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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2012
Jacqueline Proctor, (304) 558-2000
Catherine Zacchi, (304) 957-9340
Governor Releases February “Open for Business” Report
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today released the latest “Open for Business” report documenting the state’s economic progress. The February 2012 report highlights projects and related announcements from businesses both large and small that will assist with the creation of new jobs and the preservation of existing jobs.
West Virginia Legislature passes cracker plant tax reduction bill
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed a bill which will provide a property tax credit for businesses that spend at least $2 billion to build ethane cracker plants in West Virginia. Instead of taxing the property at 5 percent of its original value for 10 years, the bill extends the salvage value tax treatment of 5 percent for 25 years.
“This tax relief bill showcases our state’s commitment to being a great business partner today and long into the future,” said Gov. Tomblin.
Baker Hughes to build center, retain 200 jobs, add 275 new, in Harrison County
Baker Hughes, one of the world’s largest oilfield service companies, plans to build a new $40 million center outside Bridgeport. The project will consolidate two existing facilities into one significantly larger center. The consolidation will preserve more than 200 existing West Virginia jobs and is expected to create an estimated 275 new jobs in the coming years. Construction is expected to reach completion by the end of 2012.
TRG creates 300 new jobs in West Virginia
TRG Customer Solutions recently announced the creation of 150 new jobs in Beckley in Raleigh County and 150 new jobs in Elkins in Randolph County. The staffing buildup is the result of the renewal of long-term contracts. In addition, TRG is currently investing $200,000 to remodel and refurbish the Beckley facility. TRG is a leading global business process outsourcing provider of customer management solutions and technologies.
NCO Group will create 90 new jobs in Kanawha County
NCO Group, a leading provider of business processing services, will hire approximately 90 new associates in its Charleston contact center. The hiring will substantially expand NCO’s presence in Charleston and includes more than $350,000 of new investments in equipment and training.
Jackson County plant celebrates commission of $46 million stretcher
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined other state, local and company officials at a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony at Constellium in Ravenswood. The event celebrated the commissioning of the plant’s new 30 million-pound stretcher. Unique to the Ravenswood facility, the stretcher provides high technology and production capabilities that allow Constellium to offer high-quality and value-added aluminum plate to its customers. Constellium is a key supplier of advanced aluminum products and solutions for aerospace, defense and a variety of other markets. The re-build represents a $46 million investment.
WVDO co-sponsors Feb. 27 webinar on how to improve website and boost export sales
Businesses can learn how to turn their websites into more effective export sales tools by attending a new webinar (a seminar presented on the Web, enabling participants to attend from anywhere, over any device with an Internet connection.) The webinar is presented by the U.S. Commercial Service and the West Virginia Development Office (WVDO) in cooperation with Direct Online Marketing and Terradon Communications Group. The topics include cost-effective tips to make a website more appealing to international visitors and how to get the improved website in front of prospective international buyers. The webinar is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 27, at 1 to 2:15 p.m. Eastern Time. Participants must register in advance and pay a $45 fee to access the webinar. For more information, visit www.WorldTradeWV.com/Webinar.
Harrison County aerospace firm delivers first ship set of composite structures for Navy unmanned aircraft program
Aurora Flight Sciences announced the delivery of the first complete ship set of composite aerospace structures to Northrop Grumman Corporation for a U.S. Navy unmanned aircraft program. The Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS) program carries out surveillance and reconnaissance tasks. The Aurora facility in Bridgeport manufactures the aft fuselage, forward and mid nacelle and V-tail assemblies of the MQ-4C BAMS UAS aircraft. Aurora Flight Sciences designs and builds robotic aircraft and other advanced aerospace vehicles for scientific and military applications.
New “StartUp West Virginia — Manufacturing” program helps move ideas to market
Now entrepreneurs and start-up firms have a new tool to help turn their ideas into commercial products. TechConnectWV and the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) announced the launch of the program “StartUp West Virginia — Manufacturing” in January 2012. The program provides financial grants to help successful applicants to take their innovative concepts to the next level with design, modeling and manufacturing assistance at RCBI’s newly-announced Design Works labs. Grant applications are available online at www.techconnectwv.com or www.rcbi.org . For more information, call 800-469-RCBI (7224).
New Business Resource Directory sums up state’s economic incentives
Now the state’s economic development programs are easy to find in one convenient place: the new West Virginia Business Resource Directory. The programs are organized by type: Business-to-Business; Community Support; Education and Training; Financial Assistance; Human Resources Assistance; and Technical Assistance. The Resource Directory provides a concise summary of each program’s essential facts, such as contact person, application process and eligibility. The West Virginia Business Resource Directory is available in an online version and as a downloadable PDF at www.wvdo.org/BusinessResourceDirectory.
West Virginia makes veterans’ services easy to find with comprehensive website
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin recently unveiled a new website that gathers West Virginia’s veterans’ services in a single convenient online location. The website wvmilitaryconnection.org helps military personnel and their families connect with information on employers, educational opportunities, family resources and other available benefits. This website is a joint venture of the state Department of Commerce, WorkForce West Virginia, West Virginia National Guard, Employer Services for the Guard and Reserve, West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance and the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans Program.
WVU renames engineering college to honor $34 million benefactor
West Virginia University’s school of engineering and mineral resources will be renamed in honor of an alumnus who recently pledged $34 million to the college. A portion of the pledge comes from a previously-announced commitment. The college will be called the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. The donation is the largest single gift commitment to any college at the university. In addition, $11 million of the donation will qualify for a match from the West Virginia Research Trust Initiative, popularly known as Bucks for Brains, making the total value of the gift $45 million. Ben Statler and his wife Jo are both natives of Monongalia County. The Statlers have supported numerous WVU initiatives including the comprehensive breast cancer program at WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.
Tech firm donates $2.5 million in software/support to Lewisburg medical school
EHRsolutions and Greenway Medical Technologies announced the donation of $2.5 million in electronic health record software, training and support to West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Greenbrier County. The PrimeSUITE software will enable electronic health record (EHR) technology to be integrated into the school’s curriculum. The Charleston-based EHRsolutions is a Greenway Platinum Business Alliance Partner.
WVEDA approves $2.1 million loan for Kanawha County business
The West Virginia Economic Development Authority (WVEDA) approved a new loan for a Kanawha County business during its January 2012 meeting:
- The Cooke Company (doing business as C & M Courier Services), $2,100,000, to acquire the former Great Lakes Truckland facility in Cross Lanes. The new facility will allow the expansion of the expedited delivery services business. The loan will enable the firm to retain 26 jobs with the potential to increase to 34 by the end of a year.
Three West Virginia cities rank in Top 25 for “Most Promising” real estate market
The website HousingPredictor.com ranks three West Virginia cities in its list of Top 25 most promising real estate markets in the United States for 2012. The rankings are based on expectations for housing appreciation in 2012. The cities and their rankings are: #3 Charleston; #8 Huntington; and #9 Wheeling.
Say “Yes” to catching West Virginia-born style consultant on new Podcast
Raleigh County native Monte Durham now has a Podcast available on iTunes called “Say Yes to the Dress: Monte’s Take.” Durham is featured on the cable network TLC wedding style show “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta.” The show began its third season on Jan. 6. The series follows a variety of southern brides as they seek the wedding dresses of their dreams. Before joining “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,” Durham owned a salon at The Resort at Glade Springs in West Virginia. He became a fashion stylist for the TLC show in 2010 and is a nationally-known bridal image consultant. Catch the Podcast at http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/say-yes-to-dress-montes-take/id449229998.