Company to manufacture zero-emission, all-electric school buses in W.Va.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A company that manufactures zero-emission, all-electric school buses is coming to Kanawha County and bringing hundreds of jobs to the Mountain State.
GreenPower Motor Company Inc. has signed an agreement with the state to lease/purchase a 9.5-acre manufacturing facility in South Charleston, including an 80,000-square-foot building.
Mayor Frank Mullens says the facility will be in the Smith fastener Building right behind the fly ash pond project.
“You can just feel it from the buzz around the community, you know, how quick it’s gotten the ground, people are excited about it,” he said.
The operation will bring up to 200 new jobs to the state when manufacturing begins later this year, with the potential workforce to eventually reach up to 900 new jobs when full production is reached in 24 months.
“We’re buying a facility that can currently support about 200 employees the way it sits; we plan to expand that facility,” GreenPower President Brendan Riley said.
Officials with GreenPower say, once the facility reaches full production, the total economic impact could reach nearly $500 million per year.
Riley said they chose West Virginia because it’s perfectly located to make deliveries everywhere they want, has a good highway system and has many trainable employees available for their workforce.
GreenPower will partner with West Virginia’s Workforce Development Board and BridgeValley Community & Technical College for employee recruitment and training. Additional details on this aspect of the project will be provided in the future.
“I’d like to be the first to welcome GreenPower to West Virginia with open arms. We’re thrilled that you’ve chosen to live and work in the paradise that our state offers,” Gov. Justice said. “West Virginia continues to be the best place to do business. I’m excited to help support GreenPower on this important project and for what the future holds for their great company and our great state.”
“GreenPower is pleased to announce its zero-emissions, all-electric school bus manufacturing operations are expanding east of the Mississippi River, with West Virginia becoming our school bus manufacturing base of operations for the region,” said Brendan Riley, President of GreenPower. “West Virginia has shown us to be a pro-business state that has a workforce ready to take advantage of clean energy jobs.
”As West Virginia’s economy transforms, it is important to provide skilled and high-skilled jobs to help workers make the transition as seamless as possible,” Riley continued. “Our facility will provide both training and immediate employment opportunities with a competitive wage.”
Riley says the goal is to have the South Charleston location up and running in the next six to nine months.
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