EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSToyota Announces It Will Invest $80 Million, Hire 80 At Buffalo Plant
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Dan Matics
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Jeff Morris
Reported: Aug. 30, 2013 11:19 AM EDT
Updated: Aug. 30, 2013 11:00 PM EDT
Buffalo , Putnam County , West Virginia
More jobs are coming to our region.
The Toyota plant in Putnam County announced a major expansion Friday, adding $90 million to its Buffalo operation.
The news was something people in the region were more than happy to hear.
"I think it's great,” Putnam resident Joey Collins said. “Any time you create more jobs and get people working again, it’s a good thing!"
Collins has worked at the plant for several years and lives nearby.
He and others are excited about the 80 new jobs that will be added as the Japanese motor company beefs up its transmission line.
"It's for our transmission plant,” Toyota Senior Vice President Millie Marshall said. “Currently, we produce 500,000 a year. It will move us up to about 740,000 a year."
This makes Toyota's eighth expansion at its Putnam operation, which opened in 1996.
It was a big investment for the Putnam community, now bringing close to 1,300 jobs to the area.
The plan is to increase the transmission assembly by 20,000 per month at the plant, a goal the company hopes to accomplish by early 2015.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia will invest $90 million in its Buffalo plant in Putnam County and creating about 80 jobs.
The announcement was made Friday by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin at the chamber’s 77th Annual Meeting and Business Summit at The Greenbrier resort. The governor was joined by Steve Roberts, president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Doug, Shields, general manager of Toyota Manufacturing of West Virginia.
“This announcement is a true example of what I spoke about Wednesday — West Virginia’s great story of investment and opportunity for our people and you—our businesses. In just two years’ time, TMMWV team members will increase production from half-a-million transmissions to 740,000 transmissions each year. It’s a huge undertaking, but I know they will rise to the challenge,” Tomblin said. “TMMWV team members’ hard work, the quality product they produce, and our state’s commitment to creating a business climate that encourages the private sector to create jobs, led to this latest job growth and investment decision. I’m thankful for Toyota’s continued faith in our work force."
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller in May hosted Toyota Honorary Chairman Dr. Shoichiro Toyoda and Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America CEO Jim Lentz at a dinner in Rockefeller’s home in Charleston, and pressed both to add jobs at Buffalo.
Rockefeller said in a statement that Toyota “is proving to be one of West Virginia’s biggest boosters and economic success stories, and I never miss a chance to brag on the fantastic team members who make up its Buffalo plant. When I first visited with Toyota officials more than 30 years ago, I promised their investment in West Virginia would be met with the hardest and most dedicated workforce. Today’s announcement validates that promise, and I thank Toyota for their ongoing support of our state.”
This investment makes the eighth expansion of the Putnam County facility since it opened back in 1996. TMMWV will increase 6-speed automatic transmission assembly and machining by 20,000 per month by early 2015. Currently 1,300 people are employed at the Buffalo plant.
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