Gov. Bob Wise is scheduled to be in Wood County Thursday morning, to break ground for construction of the Luigino's food processing plant. It would be the culmination of an announcement made three and-a-half years ago, by then-West Virginia Governor Cecil Underwood.
Plans called for the plant to be completed by the end of 2000, employing 600 people. Since that announcement, however, concerns over both the financing and construction of the plant have delayed the project.
Local and state officials would say little about tomorrow's event. But all signs point to it taking place. Notably, the signs pointing to the site of Thursday's event.
The planned announcement comes on the heels of voter passage of West Virginia Amendment One. The issue is intended to help finance new economic development projects.
Jim Kinnett, head of the Wood County Economic Roundtable, says his experience shows the issue is a good idea. He was involved in a project in Indiana not unlike Luigino's, that brought hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefits to that area.
Since Luigino's first came about in 1999, it would not benefit from Amendment One. But Kinnett hopes Tuesday's passage of that issue will help bring similar businesses, and jobs, to our area.
News of the formal announcement came in a fax from the Mid-Ohio Valley Chamber of Commerce.
A spokesperson for Gov. Wise's office, however, said only that it would be "a major jobs announcement."