Monday, July 7, 2008

Howell pledges to fight in Senate against losses like the CNC Center

Press Release

Howell pledges to fight in Senate against losses like the CNC Center


Monday, July 07, 2008 304-790-9292

KEYSER — Gary Howell, candidate for the State Senate from the 14th District, was the focus of a story last week about the announced move of the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining center and the CNC Turning Center from the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) in Mineral County to the RCBI location in Bridgeport. Today, Howell said he will fight in the State Senate to prevent actions like this from occurring in the future.

CNC machines are sophisticated milling machines for low-volume production, giving businesses the ability to make small, precise parts. The move was announced last week by RCBI CEO and Director Charlotte Weber.

But Howell, owner and operator of Howell Automotive in Keyser, told the Mineral Daily News Tribune, “The ability to make small parts has given us a competitive edge in our businesses — otherwise we wouldn’t be able to make these parts.”

Howell added, “A CNC Machine can do a part in half-hour whereas the same part will take the manual machine three days to make — it’s basically useless. The difference between using a CNC Machine and Manual Machine is like the difference between sending a package to California through Fed Ex next day air and sending the package on foot.”

In a follow-up editorial, the News Tribune said, “It's difficult to view this week's news from Rocket Center as anything other than a setback for economic development in Mineral County.” The editorial added, “Gary Howell, a local businessman who has used the milling machines … said the relocation is a setback not only for local businesses, but for the larger economic development effort in the county.”

The newspaper added that the decision reinforces the impression that the region is “something less than a top priority for state and regional economic development.”

Howell said today that one of the main reasons he wants to serve in the State Senate is to make sure the 14th District is not taken for granted.

“The jobs and working families of the 14th District deserve more attention and respect from the rest of the state,” said Howell. “Serving in the Senate, I’ll make sure jobs, businesses and services are not stolen away from the people of Barbour, Grant, Mineral, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor and Tucker counties and moved to parts of the state that currently seem to have more clout.”

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