BIDWELL — Nearly a year and a half after their initial expansion into the Dan Evans Industrial Park, Ohio Valley Trackwork, Inc., celebrated the addition of a second industrial building to their Bidwell operation during a ceremony on Thursday morning.
Ohio Valley Trackwork is a local manufacturing company that constructs 98 percent of the trackwork for underground mining and tunneling operations in the country, as well as heavy haul track material for railroad and industrial sites and some transit authorities.
In 2011, the locally-owned company signed a lease-to-purchase agreement with the Gallia County Commissioners who were, then, finishing construction of the speculative building in the Dan Evans Industrial Park on Ohio 850 in Bidwell.
The 20-year agreement, totalling over $600,000, allowed the company to move into the speculative building or “shell” facility in June 2011, modify the building to suit their needs and expand their operation outside their original location in Kanauga.
Following this, the company soon saw the need for continued expansion and constructed a second industrial building adjacent to their new location — a building that was greeted by fanfare by local and state officials during its grand opening on Thursday.
“It is remarkable that they have expanded, and I think our hats are off to you, Bret [Little of Ohio Valley Trackwork], for your vision here in Gallia County,” Gallia County Commission President Harold Montgomery stated during the ceremony. “You know, we’re always out looking to hit the home run — bring in the big companies — and we overlook things that are right here on our doorstep. It is very commendable to see that we have a local company that is willing to step up and expand.”
Montgomery further recognized the the entire community, including the City of Gallipolis, the Gallia County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) and the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce for their support during the construction of the speculative building, as well as for their backing of a local company willing to expand.
“We have very good support from the city, from the CIC, the chamber. This is a community effort. We are working with a local company, a family-owned company, and we very appreciative of all of you being here today,” he said.
Bob Foster, CIC President, also spoke during Thursday’s ceremony.
“I’d like to congratulate Bret Little and his family. It has to be dream come true for them to put together a facility like this and I think they are just getting started,” Foster said and also thanked Chamber of Commerce Director Lori Neal and Gallia County Economic Development Director Melissa Clark for their efforts in support of the project.
“It’s refreshing to see people have a confidence and are looking for big things out of Gallia County,” he said.
Also to speak were State Representative Ryan Smith; Alex Sharfetter of Congressman Bill Johnson’s office, Nick Gatz of Governor John Kasich’s office, Todd Shelton with Rob Portman’s office, as well as a representative of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.
According to the economic development director, since its move to the industrial park last year, Ohio Valley Trackwork has added over 10 new jobs to its company and is currently taking applications for new hirees. Clark stated that, while the company is not sure how many more new positions will be established within its operation, it is her hope that the continued expansion will mean new jobs for the area.