Good afternoon and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to visit our company.
First, I would especially like to thank the following guests for joining us today: Senator Rockefeller, Congresswoman Capito, Governor Tomblin, other civic and community leaders and Toyota team members.
And while Senator Manchin could not be here today we appreciate his ongoing support over the years when he was governor. We continue to value his position now as U.S. Senator.
Each of you continue to play an important role with this manufacturing facility, so it is a great honor to share today’s announcement with you.
This event is about good news and I am very pleased - as this facility’s newest president – to announce the following: Toyota West Virginia will boost production of six speed automatic transmissions.This capacity expansion represents a $64 million investment and the best news of all is that we are creating about 40 new jobs.
Start of production is projected for the end of 2012. Therefore, I would like to thank this friendly community for your ongoing support, as we begin this project.
This September marks 15 years since our groundbreaking and the initial hiring of our team! Over these 15 years, we have succeeded thanks in part to the unwavering commitment of our region’s federal, state and local officials.
And in order to fully understand the significance of today’s announcement, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the last few years…
During the economic downturn, there were times when we had no choice but to stop production because of slowing sales. But, this plant and all of our North American plants made the important decision to provide full employment to team members.
In fact, team members were paid to come to work to: train, learn new processes and improve plant operations.
This time also served as an opportunity for our West Virginia team to further strengthen their skills and thus increase their know-how.
The training and process improvements - during the worst of times - prepared this plant for a brighter future which is the expansion announcement we have shared today.
And let me tell you…This project will require a high level of skills due to its technical nature.
However, I am certain that we are well positioned to ramp up production with the best quality and safety thanks to team members’ dedication, knowledge and above all challenging spririt.
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