Leading global consumer products company Spectrum Brands, Inc., is commemorating the 30th anniversary of its Blacksburg, Va., Global Pet Care manufacturing facility this year, culminating in a weeklong celebration of the milestone later this month.
The Blacksburg plant produces many of the company’s core aquatics and companion animal products, including liquids, aquarium filters and aquatic sea salt for brands such as Nature’s Miracle, FURminator, Instant Ocean, Marineland and Tetra.
“We’re proud of our history in Blacksburg, and this anniversary is a testament to all of our achievements here as well as the team members who make them possible,” said John Pailthorp, President of Spectrum Brands Global Pet Care. “We’re celebrating where we started, what we have achieved and – just as important – where we’re going. It’s really gratifying to do that surrounded by so many employees who have played a significant role in our growth and success.”
The Blacksburg facility opened June 22, 1993, as the headquarters for U.S. operations for Tetra aquarium products. More than 50 Tetra products were manufactured there for worldwide distribution, helping establish the brand’s position as a premier global name in aquatics foods, equipment and care products for fish and reptiles. In 2005, Tetra Holding GMBH became part of the Spectrum Brands family of pet specialty brands. Today, the facility produces more than 150 products in multiple sizes for a variety of Spectrum Brands’ leading Global Pet Care lines, including Nature’s Miracle, FURminator, Instant Ocean, Marineland and Tetra.
During the Blacksburg plant’s three-decade lifetime, the building has grown from a manufacturing and warehouse facility employing about 50 people to a major production center that plays a significant role in product development and execution across the company’s global pet care business.
The years of steady growth at the Blacksburg complex reflect the company’s tradition of innovation and new product development, along with its dedication to meeting consumer needs in a global, dynamic marketplace.
In 2017, Spectrum Brands invested more than $7 million to expand and upgrade its Blacksburg plant, updating equipment, streamlining production lines and retraining employees. Today, the complex employs more than 350 employees in a range of roles, from Production and Safety to Product Marketing, Sourcing, R&D and Regulatory Compliance. The building’s footprint itself has grown to 208,000 sq ft, including a separate R&D annex that’s still expanding.
The facility maintains close ties with the local community and with nearby research university Virginia Tech, which offers unique opportunities for product efficacy testing, student work study partnerships and renowned scientific programs that attract highly qualified graduates who often stay in the area. Last year, Montgomery County, Va., named Spectrum Brands the region’s top employer in the manufacturing category as part of the county’s Best Places to Work program.
During the weeklong celebration starting June 20, Spectrum Brands will recognize the Blacksburg facility’s milestone with a number of events, including a celebration on June 22 for colleagues, guests, family and friends. Eight longtime employees will receive special acknowledgement for their 30 years of service dating back to the building’s opening and 21 additional team members will be recognized for more than 20 years of service.