Nippon Thermostat to add 30 jobs in Putnam County
FRAZIERS BOTTOM, W.Va. -- A $4 million investment in Putnam County's Nippon Thermostat plant will create 30 additional jobs by 2016, more than doubling the business's current workforce, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Tuesday.
The Tokyo-based company, which manufactures automotive thermostats for Toyota, Honda, Nissan and others, plans to expand its Fraziers Bottom location by 26,000 square feet, essentially doubling the current facility.
The new adjacent manufacturing facility will be completed by March, officials say.
This is the third groundbreaking for a Japanese company in West Virginia since Tomblin made his trade mission to the country June 1. The governor called the company's decision to expand is "just another vote of confidence for West Virginia's economy and workforce."
Last week, Wheeling-Nisshin, a Japanese steel-coating company, announced a $28 million project at its Brooke county location, which is expected to create two jobs.
In June, Japanese truckmaker Hino Motors invested $6 million to support a Wood County assembly plant expansion, creating 20 jobs.
Tomblin is the seventh West Virginia governor to make a trade mission to Japan, and more than 20 Japanese companies operate in the state.
The governor joined company executives, Putnam County government representatives and economic development officials Tuesday afternoon for a groundbreaking ceremony at the Fraziers Bottom site.
Akari Mori, general manager of Nippon Thermostat of America Corp, said the expansion will help the plant produce additional orders its received in the past year, including a new partnership with Chrysler.
"The expansion of our facility is the result of the successful growth of our business here. We really appreciate West Virginia state and Putnam County. We wouldn't be where we are today without them," Mori said. "We have a great history here, and we're looking forward to the future."
The plant opened in 2005, making it the first business to move into the Putnam Business Park.
Putnam County Commissioner Joe Haynes said the expansion has the community hopeful of more good things to come.
"This expansion means they are pleased with the business we've been doing and they plan to stay here for a while," Haynes said. "There are few things that give a commissioner more pleasure than breaking ground."
Reach Mackenzie Mays at Mackenzie.firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5100.