West Virginia Department of Commerce Metals

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The metals industry has a long history in West Virginia due to the presence of a skilled metals manufacturing work force and raw materials. Companies include: ArcelorMittal USA, Inc., Novelis Corporation, Wheeling-Nisshin Inc., Roll Coater Inc., Swanson Plating Company, Inc.

Raw materials
Capitalize on a plentiful supply of primary and fabricated metals, machinery and other components necessary for the manufacture of metalworking and machinery products, with more than 1,000 regional suppliers of needed materials.

Abundant surface water supplies and three major navigable rivers on the nation’s inland waterway system provide ample process water and inexpensive transportation of raw materials and finished goods.

The great majority of West Virginia’s employees in the metalworking and machinery cluster are skilled production and craft workers, particularly metalworking machinery operators, metal fabricators and machine assemblers. West Virginia’s large metalworking work force comprises nearly 12,800 skilled production workers.

The average industry wage in West Virginia is 81 percent of the average wage in competing states and 77 percent of the national average.

Any new company that creates 10 or more jobs qualifies for the Governor’s Guaranteed Work Force Program. The program provides training to new workers to meet new skill requirements, or will train existing employees.

West Virginia ensures a work force equipped to meet the challenges presented by today’s advanced technology, with computer literacy required in grades K through 12.  West Virginia’s higher education system offers degree programs in all facets of today’s high-technology industries, including biometrics and forensics.  Vocational and technology facilities assist in meeting the expanding educational needs of the work force.

The commitment to a skilled labor pool at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) includes meeting industrial work force development needs.  A key component of this commitment is the RCBI Machinist Technology Program, a nationally certified, hands-on, technical program that meets standards set by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills Inc. (NIMS).

Take advantage of West Virginia’s broad and deep industry experience in metalworking and machinery manufacturing, including more than 1,350 metalworking and machinery manufacturing companies.

With local access to the latest, state-of-the-art, metalworking machinery and technologies available at each of the four RCBI facilities across the state, manufacturers are able to evaluate new technology, lower their production costs, improve efficiency, maintain tight tolerances and control – and greatly enhance – the quality of their products.  RCBI’s cutting edge, industry-focused offerings enhance the metalworking and industrial technology training programs in the state’s extensive vocational-technical and community college system.  The RCBI 21st Century Manufacturing Network allows manufacturers to conduct online networking and collaborate with other network participants to help them reach and serve new markets.  The RCBI network is a computerized clearinghouse of nearly 350 quality-oriented manufacturers in West Virginia and the surrounding region.

Market access
West Virginia’s location ensures overnight delivery to 50 percent of the U.S. population.

Ship, travel and connect to the world via West Virginia’s three north-south and three east-west interstate highways, commercial and general aviation airports, excellent rail system with more than 2,400 miles of track and the nation’s largest inland port.

Save with West Virginia’s low energy costs. Industrial electric and natural gas rates represent savings of 12 percent and 6 percent, respectively, in comparison to competitor states.

Cash in on a profit margin that averages 4.9 percent higher, based on a comparative analysis of operating costs and profitability for a typical metalworking and machinery business in West Virginia, as compared to competitor states.

Major products
The metalworking and machinery cluster consists of 10 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) groups: architectural and structural metals manufacturing (NAICS 3323); boiler, tank and shipping container manufacturing (NAICS 3324); forging and stamping (NAICS 3321); nonferrous metal foundries (NAICS 33152); machine shops and threaded product manufacturing (NAICS 3327); construction machinery manufacturing (NAICS 33312); mining, oil and gas field machinery manufacturing (NAICS 33313); metalworking machinery manufacturing (NAICS 33351); material handling equipment manufacturing (NAICS 33392); and other general purpose machinery manufacturing (NAICS 33399).