Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was all smiles with Berkeley County officials Tuesday in announcing P&G plant project.

Gov's office

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was all smiles with Berkeley County officials Tuesday in announcing P&G plant project.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia beat out several states and dozens of other potential sites for the $500-million Procter & Gamble manufacturing plant to be built along Interstate 81 in Berkeley County.

“They began with over 40 sites identified across the entire northeast and began a process with us over a year and a half ago,” state Commerce Secretary and Development Office executive director Keith Burdette said during a Tuesday news conference at the state capitol. “We competed against bigger and wealthier states with a lot more flat property than we have.”

The plant is planned for the Tabler Station Business Park in Martinsburg, which has grown to 600 acres since 2012. P&G will use approximately 450 acres for the project. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

In a Tuesday morning announcement, the company said the more than 1-million square-foot facility “will produce multiple P&G brands when it is fully operational.”

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin estimated the plant would create 1,000 construction jobs and 700 permanent positions.

“For years we have worked hard to make West Virginia an even stronger competitor for economic development investments, and companies around the world are noticing the changes we have made,” Tomblin said at the capitol.

Cincinnati-based P&G said the manufacturing facility “will be one of the most advanced and sustainable plants among P&G’s global manufacturing and supply-chain operations.

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,” said Yannis Skoufalos, P&G’s global product supply officer, said in a company news release.

P&G has a new distribution center network with large plants in Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania and the Martinsburg facility is seen has a good fit.

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,” added Skoufalos.

Commerce Secretary Burdette said P&G hasn’t built many new manufacturing plants in the U.S. making Tuesday’s announcement that much more significant.

“This is only their second new facility to be constructed in the United States in 40 years (since 1971) and to say that this was a highly coveted project would be a gross understatement,” he said.

The investment has been talked about for some time in Berkeley County, it’s called Project Independence, although the specific company hasn’t been mentioned.

U.S. Sen.Joe Manchin praised the news:

It is great news for the residents of Berkeley County, the Eastern Panhandle and the entire state of West Virginia that Procter & Gamble plans to move forward with Project Independence, a vast manufacturing project that will create hundreds of new jobs, boost economic development and undoubtedly diversify the Mountain State’s economic landscape.”

Among its 80 brands of consumer goods, P&G manufactures Always, Ambi Pur, Ariel, Bounty, Charmin, Crest, Dawn, Downy, Fairy, Febreze, Gain, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Lenor, Olay, Oral-B, Pampers, Pantene, SK-II, Tide, Vicks, Wella and Whisper.

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  • Jonus Grumby

    While I'm certainly excited about the news, I am only cautiously optimistic. Curiosity has me wondering what effect this will have on current property taxes, schools, and the cost of the infrastructure to the taxpayers. I realize there has to be incentives to lure business into an area. It's a very competitive process. However, too many times we find the citizens on the hook for corporate welfare. I hope this is different.

  • ThrMburg

    How ironic that P&G will bring 700 jobs to Berk Co but the school board is broke and teachers have to get refrig and microwaves out of rooms because it costs too much.

  • Corporate Joe

    When we hear of any and all State Incentives and what it actually will cost the state and local govt will be interesting. Seems to me, large corporations that make billions and create good returns for Stock Holders shouldn't need to bleed the govt for incentives.

    I feel if someone researched all the money that corporations receive as incentives to locate here, it would show most of that money is never recovered. Taxpayers pay more to subsidize more spending on infrastructure, schools and roads etc. All the trucks and traffic created etc.

    Also I just read that they were going to need millions of gallons of Water in the manufacturing process so hopefully that area has plenty. I would be concerned about the industrial waste created and where that ends up.

    It was just announced that a company bought 3m plant in Middleway as it is polluted and needs cleaning before it can be sold. (Brown site) So why didn't the company who created the pollution clean it up?

    Govt doesn't require corporations to have a Clean Up fund and if they go bankrupt or close the local area is left with the mess.

    Just wait till fracking mistakes start to destroy ground water etc. I bet the Local Taxpayer will end up paying the bill.

    • denz

      And to think this largee corporation could have built in mexico and will probably regret not doing so

    • Sheryry

      Love the positive thoughts

    • Jonus Grumby

      "I feel if someone researched all the money that corporations receive as incentives to locate here, it would show most of that money is never recovered. Taxpayers pay more to subsidize more spending on infrastructure, schools and roads etc. All the trucks and traffic created etc."

      I'd be very interested to read the report that confirms what you say. Please tell us of the source.

  • Dr. Pill

    Let's get real.

    I predict there's going to be a rise in bruises, abrasions and other injuries as WV lawmakers start 'tripping all over' each other, struggling and fighting to take credit for this new P&G plant.

    Of course, Governor Tomblin has the inside track for taking the lion's share of the credit for this, but you can bet your boots that both the GOP and the Democrat lawmakers will try to outscream each other and hope voters will believe that their side of the aisle was responsible.

    To quote ex-NFL star Terrell Owens: "Get your popcorn ready!"

    All this political posturing makes very grand theater!

    • Jonus Grumby

      You said it. Let's not forget sprained arms for patting themselves on the back.

  • ThrMburg

    I hope they hire area workers for these jobs. I am not voting to build any more schools for out of staters

    • Virginia Beach resident


  • Frank the tank

    location, location, location

  • Randy

    Oh sure, stand up and cheer. But this company makes things like paper towels, shampoo, diapers and soap. INSTRUMENTS OF DEATH! Another grieving family after someone slips on the soap in the shower. Another terrible injury from diaper rash. Yeesh! Although my friend Gary does go on and on about their baby oil. Something about it being gentle on gerbil fur.

    • Jesse

      They also make toilet paper which an a**hole like you should appreciate.

  • Andy

    This is the kind of development and investment we need in the state. I hope to see more of this in central and southern West Virginia. Then, and only then, will folks have options outside the coal industry. An even greater benefit, jobs like these require technical and formal education for advancement. Hopefully that leads to a better educated/trained workforce and that stays put in WV.

    • Pete

      Out-of-work coal miners with skills do NOT have to sit on their couches & draw unemployment! I worked over 30 years for the telephone company & had to move multiple times! The hollers do not chain miners in place! Move to the Panhandle & get back to work!

  • Chris

    This will be just like Macy's where they pay about $10 an hour.

    • Jephre

      I don't think so - Macy's is a distribution center, the P&G facility will be manufacturing. Big difference.

      • Jonus Grumby

        I hope you are right. Currently, there's a plethora of $10/hour jobs in Berkeley County.

        • Virginia Beach resident

          There is also a plethora of jobs with higher pay, its all a matter of how hard your willing to work and/or apply yourself. If your okay with working for $10 an hour for the rest of your life then you will. Simple as that

          • Mtneer001

            If NAFTA and free trade policies have shown us anything, its that a strong manufacturing base leads to a bigger, better and more diverse economy for all strata.

          • Martinsburg Resident

            Tabler: maybe you got the wrong degree? Virginia Beach is spot on... Sometimes it requires doing work maybe you hadn't planned on, but good paying jobs are out there... Granted Dear Leader Obama's economy has done severe damage to many prospective jobs!

          • Jonus Grumby

            No question. If you want a better job, apply yourself and go for it. However our elected officials seem to stumble all over themselves bringing in slightly better than minimum wage jobs while the residents are on the hook with higher taxes to pay for the infrastructure. Here's a clue: It's called "corporate welfare".

          • Tabler

            That's funny you think there are a plethora of jobs with higher pay, especially in this area. I'm a 2013 WVU graduate and can't find a job to start my career in the Tri-State area. I've had to resort to working places like Macy's (that hire anyone that walks) because I needed an income.

          • MTNR

            Would you say I have a "plethora" of pinatas?

  • Dave

    Wait a second........repubs told us companies avoided WV because it is a "judicial hellhole", union friendly, and pays prevailing wage! Could it be repubs were lying? Let the spin begin repubs and while you're at it explain the huge Toyota plant in Buffalo which actually pays higher than Union scale.

    • GregG

      Damn right the repubs are lying!!!!

    • Honest Reply

      Its called offering a two tiered system where the businesses that the state pick get all kinds of perks from the State Government. Perks like the state owning the building and equipment to help avoid property taxes but leasing it back to the company. The incentive package for Gestamp alone was estimated to be in the neighborhood of $25 million. I am sure this place will get a similar package.

      Offering these things is not equivalent to offering a good business environment. The government doesn't need to pick winners and losers. Which is why things need to change. So all employers and business can succeed not just the projects the state wants to help.

    • Stan

      The Republicans are lying to all the gullible West Virginians that will up their crumbs.

      They are union busting and taking away your rights with tort reform and businesses don't factor that in when they pick a location.

      Glad this is happening in our state. Hopefully the gullible sheep will see through the republican smokescreen and fight for their rights.

      • Charles

        We've been following the democrat Union thumping ways for years. How's that been working out?????? We've lost population this whole time. Hmmmm. There is a reason employers moved south. That great place all wv'ians run away too to find employment. Let's try something new. Right to works might cause a slightly lower wage. But at least those people are working. Unlike most wv residents right now

      • Damon

        And Tinkerbell is a linebacker for the Steelers. You don't think a multi-billion dollar business checks everything out before investing $500 million? Do you even know if P&G has union workers? Your hate-filled rant is pure baloney, and obviously written without a shred of research into anything. Bringing 700 permanent jobs to the state is great news -- except for you. It offers you an excuse to whine, complain and blame. Pretty sad.

    • Johnny

      Some people should learn before speaking.

    • Charleston

      Why the political rant? Can't you just be happy that a business is coming to WV?

      • ViennaGuy

        Some people can't be happy. It would take them out of their comfort zone.

    • WhlgFeelin

      little butthurt?

  • Eastern Panhandle Hunter

    Great start for 2015!!!!

  • Martinsburg Resident

    Right to work conversation already paying big dividends! 700 good paying manufacturing jobs! The construction of this facility will be bid based on the free market and NO "prevailing wage" either! Less government = more private industry & prosperity!

    • liberty4all

      Happy to hear positive economic news but a project of this magnitude did not just happen since last November. So don't count this scalp in the name of "prevailing wages".

      I am interested to learn of the incentives the state has/will give in order for this business to locate. I don't like corporate welfare any more than I like welfare to individuals. Until the costs are known, my joy will be somewhat tempered.

      • The bookman

        Half a mile from I-81. Two hour, four lane trip to an Inland Port. Within 500 Miles of 50% of the US Population on a highly integrated transportation network. Anything that happened in the last 30 days was gravy, but certainly irrelevant to the decision to locate here.

        Insert all of the pending accomplishments from this current session and remove the infrastructure serving the development site and we aren't among the 40 sites considered for the project. Yet we continue to squander what Frank the Tank accurately posts as the three most important ingredients to a successful business venture....location, location, location.

        We have location. We do not have adequate transportation corridors, water and sewage, high speed communication capabilities. Kudos to Berkeley County and the State for their ability to land such an opportunity. Can we learn the lessons from this opportunity so that we can replicate such development elsewhere?

        Will the legislature have the courage to propose a revenue stream for development of necessary infrastructure, and will the people accept the cost that investing in our own prosperity will bring, or cower in dismay that RCB is no longer alive to give it to us for "free?"

    • Will

      Umm ..... this would be a private sector customer and therefore not subject to prevailing wages anyway unless the state is kicking in money for the construction. And the only companies big enough to build something like this are probably going to hire a lot of highly paid construction workers anyway.

      • Martinsburg Resident

        That was the intent of my post... This being a "Private" project, as opposed to another RCB government building project, where government "forced prevailing wage" would be the case & tax payers footing the bill. Anyhow, I'm sure P&G received some sweetened incentives to locate here. That is just where we are in this crony capitalism country. Better get that new High School built!

  • ViennaGuy

    That's great news! Congratulations to Berkeley County and the Eastern Panhandle!

  • Skilled Worker

    Just talking about getting a Right-to-Work law is already paying dividends. Just think what will happen when it becomes a reality. Reversing 80 years of democrat neglect in WV and a company running away from democrat induced taxes in Maryland.

    • liberty4all

      See my comment above to the poster claiming this scalp in the name of prevailing wages. Same applies to right to work.

  • Normin Alaskerette

    I'm getting moist ...

    • Robert

      P&G makes a product for that.