MASON COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — News of the new steel sheet mill coming to Apple Grove in Mason County has people and businesses in the area buzzing.
People in Point Pleasant, as well us along Route 2, tell 13 News they can’t wait to see what sort of growth this new development will bring to the area.
“Finally. Finally, we’ve reached that area where Mason County is on the map now. And the government in Charleston and elsewhere have finally realized there’s a lot of potential here in Mason County,” says Brian Billings, mayor of the City of Point Pleasant.
That positive outlook comes as a direct result of the announcement that Nucor Corporation will build a $2.7 billion dollar steel sheet mill just down the road in Apple Grove.
The company isn’t even running in the county yet, and already several institutions are benefiting from it.
“I think our eyes were opened when they handed the board of education a one million dollar check,” Billings says.
“I was absolutely stunned by that. It was a very generous gift to come with any sort of gift, but for the fact that it would be a million dollars was clear out of the blue. And it just stunned all of us in the audience, in fact, there was a gasp that fell across the audience,” says Dr. Keith Burdette, superintendent of Mason County Schools.
With 12 schools in the district, Burdette says they will use the money to build something tangible and lasting for the students of Mason County. Burdette says to him, the donation signals larger collaboration.
“I think that many times companies come into an area and they do something to express their support and their interest in becoming a part of the fabric of the community,” Burdette says.
The mayor says Nucor also donated $100,000 dollars to Crosslight of Hope in Ashton.
The company announced their new mill will bring 800 full-time jobs to the area, and 1,000 construction jobs while it’s being built.
Officials in Point Pleasant aren’t the only ones expressing excitement over this development.
“I think that’s awesome. It would actually give people around here or even from outside of here a reason to come here and actually get some jobs going instead of being on unemployment or something like that,” says Conrad Lusher of Wayne County.
“I’ve just been in Point Pleasant a little bit of time but I think it could use some growth. I think it’ll be good for the community. And whenever there’s paying jobs, that helps all the stores, all the businesses,” says Violet Hard of Ripley.
However, most of all, people tell 13 News:
“It brings hope and stuff to people. And we need that,” says Wilma Holland of Mason County.
The mill will go on a 1300 acre area of land in Apple Grove and is expected to produce three million tons of steel each year. Construction is expected to last two years, with doors opening in 2024.