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Armacell moving to former Mustang Survival site in Spencer, W.Va.


The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

SPENCER, W.Va. — A Roane County employer is moving into the former Mustang Survival facility and plans to add nearly two dozen jobs in the next 12 to 18 months.

A news release from the West Virginia Department of Commerce says Armacell, which currently employs 70 people at its downtown Spencer facility, plans to expand its manufacturing capabilities for crosslinked polyethylene block or “bun” products.

“We are already running our district operations out of that building, our warehousing,” Armacell plant manager Ken Carr said Friday.

New production is expected to start in mid-2018.

“And then over the course of the next year or two move all our operations out of the downtown Spencer building into the Mustang building,” Carr said.

The company employs 70 people locally and will add 23 jobs in the next year-and-a-half, he said.

“About half of them within the next 6 months and the rest of them six to 12 months after that,” Carr said.

Armacell produces flexible foam for equipment insulation. The expansion will allow the Spencer facility to supply “the most popular PE buns” to East Coast clients, while an Illinois facility will serve central and West Coast business, a release from the company says.

“We are honored that this company chose to do business in West Virginia, stay in West Virginia and grow with us in West Virginia,” West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said in the state’s release. “We thank Armacell for the confidence it has shown in our state and our people and look forward to continued success.”

Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher said in the release that Armacell’s announcement was “the most recent in a series of leading global manufacturers investing in West Virginia and our skilled workforce.” Among them was Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A.’s purchase of the former Coldwater Creek building in Parkersburg.

Carr said the company has been pleased with the results from its West Virginia workforce and decided to invest further in manufacturing here.

Mustang Survival, a Canada-based survival apparel manufacturer, started operating in Spencer in 2009 and consolidated all of its West Virginia operations at the former B.F. Goodrich plant in 2013. In 2016, the company was purchased by The Safariland Group of Florida and production operations in Spencer were moved to Jacksonville, Fla.

Mustang still has warehousing, shipping and receiving and repair operations in Spencer, in a 50,000-square-foot building owned by the Roane County Economic Development Authority.

The authority also owns the 103,000-square-foot building into which Armacell is moving, said Mark Whitley, executive director of the authority.

“We are also in the process of working with (Armacell) corporate officials to do $5 million worth of improvements to the facility, to utilize the facility to its full capacity,” he said.

The Department of Commerce release says Armacell “plans to make a low double-digit million-dollar capital investment into hard assets and human resources by 2020.”

Operations have already started moving to the new location, Whitley said, with production expected to start in mid-2018. Meanwhile, the company will continue to occupy its location on 100 Locust Ave. until everything is moved to the new facility, Whitley said.

Whitley said he’s glad to see Armacell expanding.

“Armacell, No. 1, has been a great corporate citizen,” he said. The company is active in the community, and “their leadership provides leadership to many organizations.”

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