Clorox to Build New Plant in Berkeley County
MARTINSBURG — Bringing an expected $190 million economic investment and 100 new jobs to the area, officials with the Fortune 500 company Clorox announced Thursday plans to build a manufacturing facility in the southern part of Berkeley County.
The Clorox Company officials said, after working closely with local leadership, it took the first step in the process of bringing the manufacturing giant to the area after filing sketch plans with the Berkeley County planning office.
“We’ve been excited about everything we’ve seen in West Virginia,” said Michael Holly, vice president of product supply and the project’s executive sponsor.
According to project leadership, it was after careful research and consideration that the Tabler Station Business Park was chosen as the site for the company’s newest manufacturing facility where cat litter for the brands Fresh Step and Scoop Away will be produced, joining the Procter & Gamble distribution center, Orgill and Carter Lumber.
The Tabler Station plant will be the third Clorox plant in the state — joining two Kingsford Charcoal plants in Mineral and Tucker Counties — making West Virginia the only state in the country with three Clorox manufacturing facilities, Holly said.
There are currently 19 Clorox manufacturing plants nationwide.
According to Holly, there were multiple reasons Berkeley County was chosen as the site for the company’s next project, including its existing infrastructure, easy access to Interstate 81, possesses access to a “great, skilled and capable workforce” and allows for rail access with which to haul raw materials.
“We take our environmental commitments very seriously,” Holly said, adding the railway’s proximity was a large driver for site selection so the company can continue striving for its environmental goals.
Holly said in recent years the company reduced its carbon footprint by 75%, its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and 13 company sites globally are now zero waste-to-landfill sites.
Moving into a new market area, Holly added the company is dedicated to providing its new employees with competitive pay above the county’s average and extensive readiness and organizational training while remaining committed to diversity inclusion.
Clorox was rated the best place to work according to Glassdoor and received an award from the Bloomberg Index for gender equality. In an employee generated survey, 87% of Clorox employees ranked engaged or highly engaged in their work for the company, Holly added.
Holly said Clorox works to impact the communities it builds in through local partnerships and has donated over the last year $4.5 million to local groups and $6 million in product donations.
Holly explained the company strives to adhere to its motto of “do the right thing” in all aspects of its work with the community, environmentally but also with its employees, stating the company puts the power of giving back into its employees’ hands through its GIFT program.
GIFT, or getting involved for tomorrow, is one of the Clorox’s programs which allows employees to choose any organization to donate up to $2,500 to and Clorox will match each employee’s donation dollar for dollar.
According to Eric Fetterman, Clorox project manager for the Tabler Station facility, the plant should be operational in 2022.
Fetterman said the hiring process would begin in 2021 and a large portion of those hired will come from the local community.
“We don’t do this often, so it says a lot when we move into an area,” Fetterman said. “Our commitment is for the long term. We’re really invested in the area.”