Facility sites at the midpoint of America’s new auto plant corridor
Putnam County, West Virginia is located midway between two of America’s most prominent auto manufacturing centers, and both are within a day’s drive. From Detroit’s long-established leadership to the new assembly plants sprouting in the Carolinas and the South, you’ll find a significant share of the auto industry within easy reach of our county. Our region is also home to many key suppliers of raw materials such as steel, aluminum, and chemicals and polymers. No wonder manufacturers of automotive components and other industry suppliers choose Putnam County.
Success Story: Toyota
For example, we’re home to a Toyota facility that assembles engines and transmissions for eight vehicle models. Opened a quarter-century ago with 300 employees, the plant has been expanded nine times and now employs 2,000. Putnam County is also the location of manufacturers like Nippon Thermostat of America Corp. and Diamond Electric Mfg. Corp., as well as distributors such as Toyota Tsusho America and Meiji Corporation. And in 2019, Putnam County was selected as the location of the West Virginia Auto Supply Chain Expo.
Skilled Labor Shed
Within 75 miles, you’ll find 573,000 workers who grew up in the industrial heartland, many of which have families with a long history of working in automotive manufacturing. The current generation has advanced training and certifications needed by manufacturers, and local education providers ensure a robust pipeline of qualified workers with programs in welding, heavy equipment operation, advanced manufacturing, machining, robotics, and engineering. West Virginia offers workforce training support, along with tax credits, financing, and other incentives to fuel automotive manufacturing.
Connections to Everywhere
Not only is Putnam County close to auto plants, but our transportation infrastructure makes it easy to reach them, with fast access to I-64, connections with I-77 and I-79, and links to well-engineered highways such as U.S. 35 and U.S. 60. Rail users appreciate having access to both a busy CSX mainline and WATCO’s Kanawha River Railroad, with plenty of spurs. Companies depending on air cargo are close to two major airports, including Huntington’s Tri-State Aeroplex – West Virginia’s only FedEx Boeing 757 hub and home to onsite FedEx Air and Ground service – and Charleston’s Yeager Airport. Companies can also take advantage of the navigable Kanawha River and the Port of Huntington-Tri-State, one of the nation’s largest ports.
Finally, our utility infrastructure is large enough to accommodate the specific needs of automotive manufacturing, with electric power capable of three-phase service, redundant loops, and loads of up to 7.2 MVA. The county’s water plant has excess capacity of 2.2 million gallons per day, and local natural gas suppliers have a nearly endless supply of affordable high-pressure natural gas.