Gov. Joe Manchin

By GOV. JOE MANCHIN

CHARLESTON -- Last week, I traveled to Putnam County to join Toyota Motor Corporation officials in celebrating the tenth anniversary of Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia's operations at Buffalo.

For the 1,050 team members who keep Toyota's operations moving forward in Putnam County, this week's celebration was truly a mark of their success and productivity. It is no coincidence that once Toyota discovered West Virginia, the automotive giant decided to expand here five times during the past decade. That says a lot about Toyota's faith in West Virginia, and we encourage and welcome future expansions here in our state.

Historically, one of the key elements in Toyota's success worldwide has been loyalty: the loyalty of its team members to "The Toyota Way" of manufacturing; the loyalty of Toyota to the communities it serves; and, the loyalty of consumers to a quality product. As this automotive leader knows, you won't find a more loyal, well-trained and quality-driven workforce anywhere else in the world.

For three years running, Toyota's Buffalo plant has been ranked as the most productive engine manufacturing facility in North America by the Harbour Consulting Group. The automotive leader's impact on the West Virginia economy goes beyond its employee and consumer relationships, touching approximately 80 local suppliers who benefited from the $41 million that Toyota put back into the state's economy with purchases during the past year.

Just as vital as its economic commitment is Toyota's commitment to the community, through investments in programs to help the communities it serves address their needs. Whether it is donating vehicles to community non-profit organizations, providing funding to refurbish ambulances and emergency services equipment or partnering on education programs with local schools, Toyota is very much an appreciated stakeholder in our West Virginia communities.

I am most grateful that Toyota has recognized the advantages of doing business in West Virginia, with West Virginians. Toyota's investments in the Mountain State represent a commitment to quality, a commitment to community, and a commitment to people. We are excited about what the future holds for this partnership.

Together, with corporate partners like Toyota, we are building a brighter future for West Virginia. On every level, Toyota has set the gold standard for other West Virginia companies to follow and truly represents everything West Virginia wants a corporate and community partner to be.

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