CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s office says GreenPower Motor Company, Inc. has signed an agreement with the state to lease/purchase a 9.5-acre manufacturing facility in South Charleston. This area includes an 80,000-square-foot building. The governor’s office says the company will be manufacturing zero-emission, all-electric school buses.
The new development is expected to bring hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars in economic impact to the Mountain State, according to Justice’s office. State officials say when manufacturing begins later this year, the operation will bring up to 200 new jobs to the state, and it will have the potential to reach up to 900 new jobs when they reach full production in approximately two years.
Once the facility does reach full production, GreenPower officials say the total economic impact could reach nearly $500 million per year.
“I’d like to be the first to welcome GreenPower to West Virginia with open arms. We’re thrilled that you’ve chosen to live and work in the paradise that our state offers,” Gov. Justice said in a press release. “West Virginia continues to be the best place to do business. I’m excited to help support GreenPower on this important project and for what the future holds for their great company and our great state.”
The company started up in 2010 and works to make battery-electric buses and trucks that are durable, affordable and easier to deploy, according to their website.
Officials with GreenPower say, once the facility reaches full production, the total economic impact could reach nearly $500 million per year.
“GreenPower is pleased to announce its zero-emissions, all-electric school bus manufacturing operations are expanding east of the Mississippi River, with West Virginia becoming our school bus manufacturing base of operations for the region,” said Brendan Riley, President of GreenPower. “West Virginia has shown us to be a pro-business state that has a workforce ready to take advantage of clean energy jobs. As West Virginia’s economy transforms, it is important to provide skilled and high-skilled jobs to help workers make the transition as seamless as possible,” Riley continued. “Our facility will provide both training and immediate employment opportunities with a competitive wage.”
The governor’s office says GreenPower will work closely with West Virginia’s Workforce Development Board and BridgeValley Community & Technical College to recruit new employees and for training.
“Under my administration, we’ve really focused on transforming West Virginia’s image. Part of the way we’re doing that is by embracing all the new technologies that are at our fingertips, and GreenPower setting up shop in West Virginia is yet another exciting project that will help us move our state forward,” Gov. Justice added. “As we continue to diversify our economy, manufacturing these zero-emission school buses in West Virginia will open up a world of opportunities for our state. Just as importantly, this development is going to change lives. Not only will it bring hundreds of great paying jobs to the Kanawha Valley, but the ripple effects on our state’s economy are going to be off-the-charts.”