Tuesday marked a milestone for Prysmian Group in Marshall as the company celebrated the groundbreaking of a $50 million expansion project in Harrison County.

“That’s the biggest one we’ve seen in quite some time,” Rush Harris, executive director of Marshall Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO), said.

Prysmian Group is one of the largest manufacturers of electric utility cable, powering the world. According to officials, Prysmian Group’s Harrison County plant, formerly known as General Cable, is its largest plant in North America and is where the bulk of the region’s renewable energy products are made.

The $50 million investment in its Marshall plant will include equipment upgrades and the addition of 75 jobs.

The company boasts 27 manufacturing facilities, 14 distribution centers, six R&D centers and more than 5,400 employees.

Prysmian’s new plant director, David Cooper, said Tuesday’s groundbreaking was a day of celebration.

“It’s a big day for us,” Cooper continued. “We’ve been here over 50 years, that’s a long time. And that doesn’t just happen. You see a lot of businesses come and go, but the ones that are run really well and make a deep connection to the towns and the people and the culture that they work within, those are the ones that make it, so we must be doing something right to be here for 50 years.

“I can assure you myself, and the team, we want to be here for another 50,” he said. “And we’re going to do exactly that. It’s a big day for all of us.”

Paul Furtado, COO of Prysmian Group North America, agreed that it was indeed a special day for the Marshall community.

“We’ve been a significant presence here for over 50 years, and we are proud to be here in Marshall, Texas in the Harrison County area,” said Furtado. “Our people live in this community, they thrive in this community and we are thankful for the dedication and the commitment they make for our organization.”

“With this latest capital investment, we look forward to that next 50-plus years and being that employer of choice for the region that we are all striving to be,” he said.

Giving remarks, Harrison County Judge Chad Sims said he’s thankful for what this business means to the county and its families. Having been a longtime staple in the community, the company’s roots trace back to 1968, when it started as its forerunner company, Alcoa ACPC. Throughout the decades, the company evolved to Conductor Products, Reynolds Metals, BICC, General Cable and now Prysmian Group as of 2018.

“My dad did work here in the 70s,” Sims shared. “I’m from Elysian Fields, so I know people that have been out here for years. I’m thankful for what this business means to the county, not only in the past, but obviously you guys (have) committed to have a bright and long future here, and that’s exciting for me.”

Sims, who was joined by Pct. 2 County Commissioner Zephaniah Timmins, said the commissioners court is very supportive of economic development projects.

“We’re grateful for Prysmian, for what you all are doing here, and any way that we can support and help, we want to be a part,” Sims said.

Furtado recognized and thanked all elected and appointed officials and business leaders for their ongoing support of the Prysmian Group in Marshall.

“I can tell you, you make a difference in us deciding in this investment,” said Furtado. “We have a lot of options. I can tell you if it wasn’t for the support of the state, local and county officials and the economic development organization to help us with this decision we would not be here today.”

Furtado also recognized the support and dedication of local United Auto Workers Union local UAW Chapter 3057.

“For your hard work and dedication despite the challenges that we faced at times, there’s no doubt the dedication and hard work of our people allowed this business to succeed which then allows our people to succeed,” said Furtado. “So our best day is still ahead of us because of the people in this Marshall facility. So we are truly building a better tomorrow together.”

Harris, MEDCO’s executive director, thanked all who made the expansion project and community partnership possible. He recognized key supporters who were present, including Judge Sims, Commissioner Timmins, Fire Marshal Duana Couch, Marshall Mayor Amy Ware, MEDCO officials, as well as representatives from the governor’s office, from State Sen. Bryan Hughes’s office, from former State Rep. Chris Paddie’s office and from State Rep. Jay Dean’s office.

“Good economic partnerships are the heartbeat of any community and Prysmian Group has proven to be such a partner having been in Harrison County for over 50 years,” said Harris. “With this expansion, we look forward to another 50 years with such a great partnership.”

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County/Courts Reporter

Robin Y. Richardson is an award winning print journalist, serving as the county government and courts reporter. She earned her journalism degree from TSU and master's from LSUS. She is the proud mother of one daughter.