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Tyler County joins WV Polymer Alliance Zone


The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Tyler County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Eric Peters said joining the West Virginia Polymer Alliance Zone “makes a lot of sense.”

“We really want to show we have companies here that would provide good synergy for other companies coming to the area that are polymer-related, whether it’s processors or suppliers,” Peters said. “We have sites and co-location opportunities — (that’s where) you have companies coming and locating on the site of an existing company because there’s synergy there.

“We see it happening throughout the state, a company uses a product that’s already being produced on a site and adds value to it or they use it to create an end product.”

Tyler County’s membership was approved by the PAZ board during the organization’s annual meeting in June. It’s the fourth county to become part of the PAZ, which also includes Mason, Jackson, Wood and Pleasants counties.

The PAZ Board is made up of Peters; Chad McKnight, Momentive Performance Materials Sistersville site manager; and Patrick Walsh, Proviron, Inc., plant manager, each serving a three-year term.

“It made sense to join that (geographic) footprint, which originally started out as only three counties,” Peters added. “(I really think) the PAZ board and, particularly my development authority counterparts, understood that a bigger footprint, the inclusion of our companies on the board, was a good thing.”

Peters said joining PAZ allows Tyler County “to share in the marketing and development assistance benefits, as well as the increased visibility to new business prospects, that come with PAZ membership.” He said communities are “stronger and can be more successful when we work together as a region, and that county lines should not be a barrier to new business investment and employment opportunities.”

PAZ, formed in 1996 by executive order of former Gov. Gaston Caperton as a pilot project, has one of the highest concentrations of high-technology, specialty and engineering polymers production in the world. The organization is dedicated to expanding the industrial base within its geographic footprint by growing and recruiting polymer businesses and related service companies that will provide increased quality job opportunities. Its membership includes both polymer and related industries.

PAZ has received a Top 10 ranking in the USA for growth in plastics facilities by the Society of Plastics Industry.

While Tyler County may not experience immediate growth in jobs and investment from the polymer industry sector, Peters said PAZ membership “will certainly give us a new advantage and allow us to partner with our neighboring counties to the south to increase our visibility to major companies which are seeking new locations for job-creating investment.”

Peters said he’s particularly excited about the potential for co-location developments.

“It makes a lot of sense,” he said. “It saves on shipping, and if there’s synergy we like to show that it’s a possibility. We want to get in on that, we want to be able to promote that along with other counties in the PAZ.

“We have sites, we have co-location opportunities — Momentive still has 100-plus acres available on site, and if the synergy is right they’re willing to talk about it.”

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