UPDATE 11/12/13 @ 6 p.m.
PRICHARD, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- For nearly a decade, Sogefi has been manufacturing car parts in West Virginia for some of the biggest names in the automobile industry.
The plant, which makes everything from engines to fuel pumps and filters, is once again expanding -- bringing in at least 250 new jobs and a $20 million investment to West Virginia.
"While other parts of the U.S. may be leaving manufacturing behind, I'm still confident there's a great future for manufacturing here in West Virginia," Sogefi Plant General Manager Troy Thomas said. "I think our growth here indicates to people that it's a good place to do that."
Thomas says the plant in Prichard will soon look for a little of everything when it comes to new hires.
"We're hiring management staff, logistics people, supervisors, engineers and skilled trades positions which are really in demand here," Thomas said. "We have a whole range of jobs as we grow to staff the company."
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin struck a deal with Sogefi leaders last month while overseas in France. He says the company considered several other sites for this expansion before ultimately deciding on Wayne County.
"We want to keep our people here," Tomblin said. "We want to keep our kids here. The fact that we're creating these jobs here is more incentive for our kids to stay in West Virginia, work here and stay close to their families."
Current plant workers say the expansion is vital for the area.
"I think it's great," maintenance technician Frank Workman said. "This community needs it. There's a lot of people looking for jobs. It's a great opportunity for the community, the state and all of the people involved."
Prospective employees may apply by mailing resumes to Allevard Sogefi USA, Inc., 1389 Round Bottom Road, Prichard, WV 25555. For more information, applicants can call (304) 781-7700.
Allevard Sogefi, along with several local and state leaders announced the jobs during a press conference on Tuesday.
Officials tell WSAZ.com the company will soon add a new production line to its auto parts plant in Prichard.
According to a press release from Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, the agreement was struck last month in France when the governor met with the Sogefi Group CEO Guglielmo Fiocchi. The meeting was part of his European investment mission.
"West Virginia offers tremendous value for businesses who need a top-notch workforce and a winning business climate,” Gov. Tomblin said. “Sogefi’s expansion underscores the competitive edge that’s attracting more and more businesses to our state.”
“I’ve said time and again, I will go anywhere to bring more good-paying jobs to West Virginia,” Gov. Tomblin continued. “When I met with Mr. Fiocchi last month in France, he praised West Virginia’s hardworking people and his company’s experience in the state. Sogefi’s decision to grow its Wayne County operation is a vote of confidence in all the things we’ve done to make West Virginia a great place to do business.”
Sogefi’s Wayne County plant, which opened in 2004, manufactures parts for automobile engines, including fuel pumps, fuel filters, and oil filters. Parts from the company’s West Virginia plant are used by global automotive giants including Toyota, Ford, Fiat, Chrysler, BMW, Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai, and Kia. The plant produces more than 5 million pumps and filters every year.
The $20 million expansion will allow the company to add engine intake manifolds to the product line.
An intake manifold delivers the combustion air that powers an automobile engine. The Prichard plant will manufacture intake manifolds for General Motors, adding yet another major auto producer to the plant’s customer list.
The plant will continue manufacturing integrated fluid filtration products.
“The plant that we opened in West Virginia in 2004 was the first entry of Sogefi S.p.A into North America,” said Fiocchi. “Our company has had great success in West Virginia, and we consider the partnership with the state and local government officials to be important factors.”
“I am pleased about the great news for Wayne County and the entire region. Sogefi is growing and that means our economy is improving,” said Gary Walton, president of the Huntington Area Development Council (HADCO). “When HADCO built the spec building that grew into Allevard Sogefi USA, Inc., this was exactly what our board of directors envisioned: more employment and more private investment. This development would not have happened without tremendous cooperation among federal, state and local government.”
Plant modifications, which include repurposing the plant's existing space, are scheduled to begin in January.
Equipment is expected to start arriving in May.
Hiring for skilled positions — engineers, quality staff, supervisors and maintenance technicians — will start in January 2014. Production positions will be added gradually from around April through August. Prospective employees may apply by mailing resumes to Allevard Sogefi USA, Inc., 1389 Round Bottom Road, Prichard, WV 25555. For more information, applicants can call (304) 781-7700.
Keep clicking for WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.
The announcement comes on the heels of the governor's 13-day investment mission to Europe last month.
During the meeting, the governor says he met with Sogefi Group CEO Guglielmo Fiocchi.
The announcement is scheduled for Tuesday morning at the Prichard plant.
In April 2012, the company expanded, adding 45 new jobs. Click the link below to read more on that expansion.
The company produces filters for the automotive industry.