All of Wood County is buzzing about the opportunities for growth that the Hino Plant will bring, from jobs, to a hand in the global economy.
"We are definitely open for business," says Williamson Mayor Jean Ford.
Monday marked a new era in Wood County with a step into the global economy.
"I'm really excited, as you know, I said I'm not really excited as I am ecstatic because its just been long in this process," says Ford.
"It has special meaning, because we all thought when Walker, in 2004 left, I think we thought 'Oh here's another dark cloud.' To be able to have this turnaround of this magnitude, in this period of time, it's just unbelievable," says Gov. Joe Manchin.
Monday morning, that dark cloud lifted, clearing the way for Hino Motors to roll into town, and folks in Wood County can only thank themselves.
"The workforce is a tremendous factor. Probably the swaying factor. But the state has to have its act together, the tax system has to be more competitive. And we worked on that for two and a half years, and we've been able to reduce the corporate tax, the franchise tax," says Gov. Manchin.
Officials say West Virginia and Wood County, are becoming more and more appealing for large corporations like Hino and Toyota.
"Well basically when you have this type of investment from a world class company, it says that people have looked long and far and they can afford to go anywhere, everyone attracting them and courting them, if you will and making different kinds of incentives to come to my state and my area...And when all the dust settled. They chose Williamstown, West Virginia," says Manchin.
In choosing Williamstown, Hino created opportunity.
"I'm just sure that its not only going to be good for Williamstown, but for the whole surrounding county," says Mayor Ford.
With the possibility of hundreds of new jobs and a hand in the global market. West Virginia and Wood County are certainly open for business.
The county will initially see anywhere from 80 to 100 jobs becoming available by the projected open date in November, and as the company grows and stabilizes upwards of 500 jobs could become available for folks in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
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