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Automakers rely on WV manufacturers, and vice versa


Charleston Gazette-Mail

New trucks await finalization along the assembly line at HIno Motors in Williamstown in 2017.
(Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The automobile manufacturing industry just isn’t what it used to be.

While people who have never had a role in the transformation of the raw materials of steel, rubber and plastics into sleek new automobiles may think of black-and-white images of old Detroit assembly lines, such images no longer ring true.

“It’s not at all your grandfather’s manufacturing job,” said Rebecca McPhail, president of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association. “I think there’s a perception surrounding manufacturing that it’s dirty jobs, heavy-labor jobs. People don’t fully understand the level of technology and highly technical equipment that is involved.”

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