It was the Jesuits who first built a road from Rio de Janeiro across the Serra do Mar mountain range to São Paulo. As they crossed through the region of the Valley of Paraíba, one of their stopping points was on the Paraíba do Sul River. It was this way station, Volta Redonda, named for a curious curve in the river, that eventually grew to be the thriving city it is today.
Volta Redonda has historically been a profitable place to do business. The early forms of business were agrarian in nature: the first major industry was coffee production, then ranching, then agriculture. In the industrial era, a new commodity drove the local economysteel. As world for steel demand rose, a diplomatic deal was struck between Brazil and the United States. On April 9, 1941, President Getúlio Vargas created Companhia Siderúgica Nacional (National Steel Company), or CSN. Strategically located between the iron-producing state of Minas Gerais and the markets of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Volta Redonda was the ideal birthplace of the Brazillian steel industry. With the establishment of CSN, Volta Redonda prospered at the heart of the main trade axis of Southeastern Brazil.
The construction of CSN had a radical effect on the course of our citys history. Prior to 1941, the was home to approximately three thousand (3,000) inhabitants. As industry grew, jobs attracted families from many different regions. Housing, and trade rose with the population. By 1950, while Volta Redonda was still a section of the neighboring municipality of Barra Mansa, there were already almost 36,000 people living in it. Emancipation finally came thirteen years after CSNs foundation, on July 17 1954.
In 1973, the district was categorized as a National Security Area, so civil authority was administered at the federal level. 1985 saw the reestablishment of local municipal control and direct mayoral elections.
1993 gave rise to a new cycle of changes. The privatization of CSN resulted in a great number of lay-offs and a serious economic crises in the city. Only with the intervention of public power and the support of city leadership were the difficulties overcome. We met the challenges by developing the regions natural advantages as a center for service industry and strong local trade.
Throughout the 1990s, the construction of major commercial buildings renovated the urban center and rejuvenated the real estate market. City planning improved and began to be a key issue in city and regional politics. The city was being reinventedmoving away from a single-industry economy to one that focused more on the generation of new jobs and social and economic development. Volta Redonda, formerly known as Cidade do Aço (City of Steel), became a city of more diverse abilities, distinguishing itself as a regional center of health services, education and trade.
Endereço: Praça Sávio Gama, 53 – bairro Aterrado – Volta Redonda – CEP: 27215-620
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