MARTINSBURG, WV — 20 companies and manufacturing partners from Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties were honored by the West Virginia Department of Economic Development and eastern panhandle development authority agencies on Wednesday during a Manufacturing Day celebration at the Purple Iris in Martinsburg.
Manufacturing Day, celebrated on the first Friday of October each year, is a time to recognize manufacturing companies for their contributions to their local economies. In West Virginia, manufacturers account for 9.88 percent of the state’s total economic output and employ 6.44 percent of the workforce. In the Eastern Panhandle, the manufacturing sector is expected to produce the fastest rate of job growth in the coming years, with a forecast of more than 4 percent annually.
“A vibrant and growing manufacturing base is a big part of what makes our state’s economic future so exciting,” said West Virginia Department of Economic Development Secretary Mitch Carmichael. “Days like this are just one of the ways we can recognize all the ways our manufacturers are helping move West Virginia forward.”
West Virginia manufacturers include companies in chemicals, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, primary metals, automotive components, fabricated products, wood products and more. Due to the state’s location and reliable workforce skilled in various sectors, West Virginia continues to be an ideal place for manufacturing bases.
“West Virginia has the lowest turnover rate for manufacturing jobs in the country and that kind of stability and our business-friendly climate is what is attracting companies to come and invest in our state,” said West Virginia Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Mike Graney.
From base polymers in cosmetics and window seals to finished goods such as spark plugs, tableware, charcoal and kitchen cabinets, many consumer products in the United States contain parts and components made in West Virginia.
“The manufacturing industry plays such an important role in West Virginia and Manufacturing Day was a great day for us to connect with eastern panhandle manufacturers,” said Jim Linsenmeyer, business retention representative for the West Virginia Department of Economic Development. “Building relationships through events like this is one of the ways we can help strengthen our businesses, which is what the West Virginia Department of Economic Development does best.”
The event was sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, Berkeley County Development Authority, Jefferson County Development Authority and Morgan County Economic Development Authority.