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Procon Will Begin Operations In Park

By Staff | Nov 5, 2008

This shell building in the Wetzel County Industrial Park will be the site of a metal fabrication company, Procon, LLC.

An Oklahoma-based metal fabrication company plans to begin operations in a 12,000-square-foot Foundry Street building in New Martinsville early next year.

Procon LLC will be the first tenant of the Wetzel Industrial Park and expects to recruit and employ five to 10 individuals from the local union labor force initially, with plans to expand this local base as the business grows.

The Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce and Procon LLC., headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., announced Monday that they had agreed to terms of the lease.

Warren Judge, a resident of Sistersville and one of Procon’s five founding members, expressed Procon’s enthusiasm for this initiative.

“My partners and I want to create and maintain positive and mutually constructive relationships with the chamber of commerce, the Regional Economic Development Partnership and the local community,” said Judge. “In this regard, (Chamber President) Don Riggenbach and the entire chamber, along with Josh Jefferson of the RED-P group have been extremely helpful throughout the process, culminating in completion of the leasing arrangements. We are grateful for their support and view it as an excellent start to what we trust will be a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.”

Tony Teece, Procon chairman and chief executive officer, echoed Judge’s sentiments.

“All of us at Procon LLC trust that, in these times of economic uncertainty, our partnership with the chamber and the Regional Economic Development group, along with local community leadership, will result in a positive contribution to local, county, and statewide economic and employment opportunities, and we look forward to working together for the mutual benefit of all of us in the coming months and years,” Teece said.

Owned by the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce and managed by RED in cooperation with the Wetzel County Commission, the Wetzel County Industrial Park is a 40-acre park containing the building and its various improvements, fixtures, and equipment.

Jefferson said the building is located on the east side of W.Va. 2 in the Brooklyn section of the city. He said the building was built some seven years ago by the United States Economic Development Administration as an economic venture in what was termed a rural area. The state EDA at the time worked in conjunction with the Greater New Martinsville Development Corporation.

He said that prior to Procon occupying the “shell” building, the chamber will install a heating system, something the chamber had anticipated prior to Monday’s announcement.

The time period for negotiations between the chamber and Procon was very short, according to Jefferson. The chamber, comprised of 100 members, represents businesses and individuals throughout the county, which in addition to New Martinsville includes the municipalities of Paden City, Hundred, and Pine Grove.

Riggenbach believes Procon is exactly the type of business the site was developed to attract.

“We are excited and expect Procon to be a great partner in securing the economic viability of Wetzel County,” he said. “The chamber’s goal is to continue to market the industrial park and the benefits of Wetzel County to find a partner to occupy the remaining acreage.”

The Wetzel County Commission and other Wetzel County legislators are excited and have voiced their support of Procon LLC.

“The county commission along with Sen. Larry Edgell, D-Wetzel; Sen. Jeffrey Kessler, D-Marshall; and Delegate Dave Pethtel, D-Wetzel, are pleased to welcome Procon LLC to our county,” said Don Mason, vice president of the Wetzel County Commission. “This is the type of investment that will offer employment opportunities to our residents and add to our tax base in the county.”

Procon LLC is a development-stage company founded in February by Teece. The firm currently works in Tulsa with the oil industry and leading heater manufacturers.

ProCon holds several contracts for various components to heaters, which will be shipped as far as Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, and Iraq alongside orders for U.S. refineries.

All the founding members spent most of 2006 and 2007 in West Virginia, where it became clear there was a base of tradesmen who, if given the chance, could compete worldwide.

Alongside the present order book, plans to supply heaters to Bolivia, Brazil, and Costa Rica, are in the works and domestic oil refineries also have several orders in the system.

Procon’s order book includes deliveries scheduled in 2010.