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U.S. Rep visits on ‘Built in America’ tour

SOUTH POINT — Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio, visited South Point Friday afternoon.

As a part of Wilson’s “Built in America” tour, the congressman visited Lawrence County’s biggest industrial park, The Point, along with McGinnis Inc. and Engines Inc.

“We came to see the expansion that’s going on at the park,” Wilson said.

Wilson recently helped secure $3.6 million in federal stimulus funds for the industrial park. The funds will be used to help expand the railroad and to provide a better working environment at the industrial park, Wilson said.

Another $700,000 appropriation is in the transportation budget that has been passed by the House and waiting on a Senate vote, Wilson said.

“I personally believe that in 18 months we’re going to be sitting in a whole new ballpark in manufacturing,” Wilson said.

The goal is to be prepared with trained workers at that time, said Dr. Bill Dingus, executive director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation. Lawrence County has had some of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, he added.

After visiting the Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Wilson toured McGinnis Inc, a company that builds and repairs barges, where he met with Rick Griffith, president.

He also toured Engines Inc, a company that manufactures metal products for railroads, steel mills and coalmines. Wilson met with Carl Grover, president, and David Sanders, vice president, of Engines Inc.

“One of the things I like about Carl’s business is that he exports to Mexico,” Wilson said. “He takes their money instead of them taking our money. “

Both of the companies are looking to expand.

“He has a couple of places here that could add jobs,” Wilson said of McGinnis. “Same way with Engines Inc. They’re looking for people.”

The company has three buildings in Lawrence County, but it would like to have four, Sanders said. Besides the three in the county, there are two in Milton and a 75,000 square foot building in Huntington.