Muskogee V&M TCA plant seeks grant funding toward $11.3 million expansion

MUSKOGEE. Okla. - A Muskogee plant specializing in the manufacture of seamless steel tubes is seeking to expand and add more than two dozen jobs at its Port of Muskogee facility.

The company, V&M TCA, a part of V&M STAR in Houston, a subsidiary of France-based Vallourec, has applied for a $3 million economic incentive grant from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to help fund a $11.3 million expansion.

Brien Thorstenberg, Director of Business and Economic Development at Port of Muskogee, told 2NEWS the plant which has operated out of the port since 1982 now employs more than 200 people at an average yearly wage of $48,000.

The expansion, he said, would replace an older machine – damaged by a recent fire – with a newer, more efficient machine, and at the same time expand the facility and add 25 more jobs.

Thorstenberg said councilors with the City of Muskogee recently signed a resolution supporting the company's grant application, the resolution being one of many factors considered in whether or not V&M TCA will win the grant funding.

"The grant is secured on job creation, community support, investment capital and quality of jobs," he said, listing some of the other points for consideration.

He told 2NEWS the company has served the community well as it has brought primary jobs to Muskogee – essentially bringing inside outside money.

Likening a local economy to a pie, he said these primary jobs increase the size of a pie as a whole while retail and service deliver thinner slices of the pie.

"If you bring wealth-creating jobs – primary jobs – to a community, then you are able to support more companies in the retail and service industry," Thorstenberg said, adding that this is what V&M has done in Muskogee.

"They employ people in well-paying, quality jobs – 200 people. That is significant in a community the size of Muskogee – and they are growing."

He said the local support for the company is out of a desire to keep it in Muskogee and giving back.

"We want them to remain profitable to be a contributor to the quality of life for the area."

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