of our workforce,” O’Brien said.
The expansion will allow the company to continue to invest in cutting-edge technology and expand current capabilities, O’Brien said.
“Our customers are always evolving so we are bringing more capabilities on-site to deliver the best products in the world,” O’Brien said.
Around 2002, a lot of the products the company made were for desktop computers, O’Brien said. Now memory and storage products are in smartphones, cars, refrigerators and more.
“It’s a lot more diversified products it’s going into,” he said. “The applications that memory is in, that’s the big change. Now economy is fueled by data, and all that data has to be stored and processed.”
The construction itself will be a boon for local employment. Micron has hired about 20 people for construction so far, but the project will eventually take 1,200 workers, including electricians and others, said John Schafer, Micron’s senior manager for facilities and construction.
Micron officials expect the new building to be completed by the end of 2019, said Stephen Silberstein, Micron’s director of facilities and construction. By mid-2020, equipment will be in place and operations will start.
“Our high quality is what helped enable the company to see the value in growing this site,” said Silberstein, who worked at the company for 16 years. “This is the next phase of life for this.”
Micron officials celebrated the company’s 40th anniversary Oct. 5.
“It’s a great feeling for all the people working here — a lot of pride,” Silberstein said.