Our area received some welcome news Friday with the announcement of a $28 million investment into the Wheeling-Nisshin plant in Follansbee.
This investment will go toward equipment upgrades needed for the production of a new product line at the plant. Known as ZAM, and comprised of a mix of zinc, aluminum and magnesium, this new product was developed by the company and will mean a new source of revenue.
According to company officials, ZAM has a wide array of potential uses as it is up to 10 times stronger than existing steel coatings, and can, therefore, be used in a variety of products.
More importantly for this area, the product brings the potential for new jobs for our residents. That is great news and something we're sure people across the Ohio Valley are glad to hear.
In a time when we continue to see our industrial plants shut down and thousands facing layoffs, this announcement shows there are still some out there with a belief in the people of the Ohio Valley and a willingness to invest in the future of the region.
As Wheeling-Nisshin President and CEO Noboru Onishi stated Friday, "We're spending $28 million because we see the potential. The potential, we think, is great."
We couldn't have said it any better.
This is just the latest bit of good news for the Ohio Valley, and it shows that things very well could be turning around for us.
We may not be the steel-producing hub of years gone by, but if others see one company make such an investment in our future, it could convince them to do the same.
That's something we can all hope for.