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Telegram Editorial for Friday, September 18, 1998

$5.6 million A.E., Inc., should be major boost to region

The opening of a $5.6 million manufacturing facility in Buckhannon earlier this week is a God-send for Upshur County and should go a long way in helping the Mountain State meet Governor Cecil Underwood's goal of 12,000 new jobs this year.

The new company, which will be located in a part of the former Moore Business Forms building on W.Va. Route 20 just south of the city, will create up to 100 jobs.

That will certainly be a shot in the arm for the Buckhannon area.

We have to agree with the governor -- he was on hand Tuesday for grand opening ceremonies at A.E., Inc. -- when he offered words of praise for the current Legislature for being the most business-friendly in many years, as well as creating an economic climate that is conducive to the development of business.

A.E., Inc. is owned by state native John Eddy, who formerly owned Precision Coil, Inc., near Clarksburg, and sold his interest in Precision to open A.E. The firm will fabricate aluminum stampings for the electric conductor market. Already it has contracts with major electrical producers.

According to Upshur County Development Authority Executive Director Frank Moots, employment applications will be accepted either in late November or in December, with production at the plant expected to get under way in January.

Moots also stated that the building will be used as a shell building. He said it could possible house three or four more start-up or relocated manufacturing firms.

A.E., Inc., will begin with 50-60 employees and grow to 80-100 within a six-month period, the owner said, adding that the total could eventually be as high as 125-130 workers. He said jobs will pay in the $8-$10 per hour range.

Eddy is certainly deserving of much credit for his confidence in the area's business climate to start a new firm. We hope his optimism is contagious.

-- Robert F. Stealey