It takes awhile for this week’s announcement to sink in that consumer product giant Procter & Gamble is going to build a $500 million manufacturing facility in Berkeley County.

Not Ohio or Alabama or Tennessee or North Carolina, but West Virginia.

Skeptics might wonder if there was some soul-selling going on by Governor Tomblin, Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette or both.

If this had come down to a bidding war, West Virginia couldn’t have been in the running. One competing state reportedly offered 1,000 acres… free. P&G bought the Berkeley County land.

Consider that Tennessee landed a $600 million Volkswagen plant last year, but had to put up $165.8 million in incentives and $12 million to train workers. Alabama had to come up with $80 million in incentives for a $142 million Polaris ATV factory.

In fact, the deal put forward by West Virginia to attract the country’s second largest consumer products company (after Apple) is stunningly modest.

According to the state Commerce Department, the state put up $8.5 million for preparation and infrastructure at the 450-acre Tabler Station Business Park and no special tax incentives other than those already available.

Burdette says it did help that West Virginia’s corporate net income tax has been reduced from 8.5 percent to 6.5 percent over the last several years, and that the state has eliminated the anti-business franchise tax.

Also, Burdette says, Procter & Gamble found it could deal directly with our state’s decision makers. “I get the impression that didn’t happen everywhere and that they were impressed that a state like West Virginia could actually be more nimble, more responsive,” he said on Talkline Wednesday. “This is a big deal for them.”

Procter & Gamble said West Virginia also had the location going for it. The site is along the I-81 corridor in the Mid-Atlantic region, putting it within a one-day transit of 80 percent of the company’s retail customers and consumers in the eastern U.S.

Notably, West Virginia officials are not trying to temper expectations, as they have done with the proposed ethane cracker plant in Parkersburg. “We have a high confidence level that this project will end up being maybe even substantially bigger than what’s being announced,” Burdette said.

That could mean more than 700 permanent jobs, a building larger than one-million square feet and an investment of more than $500 million.

Burdette expects even more investment from downstream businesses. He’s already talking with several companies that expect to provide supplies to the P&G facility that are interested in locating nearby.

Also, having a company with the stature of Procter & Gamble coming to West Virginia provides a large, flashing business billboard that may help attract other industry leaders who think, “If West Virginia is good enough for P&G, then it’s good enough for us.”

And finally, consider this: Of the seven billion people on this planet, five billion use product brands that come from P&G.

And now West Virginia is becoming an important partner with P&G.

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Comments

  • WV Grad

    Win, win.

  • mntnman

    Yeah, we're a business hell hole.

    • liberty4all

      That's judicial hellhole. Please regurgitate your propaganda correctly.

    • vashti

      yeah that's what we have been told....

  • Ted Jr.

    Even though the P&G deal was finalized last July when the $8.5 million subsidy was settled, P&G was encouraged by the belief that Republicans were coming soon to fix West Virginia's biggest problems:

    1. Water is unnecessarily clean;
    2. Workers are too safe.
    3. Women have too many rights.

    With these anti-business factors fixed, P&G can now look forward to a friendly business climate and a steady increase in profits.

  • GregG agin Prosperity

    ByGod if it is pro business and helps the middle class rise above Goverment dependency then I'm agin it!!!!

    • GregG

      Sorry pal, but GregG just doesn't believe in bowing to big business. And it would appear in this case that we as a state didn't have to give our first born to P&G for them to locate here.

      • Al Yankovick

        Bet you buy alot of products from big business. Like a typical liberal, talk the talk but cannot walk the walk.

  • TD

    Great news for the state, as mentioned below the big factors were location and infrastructure. There is such a large swath of central and southern WV that has neither and those areas are suffering terribly because of it, take a drive from Marlinton through Richwood over to Grantsville sometime, just nothing. What can be done to help there? Seems nobody knows.

    • Wowbagger

      TD,

      No offense, but every state has both well connected areas and wild, remote areas like these that in some cases used to produce natural resources and now have small residual populations. With the urbanization that is now being mildly encouraged in the US this problem will continue.

      • TD

        actually it's mainly a result of our free trade nonsense. Marlinton, Parsons, Franklin all had thriving town with tanneries and shoe factories. It is not coal that caused these towns to die but rather greed for slave labor by big business.

        • GF

          Wrong. Americans began buying products from China/Vietnam/Mexico because they were/are cheaper. They looked at two identical pairs of shoes, one priced at 49.99 and the other at 69.99 and bought the cheaper ones that were made in China. Simple economics. Unfortunately, most people don't care or think about the ramifications of their actions.

          Why do you think there are so many Hyundai's on the road? Plenty of American made Chevy's for sale. Has nothing to do with the companies, the consumer is forcing them to go overseas in order to survive.

    • Aaron

      Either Atlas Van Lines or perhaps United Van Lines.

  • Gary

    Hope they can find 700 WV people to work but if not at least they can get the rest from the 3 states close by.

    • WV Common Tater

      How many will they have to interview if they are drug free?

  • wirerowe

    Congratulations to the Governor and all involved for winning this project in competition with big money states. Great negotiation by all involved. West Virginia is not a big money state. We can"t outspend the others but we can outwork them.

  • GregG

    What I find rather amusing about P&G's decision to locate in WV is the fact that now anyone with two marbles rolling around in their head should be able to see the lying that has been and is continuing to come from the republican party. We need tort reform, our state is a judicial hell hole, we need right to work, we need a business friendly tax system etc..... Well folks, I guess P&G proved that is nothing but a bunch of BS!!! If you think for one minute that P&G just up and made this extremely huge business decision in a matter of weeks, then maybe you do not even have two marbles in your sorry heads.

    • William wallace

      maybe they waited to make their final decision until after the November elections to see if the people of WV finally have their heads screwed on straight. Spin that Dr.

    • upelk

      I'd say November's election results probably sealed the deal.

      • GregG

        Yea.... and the pristine beachfront view!!!

  • Jesse's girl

    I would point out that P&G could see the direction WV is now heading. They could see that there was serious tort reform coming and RTW was underway. Don't think that the November election results weren't noted.

    • rick

      LMAO!!!!!!!!

    • The bookman

      According to Burdette, it's been a nearly done deal since August, so I don't think you can make those assertions. Given the minimum deal WV offered, I think the key was our location to the marketplace and available infrastructure to permit a successful venture.

      I'm sure they are thrilled with the current session, but I don't think any of the pending legislation was factored into any decision to locate here. We should take from this deal how valuable our location can be to business, and do everything we can to improve our transportation corridors and make ourselves attractive to future development.

      • Silas Lynch

        Operative phrase used "NEARLY DONE"

      • ViennaGuy

        - I think the key was our location to the marketplace and available infrastructure to permit a successful venture. -

        Agreed; that's it in a nutshell.

      • Wowbagger

        In the corporate world there is a big difference between a nearly done deal and a final decision.

        Also remember that Mr Burdette is in his reward job (that bumps up his state retirement substantially) for being a good party man in his career as a Democrat Senator, Senate President and lobbiest. I suspect that he is more than a little biased in favor of his Sugar Daddy, Earl Ray Tomblin, probably the unions, and the Democrat Party. Of course if a Republican Governor is elected he will not be reappointed!

      • GregG

        Exactly Bookman!!! Considering that P&G's due diligence included five states it would be ridiculous to believe that "November" had anything to do with their decision. But I'm sure there are many more Jesse's Girls out there.

        • William wallace

          and the spin keeps on spinning. the world is flat and ISIS isn't really muslim and global warming is real and on and on and on

        • The bookman

          But it is being reported that our business tax structure WAS a positive. Don't discount the things the State can do to market ourselves to new business. A fair judicial system, stable and predictable tax structure that isn't confiscatory, reasonable labor relationship, and a functional, educated, and sober workforce are all good and reasonable goals that should have our focus, but we must solve our transportation challenges in other parts of the state.

          • GregG

            Bookman I have been saying for years that this states BIGGEST problem is geography. A vast majority of this state is geographically undesirable for big business. And the cost to open even a miniscule amount of this area would be astronomical. And add to this climate and the effect it has on our existing interstate system. Hell we can't maintain the roads and bridges we currently have now at an adequate level so how do we as a state afford to build a 4 lane highway into an area such as Grantsville? It reminds me of a line in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou..........."Well, ain't this place a geographical oddity. Two weeks from everywhere!"

    • WVUMountaineer

      Hilarious!!

      You go girl.

  • Chris

    Hmm, Hoppy. No mention that P&G specifically said the state's "judicial climate," sometimes called the "judicial hellhole" played no factor whatsoever in the decision.

  • CaptainQ

    Hoppy, we're really not used to having 'good' economic news in this state. So while the Governor, the WV GOP and the WV Dems keep arguing over who should take all the credit for landing the P&G facility, I think I'll just be thankful that it's coming to the Mountain State!

  • Silas Lynch

    OK, you bunch of hillbillies, Right to Work does NOT make it illegal to unionize at your work place,,, nor is it a law that prevents you from joining a union. It is, however, a law that diminishes the tyranny of the Union Bosses and acts as an equalizer to their jack-booted enforcers that threaten you to vote union....

    • Ron

      Given that about 6% of employees who work at private companies, is this law really needed? I understand your personal opinion but if you could substantiate it with factual information that would be nice.

      • olanprice

        Ron my point would be why do we make all our policies and laws for the 6% and not for all of the working folks. Most of the states that have had the largest gains in wages, incomes and population are the right to work states. Let's give the 94% a chance for some of that growth that comes with being a right to work state.

        • Ron

          Is RTW causation or correlation? I've read some pretty detailed studies that seem to attribute other factors such as discussed by bookman above as the reason for many of the gains in the states with RTW law.

          I've also read a very interesting report that attributed the spread of trucking as a transportation model and air conditioning as the reason much of the manufacturing dispersed from northeast to Midwest corridor in the 50's and 60's.

          Do you have anything other than ancedotal evidence that attributes the gains you mentioned to right to work?

          • Ron

            There are very few academic institutions that I am aware of that are sided with unions. Both Yale and Harvard lean more to the liberal side than the conservative and neither the Wall Street Journal nor the Economist are considered to lean right. And I've yet to read anything that states the information you put forth is nothing more than correlation rather than causation.

            You keep keeping on though.

          • olanprice

            Ron you need to read other sources than academic studies funded by unions. Read raw data and not studies.Consider a few top-line facts about right-to-work states. Private-sector employee compensation in right-to-work states has grown by an inflation-adjusted 12.0% between 2001-2011, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares with just 3.0% over the same period in states where workers can be forced to join a union as a condition of getting a job.

            With growing paychecks come growing populations. Between 2000 and 2011, right-to-work states have seen an increase of 11.3% in the number of residents between the ages of 25-34 according to the Bureau of the Census. Non right-to-work states, over that same period, have seen an increase of only 0.6%. [USA Today, 12/6/2012]

          • Ron

            Documented where? On the Chamber of Commerece's website? I'm curious, how does NAFTA effect RTW? Oklahoma is the only state to pass RTW legislation since NAFTA in which economic results can be judged and for that state, the argument is not on your side?

            Neither Michigan nor Indiana have enough evidence to make a determination one way or the other.

            About the only conclusive evidence I can find regarding RTW is that while states do see some economic job growth, it is as easily attributed to other factors with no evidence that the growth come from laws and that the job growth seems to come at the cost of lower average wages.

            I would be interested in the foreign companies you claim will not come to a right to work state though. I only ask because Toyota has been in WV for 15 years despite the lack of RTW status. How do you explain that?

          • olanprice

            Ron Statistics are not ancedotal evidence. I am talking about documented data. Clearly climate and trucking ease are considerations as well. But the fact that most new manufacturing has moved to the right to work states is not coincidental .You can not conversely give any documentation that switching to a right to work state leads to lower wage and income growth. It is also documented that many large and middle sized domestic and foreign companies will not consider non right to work locations. For instance all of the new auto manufacturing in the south is not UAW and the growth is in those areas and not in the organized areas. Right to work is not a magic bullet but I believe with civil justice reforms would put our state in a better position to grow economically especially for the 94% that are not organized and also for the 6 %.

      • Ron

        To clarify, ~6% of private company employees are covered by unions.

  • Poe

    Proof we don't need right to work!

    • Wirerowe

      Very small chance of getting organized in the eastern panhandle. This company apparently did not demand a right to work location. Many do. Why would anyone want to put up with all the drama. Effective organizations have one boss. Two boss plants are dinosaurs.

    • WV Common Tater

      Maybe, it is proof that we don't need compulsive union dues and organization as RTW is almost here.

  • WV Proud

    So P&G is now building a huge operation in Berkley like Macy's did a few years ago and it's being done while WV isn't a right to work state. HMMMMMM do we really need to sell our soul and freedoms for right to work?

    • Brandon

      Forcing people to join a union is freedom?

      • WV Proud

        P&G don't have a union and neither does Macy's. What are you talking about?

      • Bitmapped

        If the employees don't like the union, they can always vote it out.

        • joeyjojo

          I say we implement this everywhere. Majority rules. No protection for the individual. You don't want to live in a Christian theocracy? Vote it out.

          • wvman75

            No theocracy, but you are in a nation and living in under a governmental system founded based on Christian principals.. Which is why you're free to be ignorant right now.

      • Silas Lynch

        Yes, to hillbillies being forced to pay financial homage to an organized group in order to earn a living is FREEDOM....

  • Jim

    No matter how some people try to spin this, it is great news for WV. Jobs, jobs, jobs..., way to go to all who saw this, work on it and made it become a reality for our state. It proves that WV is open for business. Both Democrates and Republicans can and should take pride in this. This is what happens when everyone works together for the common good. I am proud of the people who help to make this happen!