Raleigh County manufacturer announces move to Virginia

GLEN WHITE, W.Va. — A company with over 100 years combined experience in manufacturing is moving to Giles County, Va.

Cogar Manufacturing was established in 1979. The company also has manufacturing facilities in Illinois and a sales office in Texas.

According to a release from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Office, Cogar is investing $2.5 million to move West Virginia operations to an abandoned Caterpillar facility in Pearisburg, Virginia.

“Cogar Manufacturing’s decision to move operations from West Virginia to Giles County and expand production is a great testament to the Commonwealth’s competitive operating costs, extensive transportation network and robust workforce,” said Governor Northam. “I am thrilled that this new addition will revitalize a vacant facility and create 60 quality jobs in the local economy.”

Cogar Manufacturing released a statement from Vice President John Cogar thanking Governor Northam and Virginia for the support they have offered in their transition to the Commonwealth.

“We are excited about the facility, which offers our company a viable opportunity to expand; we are excited about the work force of Giles County, which offers our company a highly qualified and experienced employee base.”

New River Gorge Regional Development Authority Executive Director Joe Brouse said Thursday he and his organization were disappointed in the news.

“It’s a blow to us when we’re trying to retain and expand. Just as when a state can land a company and make an announcement it appeals to other companies looking to relocate. This just potentially does the same thing in a different direction. It’s not good news anyway you slice it.”

Brouse added the move can be looked at from another angle as it allows the state to learn about why companies are leaving.

“When something like this happens there’s a response to it, and there’s a response team. New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, West Virginia Development Office, WorkForce West Virginia. We get together and we try to assess, we try to sit down with that company and try to learn what it is they’re needing.”

While he didn’t want to go into specifics about Cogar Manufacturing, Brouse said there are several common factors as to why companies leave West Virginia.

“Oftentimes it’s about building size, it’s about infrastructure at times, it’s about workforce issues and so we try to answer each one of those things.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked alongside Giles County and Onward New River Valley to secure Cogar’s move. Governor Northam approved a $150,000 Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund investment to help Giles County with the project.

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