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EXCLUSIVE: The Newest Job Bust: GOK Industries

I’ve been working on this story for a few weeks and I now have enough properly sourced information to publish it. GOK Industries is not going to build their Danville furniture plant and will not be creating the 300 jobs as promised in the announcement. You’ve heard it first on SouthsideCentral.

Let’s take a look at the original job announcement…

Chinese Furniture Assembly Plant Coming to Virginia

Although there has been no official announcement of this project’s death (and there rarely is announcements of that type), I have discovered enough in my research that I feel comfortable saying that this project is never going to come through. This Job Bust will also have deeper ramifications as the city’s economic development department was using the president of GOK to recruit other Chinese industries to open factories in Danville.

I’m not surprised by the results of my research one bit. This is another in the long history of big job announcements that turn out to be Job Busts. I hope I’m totally wrong and I’ll be glad to retract this story if GOK comes through and actually completes their part of this job deal. Unfortunately, I know that’s not going happen and now Danville has yet another rug pulled out from under the citizens.

I am going to continue my research into what’s going on with this and will update this story (or publish a new article) as I get more details on what’s happening.

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8 comments to EXCLUSIVE: The Newest Job Bust: GOK Industries

  • Jim

    The Chinese did indeed plan to open the factory in Danville, but a series of unfortunate automobile accidents prevented them from ever arriving here.

  • Travis

    The Fearn Plantaion debacle added to this as well, when the city let property they owned free and clear to be held hostage by individuals that boldly stated they did not want the company and its jobs because they were Chinese is partly to blame as well.

  • Buddy

    The key people dealing with the Chinese were Jeremy Stratton and Kenneth Bowman. The latter was fired by Pittsylvania County for the silliest of reasons, and Stratton has left town. The Chinese are not stupid. When they saw the level of mismanagement and incompetence of our areas economic development operation, they took their money and ran! GOK and Webparts are merely examples of the joke we have become in terms of sleazy operators grabbing easy money and heading for the hills.

  • Jerry

    The Tobacco Commission/City of Danville “throw cash incentives” “strategy” (and I use that term loosely) started in 2002/2003.
    We’re talking about a dozen years of this. In a dozen years of throwing tens of millions of dollars at this “strategy”, has the quality of life in Danville improved? A smaller number of actual employed citizens, population decline, a hospital that’s a shell of its former self (I think some would be shocked at the names that have gone to NC or Lynchburg for hospital care), we’ve lost Harris Teeter and Kroger so that all that remains is Wal Mart and Food Lion, probably the least attractive downtown in Virginia of a city with 40K or more population, a public school system that has become so much of a laughingstock that even Councilmembers are mocking the new “executive” positions w/o position descriptions, etc.
    Look an hour up the road. In 1990, Lynchburg had 65K in population, Danville had 54K. Both were “aged” cities whose economy was in a bad condition. Like Danville, L’burg had a very “old” economy centered on traditional manufacturing. The cities were similar economically, demographically, and culturally.
    24 years later? L’burg has a Fresh Market and Kroger as healthy grocery options, a very well-performing diversified economy, a nationally ranked hospital, a reviving downtown, a decent public school system, population and economic growth, a fairly vibrant cultural scene, etc. And all done with no Tobacco Commission money (L’burg is not covered by the Tobacco Commission).
    So…obviously, they’re doing something well and they’re not throwing tens of millions at low wage employers to locate there. Perhaps there’s a lesson that could be learned from them. I’d say Tobacco Commission $ has been more of a plague for Danville than a blessing. Lots of “announcements”, very little economic growth or vitality.

  • A good sign to activity at a business – simply drive by the parking lot mid-day during the week. Amazing what you do not find.

  • By the way Jerry, somebody needs to tell the Council and Mayor. They all think we are on the right track.

  • […] I don’t believe this one damned bit. I don’t believe that GOK will ever come close to 300 jobs in the remaining part of their 3-year agreement. I believe that the city was forced to try to put some kind of a positive spin on this GOK debacle ever since SouthsideCentral declared the company to be a Job Bust last month. […]

  • […] already know about GOK International’s $1 million wipeout and their pending rebirth which probably isn’t going to […]

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