INDIAN CREEK – In an unobtrusive metal building, along a rural stretch of two-lane road in land-locked Wyoming County, skilled laborers are fabricating components that will be used to protect sea ports across the globe.
Truston Technologies designs, constructs and installs port security barriers for the U.S. Navy as well as others around the world, along with lifts for crane barges, ocean work platforms, offshore structures, and “provides turnkey solutions for unique projects, specializing in marine requirements, harsh environments, and remote locations.”
Truston Technologies officials opened their new, expanded West Virginia location Tuesday afternoon in the John D. Rockefeller IV Industrial Park, on Welch-Pineville Road.
U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., was the keynote speaker during the ribbon cutting ceremonies.
Eric Jacobs, president of Truston Technologies, said there are several reasons the company expanded in Wyoming County.
The first is the highly-skilled workforce that includes welders and machinists.
“We wanted to take advantage of that,” Jacobs emphasized.
The majority of the employees were trained at the Wyoming County Career and Technical Center.
Additionally, Jacobs noted, West Virginia officials work differently than any of the other states with which he has dealt.
He noted that he could talk with someone in Sen. Capito's office today, then call Sen. Joe Manchin's, D-W.Va., office tomorrow and Manchin's staff would already have been briefed by Capito's staff.
“Both Capito and Manchin have helped us,” Jacobs emphasized.
“They work across party lines. If all states worked like West Virginia, there's no telling where we (the nation) could be.
“We were eager to take advantage of this collaboration. It is a model for cooperation.”
The company has closed facilities in Louisiana and Virginia, and has its corporate offices in Maryland.
Truston has a long history in Wyoming County, beginning with a 10-year collaboration with Machine-Tech, in Pineville.
That partnership evolved into Truston Manufacturing, Jacobs said, and has now grown into Truston Technologies.
As the company grew and began searching for an expanded space, officials looked around West Virginia and in other states, Jacobs noted.
Through the efforts of Christy Laxton, director of the Wyoming County Economic Development Authority, as well as the West Virginia Economic Development Authority and the West Virginia Department of Commerce, Jacobs said, they examined the industrial park facility.
With some renovations, he noted the facility fit the needs of the company.
“All the company's fabrication is done right here in Wyoming County,” Jacobs said.
“This means more jobs in Wyoming County,” Capito said as she toured the facility. “This is great.”
“By and large, Truston is a defense contractor,” Jacobs told those gathered for the ceremonies.
He added the company also works in the gas and oil industries.
Truston constructed the first port security barrier after the guided missile destroyer USS Cole was bombed by a suicide-mission terrorist attack in October 2000, Jacobs said.
“I cannot say enough about the county- and state-level help we've received,” he noted.
“It seems to be a 'Team West Virginia Environment' that you can't find in other states,” he said.
Capito noted that West Virginia's history proves it to be one of the most patriotic states.
She said it is fitting that Truston be located in West Virginia, constructing components that will be used to protect the U.S. Navy.
Capito also emphasized that Truston is one of only a few ISO certified companies.
She emphasized that it is important to continue the workforce development that will provide Truston and other industries with skilled employees.