Capito Tours W.Va. Day Report Center, Manufacturing Plant

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito came to Berkeley County on Monday on fact-finding visits to a home-insulation manufacturing plant and the new Berkeley Day Report Center.

On the second leg of her tour, Capito, R-W.Va., met with officials at the new day report center that opened this week at 800 Emmert Rousch Drive in Martinsburg.

Nonviolent offenders are referred to the center to participate in community-corrections treatment programs in lieu of jail time.

The Berkeley County center is an arm of the Jefferson Day Report Center, which handles nonviolent offenders in the 23rd Judicial Circuit of Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties.

Ronda Eddy is executive director of the Jefferson Day Report Center, which is at 121 W. Third St. in Ranson, W.Va.

Clients are referred to the center by the courts, parole and probation, and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services.

Capito said she came to the center to learn how its employees provide nonviolent offenders with therapy-based recovery rather than corrections-based programs.

Center employees deal with 90 to 115 clients at any time in both offices. They focus their efforts on health, nutrition, stress-reduction counseling, random drug tests, life skills, individual and cognitive therapy, and basic education.

Eddy said that clients deal with post-traumatic stress syndrome, and drug-and-alcohol-abuse issues. Their average age is 24 to 34, the average stay at the center is 12 to 18 months, and about 70 percent of the clients are men, she said.

Before the day report center tour, Capito spent the late morning at Knauf Insulation, a company that recently completed a $20 million renovation and upgrade of its plant and warehouse at 4812 Tabler Station Road.

The company has 83 hourly employees and 15 on salary, plant Manager Jason Wells said.

In August 2014, Knauf, a German-based corporation, bought the insulation-manufacturing plant from Guardian Building Products of Greenville. S.C. Guardian's employees were hired by Knauf.

Speaking with a dozen employees after touring the plant, Capito referred to the tumbling housing market in 2008 that still is on the rebound. A comprehensive energy bill on tap in the Senate would include tax incentives for residents who add or upgrade insulation in their homes, she said.

Speaking of the potential for growth in manufacturing for the area, Capito singled out the 1-million-square-foot Procter & Gamble manufacturing facility under construction across Tabler Station Road and its projected workforce of more than 700 employees.

By:  Richard Belisle
Source: Herald-Mail Media