W.Va. governor releases January Edge Business Report

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today released the West Virginia Edge Business Report. The report documents the state’s economic progress. The January 2013 report highlights projects and related announcements from businesses both large and small that will assist with the creation of new jobs and the preservation of existing jobs.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today released the West Virginia Edge Business Report. The report documents the state’s economic progress. The January 2013 report highlights projects and related announcements from businesses both large and small that will assist with the creation of new jobs and the preservation of existing jobs.

NGK SPARK PLUGS TO EXPAND FACILITIES, ADD 34 NEW JOBS
NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.) announced plans to expand its oxygen sensor manufacturing facility, its spark plug production capability and its staffing level at its Sissonville campus. Construction on the 8,000-square-foot addition to the sensor plant begins in early 2013. NGK will install a new line dedicated to the production of a more technologically-advanced sensor. In addition, the spark plug facility on the same campus will install a new assembly line to produce a different style of spark plug. Both projects are expected to be completed during 2013. NGK expects these improvements will create 34 new jobs by 2014.

This marks the fourth expansion since NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.) established operations in West Virginia in 1994.

ANTERO TO OPEN STATE DRILLING HEADQUARTERS IN $16 MILLION COMPLEX IN BRIDGEPORT
Ground has been broken for two new buildings to house the West Virginia drilling headquarters for Denver-based Antero Resources. The buildings in White Oaks Business Park in Bridgeport will total 50,000 square feet and represent a combined investment of $16 million. The facilities are scheduled for completion by July 2013. The Antero complex could house up to 500 workers and contractors. Antero is an independent oil and natural gas company active in Marcellus Shale drilling.

CAZ PRESENTS FIRST CAM COMMERCIALIZATION FUND AWARD; PLANS MORE GRANTS
The Chemical Alliance Zone (CAZ) has granted the first Chemicals and Materials (CAM) Commercialization Fund award to PolyPlexx, LLC, a specialty polymer manufacturer. The $15,000 award will help support the commercialization of the company’s series of clear, impact-resistant polymers marketed under the tradename ViziPlexx™. The polymers can be used in applications such as optical lenses, ballistic laminates and safety and security products. The CAM award will help the company produce customer samples and develop technology for large-scale production. PolyPlexx is located in the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston.

The CAM Commercialization Fund assists researchers, entrepreneurs, start-ups and small-to-medium firms with the commercialization of technology and products related to the chemicals and materials sectors in West Virginia. Funds are provided by a grant from The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation awarded to TechConnectWV. CAZ set up and administers the fund as a subcontractor to TechConnectWV. At least five awards will be made within an 18-month period. Award amounts may vary significantly but will likely average $10,000 to $20,000. The INNOVA Commercialization Group, Mountaineer Capital, West Virginia Angel Network, and West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust are serving as an advisory group to assist CAZ in the administration of the CAM Commercialization Fund. For more information about the CAM Commercialization Fund or to apply, visit WV CAM Commercialization Fund.

NEW MACHINING TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE FOR USE OR TRAINING AT RCBI CHARLESTON    
West Virginia businesses have a new resource for advanced machining technology. The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) Charleston Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center recently installed an Okuma MU-500-VA-L Machining Center. It delivers process-intensive machining and high-speed, high-accuracy cutting through the combination of five-axis multitask machining with a turning function. The fast and powerful trunnion mounting table allows simultaneous five-axis machining and one-chuck multi-sided machining of complex shapes. The technology is ideal for mold and die shops as well as the production of highly complex aerospace components.

The Okuma Machining Center is available for both leased use and technical training. For more information or to schedule leased use, call RCBI at 304-720-7738 or 800-469-RCBI (7224).

WVEDA APPROVES $5.7 MILLION IN LOANS FOR TWO BUSINESSES
The West Virginia Economic Development Authority (WVEDA) approved new loans for two companies during its December 2012 meeting:

IMI Fabi, LLC, $3,762,000, to finance new equipment. Located in Benwood, IMI produces milled talc used by industries including polymer, paper, paint and pharmaceuticals. The Marshall County company currently employs 34 workers.

Skana Aluminum Company, $2,000,000, to finance the acquisition of a facility from Family Aluminum in Clarksburg, Harrison County. Based in Manitowoc, Wis., Skana manufactures customized aluminum coils and flat rolled products.

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