By JOE MANCHIN
CHARLESTON -- My optimism in our state's ability to grow has not weaned one bit because we continue to attract investments that will help our citizens improve their quality of life.
West Virginia has not steered away from its essential building blocks for a better future, which are: Our location, our skilled, dedicated work force and a commitment to grow.
Recently, I was pleased to join Wirt County officials and representatives from Mustang Survival Manufacturing to recognize the company's 10th Anniversary of doing business at their plant in Elizabeth.
In addition to Mustang's anniversary, the company also made another significant pledge that will increase their business investment in West Virginia. The company plans to hire up to 100 people to operate their newest facility in Spencer. The longevity that Mustang has had speaks volumes of not only the faith that they have in West Virginia, but it says more about the workers who bring quality to the company each day.
Mustang is committed to using West Virginia workers. Mustang produces and manufactures various life support, rescue, and protective clothing for marine and aviation environments including hypothermia protection, fire resistance, flotation devices, antigravity and other aviation apparel.
Also helping to expand the state's business and tourism infrastructure this week was AirTran Airways. I recently joined state and local officials, along with AirTran company representatives to welcome their inaugural flight service into Charleston from Orlando, Fla. A great deal of time, hard work and planning went into bringing this new flight service to West Virginia, and now we can finally say that the hard work has paid off. AirTran, too, showed faith in the Mountain State and I am confident that our partnership will continue to grow.
Tri-State Racetrack and Casino also gave the state's tourism industry a "shot in the arm" by fulfilling a commitment to expand its facilities. Recently, I had the opportunity to "turn some sand" with company officials to mark the beginning of construction on a new hotel that will add a new dimension to the track.
All of this new business activity has taken place, despite our tough national economic times. I have said that West Virginia is not going to wait -- we will continue to find ways to create new opportunities for our citizens. We will continue to grow by maintaining a sound work ethic, staying optimistic and being innovative in the face of adversity.
Manchin is West Virginia's governor.