MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The preparation for luring a large company like Procter & Gamble began in 2012 when the Berkeley County Development Authority opted to expand the Tabler Station Industrial Park along I-81 to 600 acres.

“There are plenty of sites all over the mid-Atlantic that will accommodate the average 50- to 100-acre industrial project, but there are very few that will accommodate a mega-manufacturer project,” executive director Stephen Christian told MetroNews.

P&G announced Tuesday it will build a $500-million manufacturing plant on 450 acres at the Tabler Station site. The project is expected to create at least 1,000 construction jobs, followed by 700 permanent jobs once the plant is operational.

“These jobs are going to be real careers,” Christian said. “People can spend their lives working for Procter & Gamble, enjoying all the benefits of working for a real blue-chip company.”

Construction on the plant is expected to begin later this year with an opening possible in 2017.

The Martinsburg site was among 40 the company considered and will represent only the second manufacturing plant P&G has built in the U.S. since 1971.

“This is great,” U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said. “Congratulations to Procter & Gamble, to the local economic development folks and to the governor. We helped the local economic development folks to develop Tabler Station where they are going to develop their facilities. It’s a wonderful announcement.”

Christian said the development authority, the state Development Office and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin did what was necessary to make Berkeley County a competitive option.

Proctor & Gamble currently operates 29 plants in 21 states and topped $83 billion in sales during 2014. It announced last March plans to drop 100 brands and streamline its business toward 80 remaining brands—including Tide, Crest, Gillette, Olay, Pampers, and Duracell—that account for 90 percent of sales.

“This new plant will leverage economies of scale and standardized manufacturing platforms to P&G’s advantage by allowing us to produce multiple brands at one strategic location,” Yannis Skoufalos, P&G’s global product supply officer, told where the company is headquartered.

Joining large facilities located in Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, P&G’s new plant is designed to maximize the company’s new distribution network.

“This will enable us to rapidly and efficiently serve retail customers and consumers throughout the eastern half of the United States, reaching 80 percent of them within one-day transit,” Skoufalos said.

Christian believes this is just the start, vowing the authority will begin recruiting spinoff companies that can benefit from the Procter & Gamble plant.

“This is the end of the process of recruiting Procter & Gamble to come to Berkeley County but it is the beginning of the process of really creating a ripple-effect in the economy that’s based around a major manufacturer,” he said.

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  • Alfred E. Newman

    Do you seriously believe manufacturing plants run without administrative and engineering jobs? Chemists or quality control managers? Safety engineers? What about suppliers of equipment to the facility? I used to work as a sales engineer and helped many companies improve their bottom lines through improving their processes.

    Where do people get this notion that only $10-15 jobs are the only that exist? If you don't like your lot in life go get an education. Quit acting like a victim when something good decides to come here.

  • Paul

    You're right, they shouldn't come. Let's improve things even more by closing down all the other companies that operate in WV and see where it gets us.

  • Paul

    The price of housing is much higher in those other states so most of the workers would probably stay in WV.

  • Sean

    It's not the jobs that's the big problem. It's the competitive wages that West Virginia can offer compared to the states bordering the eastern panhandle. I'm not saying that P & G isn't a great thing or downplaying how important this is to the state, but it's will be the same old thing If the wages aren't comparable.

  • Danette

    i hope taxes go to your schools!
    I surely hope the jobs pay better than $10 an hour! What a rape of hard working west Virginians

  • Kitty Litter

    This will be a manufacturing plant. I seriously doubt the majority of the folks to be employed there will be required to posses a degree of any kind related to the chemical industry. Expect most wages to be in the $10-$15 range. Anything more and they wouldn't be coming to WV.

  • Kitty Litter

    income tax derived from the payroll will easily eclipse any incentives offered,

    Not so fast. You are assuming these workers will live in WV. You do realize VA, MD and PA are within 30 minutes of the proposed location.

  • goatman

    Congratulations to Steve Christian and everyone in Berkeley County! This is beyond huge. The project itself is the economic development victory of the year for WV, but the spinoff and the POSITIVE PR for the State could bear fruit for years to come.

    Anyone worrying about the incentives should consider that the income tax derived from the payroll will easily eclipse any incentives offered, not to mention the huge increase to sales tax revenue through the disposable income generated by this project. The retail and service sector will see increased sales as well, as this money turns over several times in Berkeley County and WV.

    This is a great day for economic development in WV!

  • lostinthe40s

    Yes, just great! This will bring 650 new families to an area that is already overcrowded, has 7 stoplights in a two mile section of Rt. 9, has overcrowded schools, a water system upgrade that I will have to pay for, and more. Politicians just can't stay the he-- out of these things and let nature takes it course. And what did the state and county give away to get this? Probably 10 or more years tax free. I saw facilities built in the Burr Industrial Park in Jefferson Co. where they gave these 10 year tax free deals and the companies closed up and left when their sweet deals ran out!

  • Jim

    I don't know where these people come from that think the chemical industry pays $7 or $10 an hour. I worked in chemicals, and ten years ago, starting wages were $35,000 to $40,000 a year for a bachelor's degree and $80,000 for a Ph. D.

  • ViennaGuy

    $7 isn't even minimum wage. Try again.

  • In da stickes

    Wonderful news for West Virginia and the eastern panhandle. Memo to elected officials. Highways bring economic development. Finish Corridor H, US. 35 and the King Coal Highway.

  • Doobieborough

    And what are the facts regarding "...did what was necessary..."

  • WV Grad

    Great news for the state, congratulations to all who made this happen.

  • All Talk

    Yes, $7/hr jobs with no pension, rights or benefits. Do not piss down my back and tell me it raining. Heard this a hundred times before.

  • Jonus Grumby

    Sounds very good. Kudos to those involved. Hopefully it will bring something better than the $10/hour jobs that are all too prevalent in Berkeley County.

  • cutty77

    Like the Old Saying Goes. If you build it They Will Come. Awesome Vision Here.