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(The Center Square) – Internet service provider EarthLink chose Norton, Virginia for its new customer support center in a project that will receive about three-quarters of a million dollars in subsidies with eligibility for more incentives.

EarthLink is investing about $5.4 million to establish the support center, which will create 285 jobs in the commonwealth. The new facility will be about 30,000 square feet at the northeast junction U.S. 23 and U.S. Highway 58 in Norton.

The project will receive at least $749,000 worth of subsidies.

“Having grown up in this area, it gives me great pride to further EarthLink’s efforts to provide award-winning customer experiences through our new sales and service center in Norton,” EarthLink Chief Executive Officer Glenn Goad said in a statement. “We look forward to a long partnership with this community and the employees who will become part of EarthLink.”

Gov. Ralph Northam approved a $686,500 grant for the project through the New Company Incentive Program, which is provided through the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund. A business is eligible for this grant if it meets certain monetary investment and employment criteria in the traded sector industry. A business can only apply for this grant if it is not yet present in the commonwealth.

Another $62,500 worth of grants were approved through the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, which is designed to incentivize economic growth in regions that are moving away from the tobacco industry. The money comes through the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund.

“EarthLink’s new support center in Norton will play a major role in bringing the company’s customer service operations to the United States, creating economic opportunity and new jobs for Virginians,” Northam said in a statement. “The rural regions of the Commonwealth successfully compete for and attract projects due to their infrastructure, business-friendly operating costs, and dedicated and highly-skilled workforce. We look forward to supporting EarthLink’s growth and achievements in the Commonwealth.”

The company is also eligible to receive state funding through the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program and the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit.

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This article originally ran on thecentersquare.com.

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