BLUEFIELD, W.Va. –– A California company will locate a manufacturing plant in Bluefield to create pre-fabricated home building blocks.
Omnis Building Technologies announced Friday plans to invest $40 million in a 150,000 square foot factory in Bluefield. The plant, when operational, will crate 150 to 300 full-time jobs.
“We found West Virginia was very centrally located to more than 40 percent of the U.S. population with very easy transport from coast to coast by rail or truck. Strategically from our company’s perspective, it’s an ideal location,” said Jonathan Hodson, president of Omnis.
Groundbreaking for the plant is expected later this year. The facility will be located off Exit 1 on I-77 along John Nash Boulevard.
“We got enormous support from everybody from the Bluefield Economic Development Authority right up to the governor’s office. They’ve been enormously helpful to pave the way. It’s been a very positive experience for me and for the company to be a part of that,” Hodson added.
The starting pay for an Omnis employee, according to Hodson is $52,000 to $55,000 annually with opportunities to advance. He said they are looking to create jobs from the local workforce pool.
“We’re very concerned about getting people back to work, so we’ve had a strong focus on second chance hiring, working out of the local universities, and high school programs getting certified for the starting positions at our facility and then working their way up inside our manufacturing office,” he explained.
“I would like to be the first to thank Omnis and welcome them to our great state with open arms. I am beyond proud as Governor to make yet another major economic development announcement that is going to change countless West Virginians’ lives for the better,” Gov. Jim Justice said in a release announcing the investment.
It marks the fourth major economic development announcement for the Justice administration this year.
“We continue to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that the rocket ship ride I promised is real,” he added.
Omnis has a long history of concrete work. They specifically produce energy-efficient, pre-engineered home building systems made of Concrete Insulated Building Units. The units are shipped to a site, by truck or rail, and assembled on site. According to Hodson, they can load an entire 1,500 square foot home onto a regular-sized truck, have it delivered, and have the home finished in a day.
Although building materials like wood and steel have skyrocketed in costs in recent months, Hodson said concrete hasn’t had such dramatic cost hikes and their products are much more affordable than traditional homes.
“Our pricing for our basic homes starts at $80 per square foot,” he said.
Hodson said he was so impressed with the area and the work done by development officials in Bluefield and at the state level he has moved his family to Bluefield from Santa Barbara, California to further demonstrate the company’s commitment to West Virginia.