Last month, Italian company Italcementi, the world's fifth largest producer of cement, opened a new plant in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Work on the facility began in 2006 and was completed at a cost of $500 million dollars, representing the company's largest investment in North America today.
Italcementi employs 2,300 workers at seven plants across the United States. This particular plant, which has been outfitted with cutting-edge technology, is able to produce two million tons of cement each day.
Speaking at the facility's inauguration, Italian Ambassador to the U.S. Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata lauded the unique collaboration in the fields of science and technology that exists today between the U.S. and Italy.
Said Terzi, "The National Science Foundation estimates that over 15 thousand scientists of Italian origin are active in the U.S. From biotechnologies to astrophysics, from nanotechnology to nuclear physics, many Italian scientists have contributed substantially, over the last decades, to the American scientific progress. As an example, let me mention the small group of Italian researchers working in Silicon Valley, who in the 1980's developed hardware and software components still essential to our computers. Thanks to them, for instance, the control room of this 'state of the art' plant in West Virginia is so advanced."
Terzi also lauded West Virginia's Italian roots, adding as he concluded that, "Let me also pay a warm tribute to the hard working Italian community in West Virginia. They are here, as representatives of a long history of dedication and commitment to the industrial and economic development of the State and the Union."