Virginia-based drone company expanding, promising 655 jobs

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia-headquartered leader in drone technology services is expanding its operations in the state, a move expected to create 655 new jobs, state officials announced Wednesday.

DroneUp LLC will invest $7 million to expand its Virginia Beach headquarters, creating 510 new jobs, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office said in a news release. The company will also invest $20.2 million to establish a new testing, training, and research and development center for drone operators at Richard Bland College in Dinwiddie County south of Richmond, the news release said. That project is expected to create 145 new jobs.

“This is an impressive and highly impactful project for Virginia Beach, Dinwiddie County, and beyond that represents a new age of technology for our society, and DroneUp is at the forefront of Unmanned Aircraft System development,” Youngkin said in a statement.

The company previously announced an agreement with Walmart to provide drone delivery services. It said Wednesday that it planned to establish three “drone hubs” at Walmart locations in central Virginia this year.

The governor announced the project at a news conference outside the executive mansion that featured a drone demonstration.

The project is eligible for a range of taxpayer-funded incentives, including over $5 million in grant funding.

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