Open for Business Report | May 2011

Published Tuesday, May 3, 2011 @ 1:11 PM by Andrew.C.King@wv.gov (Andrew King)


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2011

CONTACT:
Jacqueline Proctor, (304) 558-2000
Catherine Zacchi, (304) 957-9340


Governor Releases May “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 May 2011 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.

Amazon.com to expand service center, add 200 full-time jobs, in Kinetic Park
Amazon.com announced plans to build a new 70,000-square-foot customer service center in Kinetic Park in Huntington. Amazon will create 200 new full-time jobs at the facility by the end of 2014 and is currently recruiting candidates. Construction on the new facility is slated to begin now and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2011. Amazon is moving its customer service center, operated by AMZN.wvcs LLC, from its current location in downtown Huntington into the new facility.

TransGas plans May 9 groundbreaking for Mingo County coal-to-gas plant
TransGas Development Systems has scheduled the groundbreaking for a proposed coal-to-gasoline plant for May 9 in Wharncliffe, Mingo County. The first of its kind in the country, the $4 billion Adams Fork Energy plant is expected to produce 756,000 gallons of gasoline from coal each day. Building is expected to take four years and create 3,000 construction jobs.

Alcon opens expanded manufacturing facility
Intraocular lens manufacturer Alcon Research, Ltd. completed the expansion of its $40 million manufacturing facility in the Huntington Area Development Center Business Park. The new 70,000-square-foot facility is used to make “delivery systems,” or small devices used to place the lens into the eye during surgery. When fully operational, the facility is expected to employ 300 people.

Because Swiss-owned Novartis is acquiring Alcon, the ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Manuel Sager, Switzerland’s ambassador to the United States. Before the ceremony, Sager visited Helvetia, a community in Randolph County settled by the Swiss in 1869. Helvetia retains its Swiss atmosphere and celebrates its heritage with an annual festival.

Quad/Graphics to invest $15 million in Berkeley County plant
Quad/Graphics Inc. announced plans to invest more than $15 million in its Martinsburg book-manufacturing plant. The Wisconsin-based company will upgrade press equipment and update its binder models. Quad/Graphics intends to move its mass-market paperback operation from its closing Buffalo, N.Y., plant and consolidate it with Martinsburg’s existing trade-book services. Quad/Graphics produces magazines, catalogs, direct mail products, books, directories and specialty products. The company has 60 print-production locations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe.

Lewis County technology firm wins $10 million U.S. Energy contract
Allegheny Science & Technology recently received a contract valued at up to $10 million with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Based in Weston, Allegheny will provide project management services to DOE’s operations office and nuclear energy facilities in Idaho. Allegheny’s team includes Morgantown-based Performance Results Corp. and Virginia-based McNeil Technologies. Allegheny is a participant in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program.

Jefferson County institute on team awarded Next Generation Learning grant
American Public University System (APUS) is on the Open Academic Analytics Initiative (OAAI) team that has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) for a project to research and activities in support of the Sakai online Collaboration and Learning Environment. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates and the William & Flora Hewlett Foundations, NGLC focuses on technology-enabled approaches to improve college readiness and completion. With offices in Charles Town, American Public University System is an online university system that includes member institutions American Public University and American Military University.

U.S. SBA honors West Virginia’s Best Small Businesses for 2011
Winners of the 2011 West Virginia’s Best Small Businesses will be honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on May 3 in Beckley. Honorees include SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year Arthur Ebeling, CEO, Warrior Energy, Martinsburg, Berkeley County; Financial Services Champion of the Year Melinda Walls, director of West Virginia University’s Entrepreneurship Center in Morgantown, Monongalia County; Minority Small Business Champion of the Year Jamila Jones-Fleet, president of Innovative Solutions Technology, Kearneysville, Jefferson County; and Veteran Small Business Champion Walter S. Howerton III, president, WV Vet Tech LLC, Richwood, Nicholas County.

Oliverio Italian Style Peppers, Clarksburg, Harrison County, was chosen for the Jerry Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year award. Operated by siblings Deanna Mason and Mark Oliverio, the company was also selected as the SBA Region III Regional Award. Region III includes Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and District of Columbia.

Harry Siegel, president of HMS Technologies Inc., Martinsburg, won the West Virginia 2011 Entrepreneurial Success award and was named as the Region III Entrepreneurial Success Regional honoree.

Judith Sheppard, president/CEO of Professional Services of America, Inc., in Parkersburg, Wood County, has been named West Virginia’s 2011 Small Business Person of the Year. She is in competition for the National Small Business Person of the Year. The winner of the national honor will be named by the SBA on May 20 in Washington, D.C.

Homeland Security honors Kanawha County small business
BrooAlexa Design Joint Venture recently received the 2011 Department of Homeland Security Small Business Achievement Award in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. BrooAlexa Design Joint Venture provides architectural and interior design and engineering services for new construction and renovation projects. The award-winning project was the Dormitory and Conference Center at the Advanced Training Center in Harpers Ferry for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Procurement Directorate. The joint venture companies are BrooAlexa LLC and Perspectus Architecture. BrooAlexa Design is one of only 16 companies nationally to receive the award.

Construction begins at Tech Park and Tech College
Construction is underway at the West Virginia Education Research and Technology Park (WVERTP), formerly the Dow South Charleston Technology Center. A $15 million Advanced Technology Center is being built near the entrance. Plans also call for the renovation of existing buildings on the 258-acre park.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College recently broke ground on a new Applied Technology Center at the Williamson campus in Mingo County. The new center will be 25,000 square feet.

WorkForce West Virginia receives kudos from U.S. Dept. Of Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor ranks West Virginia first in the country for timeliness in the adjudication of non-monetary unemployment compensation claims related to quits and discharges in 2010. The state ranked above the national average in all nine core performance measurements for unemployment claims. The WorkForce West Virginia Labor Market Information website www.workforcewv.org/LMI includes state, regional and county labor information, from employment statistics to worker availability.

WVDO participates in aeronautics industry exhibition
The West Virginia Development Office, the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission and several state airports participated in the aviation industry’s maintenance repair and overhaul exhibition MRO 2011. Marketing managers and airport managers from Beckley, Charleston, Huntington, Parkersburg and Bridgeport took part in the event, held April 12 - 14 in Miami Beach. Aeronautics Commission Director Susan Chernenko met with various aerospace interests attending the show. The joint cooperation helps promote the state’s growing aerospace business.

Handyman Club of America gives Simonton Windows seals of approval
Simonton Windows, which operates a manufacturing plant in Wood County, has received two “Seals of Approval” from the Handyman Club of America. One is for “Contractor Tested and Recommended”; another is for “Member Tested and Recommended.” Both titles were received as a result of installation testing on Simonton Reflections® double-hung replacement windows.

Projects extend waterlines in Webster County
A public-private partnership consisting of the Webster County Commission, Webster County Economic Development Authority and West Virginia American Water Company has awarded contracts for two waterline extension projects in Webster County. The first project will construct approximately 26,990 feet of waterline to extend service to several customers in the Miller Mountain area of Webster County. The $900,474 contract was awarded to Pro Contracting Inc., Clarksburg. The second project, known as “Diana Phase I,” will construct and install approximately 51,850 linear feet of water mains and related facilities extending along State Routes 15 and 20 from Miller Mountain to Diana Elementary School. The project will provide water service to approximately 162 users. The $3,241,500 project has been awarded to Welding Inc., Charleston, and Mike Enyart and Sons, South Point, Ohio.

Tyler County food firm cuts the mustard as outstanding condiment finalist
Uncle Buck’s Mustard Relish – Hot has been selected as a Silver Finalist for Outstanding Condiment in the 2011 softi™ Awards from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. The Sistersville company competed against 1,657 contenders across 31 award categories to become one of 110 Silver Finalists.


In This Issue


Amazon.com to expand service center, add 200 full-time jobs, in Kinetic Park

TransGas plans May 9 groundbreaking for Mingo County coal-to-gas plant

Alcon opens expanded manufacturing facility

Quad/Graphics to invest $15 million in Berkeley County plant

Lewis County technology firm wins $10 million U.S. Energy contract

Jefferson County institute on team awarded Next Generation Learning grant

U.S. SBA honors West Virginia’s Best Small Businesses for 2011

Homeland Security honors Kanawha County small business

Construction begins at Tech Park and Tech College

WorkForce West Virginia receives kudos from U.S. Dept. Of Labor

WVDO participates in aeronautics industry exhibition

Handyman Club of America gives Simonton Windows seals of approval

Projects extend waterlines in Webster County

Tyler County food firm cuts the mustard as outstanding condiment finalist


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