STS Group AG to create 119 Jobs in Salem, $32 million to be Invested

German manufacturer to locate its North American headquarters in the former General Electric building in Salem

SALEM, VA – Representing $32 million in investment, STS Group AG, a leading global supplier of interior and exterior parts for commercial and personal vehicles, will establish its North American headquarters in the City of Salem in the former General Electric building, adding 119 jobs to the region.

The facility will be operated as subsidiary, STS Group North America, and its presence contributes to the region’s strong automotive manufacturing cluster. The new facility will supply commercial truck assembly operations and automotive facilities throughout the Midwest and Southeastern U.S. markets. STS Group AG is working with Phoenix Group, the owner of the former General Electric building, to upfit roughly 200,000 square feet of the existing space and to construct a 32,000-square-foot addition on the north end of the building.

“Salem is a perfect base for STS Group to start its footprint in the USA, following existing customers locally and extending the customer portfolio,” stated Alberto Buniato, CEO of STS Group. “On top of a perfect existing location in a suitable industrial cluster, we were delighted to find a very attentive and helpful support with the City of Salem, with Roanoke Regional Partnership, and with Virginia Economic Development Partnership.”GE Building in Salem, VA

“We welcome STS to Salem and Virginia’s Blue Ridge Region, and I am confident this high-tech facility and its new locally trained workforce will prove to be the perfect fit for the area and a thriving success for years to come,” said Mayor Renée F. Turk. “It took an exceptional commitment and a great deal of innovative thinking from the City of Salem, regional, and state economic development staff members and leaders to make this venture a reality.”

“We are excited to have the opportunity to work with STS Group and to welcome this company to our diverse automotive manufacturing cluster,” said John Hull, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “STS Group effectively adds a new product to the regional supply chain related to automotive and heavy truck manufacturing and further solidifies the regional value proposition for auto-related manufacturing.”

STS Group AG, headquartered in Hagen, Germany, represents the seventh foreign-owned company and fifth nation in the Salem manufacturing community.  The company, founded in 2013, has 14 manufacturing facilities in four countries and three continents.

STS Group worked with City of Salem, Roanoke Regional Partnership, and Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) in support of the project. The company will receive local assistance with financing, and Governor Youngkin approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Salem with the project. In addition to the initial job creation and investment, the Roanoke Regional Partnership projects an annual economic impact of $66 million in the Roanoke Region from the project, adding an additional 61 indirect and induced jobs.

An investment in a greenfield project in Wythe County had been previously announced. Faced with escalating costs of construction, company officials reevaluated the project and identified an existing building to serve the project’s needs. Communication was established with Wythe County officials to ensure state and local interests were maintained during the transition. The City of Salem and Roanoke Regional Partnership worked closely with company officials, VEDP, and with Phoenix Group, who was represented by Colliers, to retain the investment in Virginia and to secure it for the Roanoke Region and City of Salem. 

Support for STS Group North America’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System and other higher education partners, with funding support from the Governor’s administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation. STS Group is already hiring for the Salem plant, and interested applicants can visit to view open positions and apply.




STS Group AG, (ISIN: DE000A1TNU68), is a leading system supplier to the automotive industry. It employs more than 1,500 people worldwide and generated sales of 235 million EUR in 2021. STS Group (“STS”) produces and develops injection molding and components made of composite materials (Sheet Molding Compound – SMC), such as solid and flexible vehicle and aerodynamic trim, entire interior systems, as well as lightweight construction and battery components for electric vehicles. STS is considered as a technology leader in the manufacture of plastic injection molding and components made of composite materials. STS has a large global footprint with 14 plants in three continents. The customer portfolio comprises leading international manufacturers of commercial vehicles, passenger cars, and electric vehicles.


The Roanoke Regional Partnership, founded in 1983, is the public-private economic development marketing and strategy organization supported by Alleghany, Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke Counties, the Cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem, and the town of Vinton as well as more than 200 businesses. The organization has worked with its partners to create more than 19,000 primary jobs and $19 billion in investment by attracting companies such as Orvis, Altec, McAirlaids, Bimbo Bakeries, Cardinal Glass, Balchem, Eldor, Mack Trucks, Traditional Medicinals, Constellation Brands and others to the region.




Julia Boas returns to Roanoke Regional Partnership as Director of Talent Strategies

Julia Boas has been named the director of talent strategies for the Roanoke Regional Partnership’s talent attraction brand, Get2KnowNoke. Boas previously worked at the Partnership for nearly eight years, serving as the director of events and marketing for the Roanoke Outside Foundation before moving into the role of director of marketing.Headshot Ju

“I am delighted to welcome Julia back to the Partnership team,” said John Hull, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “Julia’s foundation in marketing and communications, combined with her experience in building the regional outdoor/livability brand in her previous role with the Roanoke Outside Foundation, will serve her well as she implements the talent strategies identified in the Thrive 2027 strategic plan.”  

As part of Thrive 2027, the Partnership recognized the importance of expanding the Roanoke Region’s ability to attract and retain in-demand talent as one of the top priorities over the next five years. This position will focus on marketing and brand-building around the talent narrative, supporting expansion needs of Partnership projects, as well as supporting the advancement of the education pipeline and workforce development initiatives. She will implement strategies to market the region as a top destination for talent and work to create and foster connections among academic institutions, employers, local governments, students, and other stakeholders. Julia’s previous work with the Partnership and her natural drive to work hard and create change make her a perfect fit for this role.

“I see so much potential for the Roanoke Region and what we can accomplish when policymakers, educational institutions, and regional businesses align efforts. We’ve made big strides with our outdoor branding initiatives, and I feel confident we can have a major impact in the realm of talent attraction and filling workforce gaps,” Julia said. “Coming back to the Partnership feels like coming home, and together this amazing team is going to make big things happen.”

Prior to rejoining the Partnership, Julia spent a year as the director of marketing for Highwater Management, a local LLC that oversees the management of well-known brands including Cardinal Bicycle, The River and Rail Restaurant, Crystal Spring Grocery Co., and Yard Bull Meats. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Carolina. She was honored with the Roanoker Magazine 40 under 40 distinction in 2020 and selected by Virginia Business as one of the 100 Virginians to Meet in 2020.

The Roanoke Regional Partnership, founded in 1983, is the public-private economic development marketing and strategy organization supported by Alleghany, Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke Counties, the cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem, and the town of Vinton as well as more than 200 businesses. The organization has worked with its partners to create more than 19,000 primary jobs and $19 billion in investment by attracting companies such as Orvis, Altec, McAirlaids, Bimbo Bakeries, Cardinal Glass, Balchem, Eldor, Mack Trucks, Traditional Medicinals, Constellation Brands and others to the region.

If You Build It, They Will Come: Remote Work and In-Migration Accelerate

roanoke region of virginiaWhile we’re not building a baseball field among the cornstalks, we believe the same principle applies to building community. In order to attract top tier businesses, you need high quality talent. And to get that talented workforce here, you must have placemaking and livability measures in place. How do you know if you’ve “built it?” Just look at the numbers.

In-migration to our region is at a 10-year high and remote work is increasing according to the data— signs that the region’s talent attraction and placemaking strategies areMap of East Coast indicating migration having positive impacts. IRS data from 2020 show 1,069 people—another 10-year high—moving to the Roanoke labor supply area (a 60-minute radius). The largest influx is from Lynchburg/Campbell County, but over 300 moved from the Washington D.C. metro area and over 200 moved from Hampton Roads to the Roanoke Region 2020.

Mostly due to the pandemic, remote work has become more popular (and possible) than ever. A national 2021 Business Response Survey done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that between July and September 2021, 13 percent of all U.S. private sector jobs involved teleworking full time, and nine percent involved teleworking some of the timeAbout 10 percent of jobs advertised on now offer remote work or work-at-home benefits. 

Now that folks are no longer tied to the city where they work, many are looking to live elsewhere. So why not here?

We’re continuing to tell the story of the Roanoke Region through our talent ambassador program, targeted marketing campaigns, and sharing examples of collaboration and community. Our region is flush with rivers, mountains, lakes, and trails for residents to enjoy all year long, and we’re directly building community through events like the Experience Conference, Blue Ridge Marathon, Go Cross (live streamed globally this past year), and the annual GO Outside Festival. Additionally, the region is invested in collaborative workspaces to accommodate those who work remotely but want to get out of their homes.

The numbers look good. The region has built it, so the people are coming. New 2021 data released by the US Census Bureau estimate that 13 percent of workers living in the Roanoke MSA are working at home, an increase from five percent of workers in 2016. But the work isn’t done. For 2021, this compares to 18 percent of all US workers and 22 percent of workers in Virginia. Mid-size markets lag compared to larger metros with larger service-based sectors and technology sectors, but Roanoke’s strong performance for a market its size shows the region, and its infrastructure, can support remote work.

Remote workers and those in the gig economy continue to be a priority for the Partnership, so we, along with our community partners, will continue to build—we’ll build on the success we’ve had and continue to put our region on the map. If you can live and work anywhere, we believe the Roanoke Region is the best place to do it.

Virginia Economic Development Partnership Visits Region; Receives Whirlwind Tour

Group of people smiling for the camera outside on a sunny dayHow do you condense eight localities, hundreds of businesses, several higher education institutions, great restaurants and breweries, tons of recreational assets, and southern hospitality into a two-day visit?

This past month, six economic professionals from Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) paid a visit to the Roanoke Region for a familiarization tour, or “fam tour,” to get to know this community and all it has to offer businesses and potential residents. These visits are an opportunity to show off the region’s business assets, livability, and natural beauty so we can be top-of-mind for businesses looking to relocate or expand.

VEDP representatives had the chance to meet and chat with economic development staff from the Cities of Alleghany, Roanoke, and Salem, Counties of Botetourt, Covington, Franklin, and Roanoke, and the Town of Vinton.

They paid visits to Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Virginia Western Community College, Roanoke College, and Mountain Gateway Community College, hopefully gleaning a better understanding of the partnerships forming and pipelines being created to support both local industry and higher ed institutions.

They toured available commercial real estate in the region, both shovel-ready sites and buildings, to get a feel of the size and types of businesses we can accommodate. As for the jobs these new businesses could create? VEDP met with the local workforce development board to learn about the talent already here in the region, initiatives in place to attract more, and programs that can support their future workforce.

People posing around giants letters that spell out "LOVE"

Of course, the itinerary included stops at both the Center for Industry and Technology and Roanoke Center for Research and Technology to demonstrate the region’s robust technology and innovation infrastructure.

Sprinkled throughout these visits were stops at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, favorite restaurants, local breweries, a distillery, and our vibrant downtowns.

How do you tell the story of our region in just two days? The short answer: you can’t. However, with the help of our partners in local government, workforce development, technology, education, and hospitality, we feel like we generated a suitable Cliff’s notes version to keep the Roanoke Region top of mind at the state level.