The highly anticipated Procter and Gamble site in Berkeley County broke ground Friday. And starting October 1, 2015 job applications will be available online.
State and federal officials came together Friday at the future site of West Virginia’s first Procter and Gamble plant in Tabler Station near Martinsburg.
Event-goers learned that in just a little less than two weeks, job seekers within sixty miles of the West Virginia site can begin applying online for positions. The hiring process won’t actually begin until spring of 2016, but those interested are encouraged to start applying as soon as possible.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin says the addition of the P&G plant will make the state more competitive.
“When you have a worldwide, known company like Procter and Gamble, other companies say, well if they’re going to locate in West Virginia, there must be something going on there, so I think that that’s one of the things that helps our development office to say that look, Macy’s, P&G, Toyota – the big companies are coming to West Virginia, we’ve got lots of room, we want you to come to,” Tomblin explained.
The sort of skill sets Procter and Gamble is looking for are in the mechanical, electrical, manufacturing and packaging fields. The plant is expected to open by fall of 2017, and by 2019, it’s expected to employ around 700 full-time workers.
Tomblin says Proctor and Gamble’s $500 million investment in the plant is worth it.
“This company, it’s not going to be temporary, it’s going to be here a long, long time. So for several generations will be able to start work here, probably to retire from here. So in the long-term, it’s going to be a great thing for our state.”
Procter and Gamble donated $30,000 to Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg to provide training for those interested in getting jobs at the plant.
Yannis Skoufalos is the Global Product Supply Officer for P&G. He says choosing West Virginia for the new site was the best choice and the most strategic.
“It was all about proximity to the big population on the eastern end of United States," Skoufalos said, "A wonderful infrastructure, a very welcoming and engaging state and local administration, a team that really opened us, many degrees of freedom, as well as looking into the standards of the labor force in the state, their education, their ability with mastery, the community colleges – we looked into that, and that’s how we chose.”
Skoufalos says the Eastern Panhandle location closes a gap between many other Procter and Gamble sites on the east coast. It will allow delivery of up to 80 percent of products to the eastern half of the U.S. within one day’s transit.
The type of P&G products to be made at the West Virginia plant has not been announced.
The 460-acre site in Berkeley County will be the second manufacturing facility Procter and Gamble has built in the U.S. since 1971, and it will employ the fifth largest Procter and Gamble workforce in the country.
This story was edited on 9/21/15 to reflect the fact that Proctor and Gamble made a $500 million investment in the plant, not the state of West Virginia.