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Vallourec Star unveiling leads to promising job opportunities in the Valley

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The Mahoning Valley is stepping up its business potential as an old steel property has transformed into North America's largest seamless pipe mill.

Vallourec Star unveiled the 1 million square foot, state-of-the-art facility that has given more than 350 people work.

A dedication ceremony was held for the new seamless pipe mill; a $1 billion investment that's already paying off.

Over 1200 contractors were hired to build the facility, more than 350 skilled workers are now employed there and 2000 "spin-off" jobs are to follow.

This is all part of the supply chain meeting the growing demand for the horizontal drilling, all associated with the shale boom.

"You look now at what was an empty steel corridor for most of our adult life, and now it's breathing not only new life, but dramatic new life," says Mayor James Melfi of Girard.

Mayor of Youngstown, Charles Sammarone, agrees.

"It does prove what we've been saying all along. We can come back, it just takes hard work, and it takes us being able to work with businesses, and we've proven that over the years," Sammarone says.

The global company made a brave decision to expand during the economic downturn, breaking ground nearly three years ago after an unprecedented collaborative effort by two communities and a company on the receiving end of President Obama's $20 million stimulus package.

Former Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams worked tirelessly to bring the project here and has returned home to celebrate this major milestone.

"So for those critics that ask what was the impact of the stimulus, all they need to do is come to the Mahoning Valley," says Williams, current White House Representative.

Joel Mastervich, president and CEO of Vallourec attended the ceremony and feels very confident about the new project.

"Pipe making is not an easy skill, and we feel very strongly about the skills our people have. So above all, that was a key consideration to build the plant here in Youngstown," says Mastervich.

Vallourec executives also plan to take advantage of the skilled workforce telling me there's more investment to come.

"We know that, thanks to the growth of the oil and gas market in the U.S., we will need more finishing capabilities, so yes, we are definitely going to invest a bit more," says chairman and management board member Philippe Crouzet.

The opening of Vallourec Star is a defining moment for the Valley that's rewriting history. Those involved hope that making steel will not only be a part of Youngstown's past, but part of its future as well.

 

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