BROOKE COUNTY, W.Va (WTRF) – A new production company cut the ribbon to their new facility that promises more jobs for the Ohio Valley.
Brooke County benefited from a $500,000 Brownfields grant given to the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle by the Enviromental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant funds are used to assess and revitalize former industrial properties.
Federal, state, county and village officials attended the ribbon cutting ceremony Monday to introduce Pure Watercraft – a new electric boat manufacturing facility located in the Beech Bottom Industrial Park.
The company will produce pure pontoon boats – which are powered by electric. CEO and founder of Pure Watercraft, Andy Rebele, says these boats are going to change the boating world – for the better.
“This boat, it’s all about efficiency. Nobody comes to us as a customer and says, ‘I’m looking for propulsion efficiency.’ Like, that’s not something that comes out of their mouths, but they want to know how much does it costs, how far does it go, how does it feel? Is it quiet, how long does it take to charge? And every one of those things is a function of the efficiency we’ve designed into this. So, we’ve designed it for a luxury experience and affordability.”Andy Rebele | CEO and founder of Pure Watercraft
The new facility brings about 100 full-time jobs, and the company will start fulfilling orders this year.
These boats being manufactured in West Virginia is something U.S. State Senator Shelly Moore Capito says will make for a greener economy.
“I’m excited because this is going to be a major employer. It’s repurposing an old site manufacturing site. I think it was stated earlier that it’s taking the expertise of the manufacturing sector that we’ve had here of yesterday and making it the expertise of the manufacturing sector of tomorrow.”Senator Shelly Moore Capito | (R-WV)
So, why choose Sothern Brooke County for this industry?
“We’re also at a great location midway between the inbound logistics of getting parts from the Midwest and delivering to our customers who are concentrated in the Southeast and the Midwest. So, it optimizes for both of those and the reception we got from the state of West Virginia and from local and federal officials from the area has been tremendous.”Andy Rebele | CEO and founder of Pure Watercraft
EPA Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz says the site was abandoned when they purchased it back in 2005 and needed serious remediation.
Since being cleaned and put back online, many partners put the building back to productive use.
“Well, places like the village of Beech Bottom and so many small communities around West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania have these fantastic, beautiful old towns with these great bones, with these fantastic main streets that are great places to live. So we got to help revitalize them because people want to live in great communities like this. And having a major employer return to this site is a big deal for everyone.”Adam Ortiz |EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator
In case you were wondering, the dual motorboats will cost $95,000, and single motors are $75,000. If you’re interested in any of the jobs or learning more about the boats, go purewatercraft.com.