Advantage Valley is driven to support automotive suppliers
Advantage Valley’s central location places us at the very center of North America’s automotive belt, within a single-day’s drive of most major automotive assembly facilities east of the Mississippi. We’re also home to Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc. that builds engines and transmissions for eight Toyota and Lexus models. That facility opened in Advantage Valley over a quarter-century ago with 300 employees and has been expanded nine times. Today, it employs more than 2,000 in production, logistics, accounting and finance, HR, quality control, and engineering.
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Companies serving the automotive industry, including suppliers of raw materials such as steel, aluminum, and chemical/polymer producers, appreciate our easy access to their customers and other advantages such as the area’s low cost of electricity. That’s why companies like Sofegi, Diamond Electric, Gestamp, KS of West Virginia, NGK Spark Plugs, Special Metals, Nippon Thermostat, and Rubberlite have opened facilities here. There is plenty of opportunity for additional growth in the sector.
Advantage Valley’s labor shed includes 617,000 people, including many with work experience in the automotive industry. Those workers and their employers benefit from workforce-focused programs at local colleges and universities, including classes in advanced manufacturing, welding, mechatronics, mechanical engineering, machining, and robotics.
Served by three Interstates (I-64, I-77, and I-79) and several U.S. highways with Interstate access, Advantage Valley has fast connections to key cities and markets throughout the eastern half of the nation. Our area has also long been an important rail corridor, with busy CSX and Norfolk Southern mainlines connecting the region to the continent’s rail network, and ports along the Ohio River and in Virginia. We’re served by six navigable rivers with truck-to-barge capabilities, including the Port of Huntington-Tri-State and the Jackson County Maritime & Industrial Park. Companies needing access to air service appreciate Charleston Yeager Airport’s (KCRW) 6,800-foot runway and 24/7 FBO, and Huntington Tri-State (KHTS) has a 7,000-foot runway and Aeroplex capable of handling heavy air freight. Both airports have nonstop commercial travel to many cities, and Advantage Valley is served by many general aviation airports.