United States Senator Joe Manchin visited Momentive Performance Materials Inc. in Friendly on Dec. 4.
Manchin met with officials and employees to discuss economic opportunities for the company as well as the chemical industry in general. His stop at Momentive was part of his state tour to focus on job creation, small business growth, and educational opportunities. To achieve this goal, the senator explored local businesses, met with constituents, and spoke with elementary and college students.
As for its role in the job market, Momentive distributes silicones and other materials worldwide. Serving more than 25 industries, the company prides itself in having a "70-year heritage of being first to market with performance applications for major industries that support and improve everyday life." It employs over 450 employees, many of whom are Tyler County residents, and refers to the additives it produces as "the secret ingredient" in many products used daily.
MANCHIN AT MOMENTIVE-- From left: Plant Manager Dan Beringer, Senator Joe Manchin, President of Local 698C Ed Bartrug, Senior VP of Additives Sector Ian Moore.
"Some of our better paying jobs are in the chemical industry," said Manchin, citing the importance of businesses like Momentive.
When the senator asked about the company's safety standards, employees expressed that they felt safe as they worked.
"That means a lot," he said of their confidence in workplace safety.
As for community safety, Momentive also has a history of working alongside local emergency preparedness groups and sponsoring annual training events.
While discussing the potential impact of chemical production on the environment, Senior Vice President of the Additives Sector Ian Moore said that the company and its employees take great care to protect the surrounding area.
"They live here," said Moore.
"You're going to find more ways to help because you live here," the senator agreed.
Delegate Roger Romine (R-Tyler) and Senator Larry Edgell (D-Wetzel) also attended the visit. The representatives agreed that bipartisan efforts were important in yielding results for any political measure.
"As our economy continues to climb back, we cannot lose sight of the bigger issue: jobs, jobs, and more jobs," said Manchin prior to his visits to W.Va.'s Northern Panhandle and Metro Valley. "I look forward to touring local businesses to discuss economic opportunities while creating and maintaining jobs right here in West Virginia. I'm also eager to meet with our bright students and talk about the importance of investing in their future by getting a good education."