BROOKE COUNTY, W.Va. — We are finding out more on what the announcement that Gruppo Fanti is coming to Weirton means for the area.
Gruppo Fanti, an Italian-based metal packaging manufacturing company, will open its first U.S. site in Weirton.
“They will be the first drop in the bucket of continued interest,” Weirton Councilperson Flora Perrone said.
“Another piece of the puzzle to Weirton’s economic recovery,” State Senator Ryan Weld said.
But what does this mean locally? For one, it means 40 full-time jobs.
“Forty jobs in a community like ours, especially well-paying jobs its very significant,” Weld said.
It also means tax dollars coming to Brooke County.
“It’s income to the county and income that comes to a lot of the services sand programs the county has and revenue that goes to Brooke County school system.”
The $30 million investment also serves as a sign of hope.
“I think it should be encouraging to our citizens that we are a place moving forward,” Perrone said.
But what comes next? Marvin Six, of Business Development Corporation, said Weirton is gaining a lot of international interest, so the key is preparation.
“We have to be prepared, we have to develop sites and put buildings up that they can fit in properly,” he said.
It is also about diversifying the economy so that if a business leaves there are others to pick up the pieces.
“It may be 40 jobs,” he said. “It may be 50 or 100, but those things add up over a long period of time and diversify our economy.”
As a whole, Six said this is only the beginning. The BDC has had a plan in motion for nearly a decade that focuses on health care, value added metals, energy, chemicals and education.
“Right now, that plan we developed in 2011 is rolling right along pretty accurately.”