WV EDGE Business Report | August 2014

Published Tuesday, August 26, 2014 @ 12:40 PM by Andrew.C.King@wv.gov (Andrew King)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2014

CONTACT:
Chris Stadelman, 304-558-4977
Catherine Zacchi, 304-957-9340

Governor Releases August Edge Business Report

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today released the West Virginia Edge Business Report. The report documents the state’s economic progress. The August 2014 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.

Marcellus Region achieves record natural gas production
Marcellus Region achieves record natural gas production
U.S. Energy Information Administration | Drilling Productivity Report
For the first time ever recorded, natural gas production in the Marcellus Region topped 15 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) through July. That’s the assessment in the most current U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Drilling Productivity Report. The Marcellus Region, based primarily in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, is one of the seven most prolific areas on which the EIA report focuses. The seven regions account for 95 percent of domestic oil production growth and all domestic natural gas production growth during 2011-13.

According to the August 2014 EIA report, “The Marcellus Region is the largest producing shale gas basin in the United States, accounting for almost 40 percent of U.S. shale gas production. Marcellus Region production has increased dramatically over the past four years, increasing from 2 Bcf/d in 2010 to its current level.”

Although the rig count in the Marcellus Region has remained at around 100 rigs during
Marcellus Region achieves record natural gas production
the past 10 months, EIA predicts that natural gas production in the Marcellus Region will continue to grow due to “improvements in drilling productivity.” The production from new wells is expected to offset an expected decrease in production from existing wells. In a previous report, EIA attributed increasing productivity to “increasing precision and efficiency of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in oil and natural gas extraction.”


Report calls West Virginia Rainy Day fund one of healthiest in the nation
A report from Pew Charitable Trusts identifies the West Virginia Rainy Day Fund as one of the best in the country. West Virginia is one of only four states with sufficient reserves to operate for 100 days or more.

As of June 30, 2014, the state’s Rainy Day Fund – officially titled the Revenue Shortfall Reserve Fund – has more than $956 million in reserves.

States reserves and balances are vital to managing budgetary uncertainty, coping with unforeseen emergencies and maintaining fiscal health, according to the Pew Report. Strengthening reserves is a sign of fiscal responsibility, and a figure closely tracked by bond rating agencies.


Advanced Technology Center training facility opens in South Charleston
Advanced Technology Center training facility opens in South Charleston
Photo courtesy of BridgeValley Community and Technical College System
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin cut the ceremonial ribbon to open the Community and Technical College System’s new Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in South Charleston. The 55,000-square-foot, two-story training center provides laboratory space for programs such as electro/mechanical technology, power plant operation, chemical operators, advanced welding, and computer networking technology. BridgeValley Community and Technical College will oversee the daily operation of the training facility in the West Virginia Regional Technology Park.

“Today we celebrate our continued commitment to ensuring our students receive the best education possible, and we mark a significant step in providing workforce development and training opportunities in West Virginia,” Gov. Tomblin said. “With the opening of the Advanced Technology Center, we are giving students at BridgeValley Community & Technical College and others in the region the tools to receive the training they need with tailored programming designed to meet the needs of our economy now and in the future.”

During the dedication, Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia pledged $1 million over the next five years to support new equipment, education and training for its Advanced Manufacturing Technician degree program

A second 60,000-square-foot, $17.6 million ATC is under construction in Fairmont under the direction of Pierpont Community and Technical College. A collaborative effort of state government, educational institutions and private industry, the ATC training facilities will offer technologically advanced education and workforce training programs.


West Virginia reduces workers’ comp rates for 10th consecutive time
West Virginia employers will see a projected $32 million in workers’ compensation premium reductions in the coming year. The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) filed a proposed reduction in workers’ compensation loss cost rates with the Office of the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner – the 10th reduction in 10 years. The lower rates result in lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums for West Virginia employers.

NCCI, West Virginia’s rating agent, has proposed an overall 9.1 percent loss cost rate decrease with the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner. The new loss cost rate is effective Nov.1, 2014.

Since the workers’ compensation program was privatized in 2005, West Virginia employers have seen a savings of more than $280 million.


Manufacturing Institute names RCBI to prestigious “Manufacturers Endorsed” list
Manufacturing Institute names RCBI to prestigious “Manufacturers Endorsed” list
The nation's manufacturers have endorsed the career skills programs offered by the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI).

The Manufacturing Institute named RCBI as the newest member of the “M-List." Considered a mark of excellence, the M-List recognizes “Manufacturers Endorsed” institutions whose technical programs align to industry certifications in areas such as production, welding and machining. RCBI is the 78th institution to be added to the M-List and the first from West Virginia.

RCBI was recognized for its industry-focused machinist technology, welding technology and robotics technology courses, according to a release from the Manufacturing Institute. Students at RCBI are eligible to earn certifications from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, the American Welding Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, among others.

RCBI has centers in Huntington, Charleston and Bridgeport.


WVEDA approves $484,785 loan for manufacturing facility in Cabell County
The West Virginia Economic Development Authority (WVEDA) approved a new 15-year loan to renovate a Huntington business facility during its July 2014 meeting:
  • Jabla LLC, $484,785, for the financing and renovation of a facility leased to Huntington manufacturer Saminco. Jabla is a real estate holding company based in Florida. Saminco designs and manufactures solid state traction controllers for electric motor-driven vehicles powered by batteries, diesel-hybrid and fuel cells. Founded in 1992, Saminco currently provides jobs for 34 workers.

WVDO promotes state industries through trade expos around the world
The West Virginia Development Office maintains an active schedule of trade show events. Upcoming shows include:
  • International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), Chicago, Sept. 8-13. Held once every two years in Chicago, the IMTS attracts more than 1,900 exhibitors and 100,000 attendees. IMTS is the premier manufacturing technology show in North America and features nine industry pavilions, 20 major product groups and more than 350 product categories. A team of five local economic development authority representatives and six from WVDO will assist during the weeklong show.
  • Global Identity Summit 2014, Tampa, Florida, Sept. 16-18. Presented by the Biometric Consortium Advisory Group, the event focuses on identity management technologies for defense and homeland security communities. WVDO is exhibiting jointly with the I-79 Corridor Development group.



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You are receiving this from the West Virginia Department of Commerce. The former Open for Business Report was renamed West Virginia Business Edge in May 2012. Previous issues of Open for Business Report can be viewed online at wvopenforbusiness.com.



Marcellus Region achieves record natural gas production

Report calls West Virginia Rainy Day fund one of healthiest in the nation

Advanced Technology Center training facility opens in South Charleston

West Virginia reduces workers’ comp rates for 10th consecutive time

Manufacturing Institute names RCBI to prestigious “Manufacturers Endorsed” list

WVEDA approves $484,785 loan for manufacturing facility in Cabell County

WVDO promotes state industries through trade expos around the world

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