EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSGESTAMP DEDICATION
from Eyewitness News Online
International Auto Parts Manufacturer Officially Open For Business in South Charleston
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: Troy Morgan, Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Oct. 12, 2012 12:11 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 16, 2012 12:19 PM EDT
South Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
The Kanawha Valley gets good economic news. International auto parts manufactuer Gestamp has officially opened its South Charleston facility.
It's been six years since the former South Charleston Stamping Plant was moving ahead full steam. But now, 70 people work in the building, with the company planning to hire another 30 to 50 by the end of the year as part of its multimillion dollar investment.
Realizing a dream that took years to come true, Gestamp cuts the ribbon on its South Charleston facility.
Once this place was shuttered, many people had little hope this massive enterprise would ever re-open. But a public private partnership pumped 40 million dollars into this building, buying equipment and renovations. That opened the door for Gestamp to come in and find itself a West Virginia home.
Sen. Joe Manchin/(D) West Virginia: My main concern was you let these big presses leave West Virginia we're done. So the state stepped in an we invested the 15 million that bought the inventory.
Ray Park/Park Corporation: It's pretty nice to hear a governor say, we're your partner. That doesn't happen very often. Well, we spent about 40 million dollars renovating the building and going through all of the equipment inside and out.
Gestamp North America's Vice President for Business Development says there is no way the company would build a facility like the one in South Charleston...and that is what makes this situation unique.
Craig Parsons/Gestamp North America: I don't think anybody could afford to build this facility. I mean, this facility was built to specifications for war manufacturing. We would have built it in stages. You know, we would have built the first couple hundred thousand square feet and then expansion. With this we had the unique opportunity to come into..it's a million square feet...fill it up a little bit here, take it on and continue to expand.
With new hot stamping lines in place Gestamp's arrival means many long-time employees here have another chance to work near home and and take care of their families.
Chuck Brown/Gestamp: I'm happy to be here. I think Gestamp seems like a very good company to work for. We've got several new processes coming in that's new to this valley and the industry as a whole so I'm looking forward to it.
Gestamp's total investment is expected to top more than one hundred million dollars. Within five years, the company hopes to have 400 people working here on this site.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin/(D) West Virginia: Gestamp, it's a world-class company. An 11-billion dollar company that could have located any place in the world and we're just very pleased and honored that they chose West Virginia as a place to make this investment.
If you are interested in working at the South Charleston Gestamp facility, contact your local Workforce West Virginia office.
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