PADEN CITY, W. Va. (WTRF)-Paden City is taking a big step towards turning the old Corning Glass Works factory into a major economic engine for the city again. 

EPA officials, stakeholders, and local leaders have discussed redeveloping the historic site, and with that comes an economic boost. 

What once was the old Corning Glass Works factory has been left abandoned at the heart of Paden City for years… until recently.

“This is a big footprint here. People know it’s here. They see it. It’s not something nice to look at, but it’s also not generating jobs or revenue.”

Adam Ortiz, EPA Administrator

Since the factory shut down years ago, the manufacturing industry took a big hit. That stripped several thousand people of their jobs, and reportedly led to a 40% drop in population since 1991–But not anymore.

Paden City is pouring several thousands of Brownfields grants dollars into remediating this site. It’s being fixed up, cleaned, and re-purposed.

“We want to clean this place up for future development.”

Cork Bowen, President of the Paden City Development Authority

Developers say there’s room for a major employer to fill this empty space. That could mean a warehouse or light manufacturing factory, and any extra space could be used for retail, office space, or another tenant.

And with all that comes new jobs and opportunities.

“Once it’s restored, you could employ several thousand people just like it used to back in the day. That’s local jobs for local people… possible manufacturing, staffing, or storing, construction.”

Adam Ortiz, EPA Administrator

Planning for the project is already underway, but there’s still a way to go, including cleaning the space.

But once it’s all said and done, the potential for Paden City is far from over.

“This part of West Virginia has a reputation for providing services and manufacturing and energy for the rest of the country, and this could do that once again.”

Adam Ortiz, EPA Administrator

The grant money lasts through 2024, and construction is expected to begin by November.