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VAM USA, a Houston-based manufacturer of premium pipe connections, announced that it will open a finishing plant adjacent to the current V & M Star expansion on the border of Youngstown and Girard in Ohio. The $57-million investment will create 100 new jobs. V&M Star and VAM USA are both affiliate companies of the Vallourec Group.
The 200,000-square foot structure sits on V & M Star property. VAM produces premium pipe connections, which are now in high demand because of the horizontal drilling operations — known as hydrofracking, or “fracking” — used to extract natural gas from Utica and Marcellus shale.
“We can make the pipe at V & M Star. Judson’s company can then thread it for customers that are largely in this area. It’s a finished good instead of having two seperate companies at two seperate sites,” said Joel Mastervich, president and chief operating officer of V & M Star.
“These are not minimum wage jobs. These are good jobs that are going to be right here in our community, in Youngstown and Girard. Everybody’s going to benefit from the economic impact of these families being able to keep their homes, and spend money in the community, send their kids to school. So that’s another 100 families, in addition to the 350 that V & M is going to hire, in addition to the 1,000 construction workers that are out there right now,” said Rep. Tim Ryan.
“What is so exciting is the fact that when you drive down past that site, that you see what was a 100-year-old vacant steel building, formerly the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., is now coming back to life. That doesn’t happen very often,” said Girard Mayor Jim Melfi.
The first phase of the finishing plant is expected to be done around August of 2012, bringing on about 60 employees. The final phase should be finished by the end of 2013, bringing on the addtional 40 workers.
“Our products are the industry leader in the natural gas production industry,” Wallace said in a press release announcing the project. “Expanding in Youngstown made sense for us as it brings us very close to customers working in both the Marcellus and Utica shales, where business is booming. Our new facility will enable us to improve service to existing customers and connect with new customers.”
“We know how to make things in Ohio. Manufacturing is the backbone of our economy and has made Ohio and our country strong,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said. “By partnering with V & M Star and expanding its footprint in Youngstown, VAM USA is underscoring its confidence in the Mahoning Valley’s workers and their commitment to making quality products. I am thrilled at this news and applaud VAM’s investment in our state.”