New commercial developments are sprouting across the landscape of Wood County. Combined with that with a positive retail environment and this is an area welcoming to many types of industry.
Polymers help lead the industry in the Mid-Ohio Valley, an area with abundant resources, good commercial location, a stable workforce and a remarkable quality of life. Wood County is home to a number of major corporations, with the three leading products being chemicals, ferrous metals, and glass. It also is a member of the Polymer Alliance Zone (PAZ), created in 1996 as a partnership between government, schools, and the plastics industry with the goal of bringing businesses to the area to make their products here from the raw materials produced here. The Polymer Technology Park, located in Davisville and leased by the PAZ from the Mid-Ohio Valley Development Corp., will be the center of a national effort aimed at one of the zone’s key operations – electronics recycling. The park is the future home of the National Center for Electronics Recycling. The goal of the center will be to coordinate electronic recycling efforts across the country. Wood County has the highest concentration of producers of high tech, specialty and engineering resins in the world. The plastics industry is growing even though other manufacturing sectors may be decreasing nationally. The area also has a number of businesses that take care of the plastic companies’ needs, including metal fabrication, tooling, mold-making, dyes, repair work, transportation, and other tasks. Nearly 10,000 area residents work in the plastics companies.
Three nationally known glass plants in the Mid-Ohio Valley employ more than 1,000 people. Products include glass fiber, laboratory ware, and decorative glassware. Fenton Art Glass in Williamstown, where glass is blown and hand-worked, is a popular stop for tourists.
The economy is diversified, however, with many types of businesses. An ample labor supply and many desirable industrial sites are attracting additional investment to the area. Most have municipal services, such as water, sewerage, electricity, natural gas, and fire and police protection. The Mid-Ohio Valley offers new developers warehouse facilities, office spaces and storefronts. Local capital is available for industrial construction.
The Area Roundtable, a collaboration of the Parkersburg Development Corporation, the Wood County Development Authority and the Parkersburg-Wood County Area Development Corporation, is available to assist business. The Area Roundtable, created to organize and foster sustained economic growth in Wood County, is made up of three different but inter-related organizations that each plays a vital role in the retention and creation of jobs and the promotion of investments in our community. The three organizations – the Wood County Development Authority, the Parkersburg Development Corporation, and the Parkersburg-Wood County Area Development Corporation – all have a central management team to enhance administrative efficiencies and consolidate fundraising needs.