West Virginia state officials recently recognized Star Plastics, Inc in a virtual ceremony for growing export sales to two new countries in 2020.
“Exporting to a new country is an incredible accomplishment and we are all proud of their success,” said Gov. Jim Justice during the virtual ceremony.
Star was one of 27 West Virginia businesses awarded the Governor’s Commendation for International Market Entry Award, which is given to companies that made their first sale to a new country in the previous calendar year.
Exports are an important aspect of West Virginia’s growing economy. Since 2002, more than 2,000 export awards have been presented to West Virginia companies for selling products to nearly 200 countries, and just last year, the state’s exports were valued at $4.5 billion.
“2020 was a tough year for all West Virginians but these businesses kept going and kept working in spite of the pandemic,” said Gov. Jim Justice.
The award presentation ceremony was conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and included remarks from several state officials, including Gov. Justice, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, Sen. Joe Manchin and EXIM Chair and President Kimberly Reed.
As part of the award, Star received a framed piece of currency from Mexico and Italy – the new countries to which Star began exporting in 2020—based on the tradition of displaying the first dollar a business earns.
While Star Plastics material has made its way to Mexico in the past through distribution, 2020 marked the first year Star exported material directly to a processor for the manufacturing of parts. Star Plastics also began doing business in Italy last year through their global partnership with Italian compounder, LATI Thermoplastics, S.p.A. established in July of 2020. The goal of that partnership is to supply Lati materials in North America and continue to expand Star material sales into Europe.
“Every time a West Virginia business expands into a new market, it should be celebrated. It’s an incredible achievement that contributes so much to the state’s economy,” said West Virginia Department of Economic Development Secretary Mitch Carmichael.