WV EDGE Business Report | December 2014

Published Tuesday, December 2, 2014 @ 11:12 AM by Andrew.C.King@wv.gov (Andrew King)

December 2, 2014

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

Governor Releases December Edge Business Report

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today released the West Virginia Edge Business Report, highlighting the state’s economic progress. The December 2014 report features projects and announcements from businesses, both large and small, that play a critical role in the Mountain State’s continued economic growth.

Governor Tomblin returns from Brazilian trade mission
Governor Tomblin returns from Brazilian trade mission
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Luiz Fernando C. Santo, president and chief executive officer of Project ASCENT, discuss recent progress and next steps during the trade mission to Brazil.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced the completion of a round of meetings with Odebrecht and Braskem executives in Brazil in November. Leaders met to discuss recent progress and upcoming steps for Project ASCENT (Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise), the proposed multibillion-dollar ethane cracker and petrochemicals complex near Parkersburg in Wood County.

“The visit with Odebrecht and Braskem officials gave us the opportunity to come together and review the continued progress of the cracker project and chart our next steps moving forward,” Gov. Tomblin said. “This type of project is a substantial investment, and this visit allowed us to reiterate our commitment to bring this facility, and the thousands of jobs that come with it, to the Mountain State. Company leaders are pleased with the progress they have been able to make over the past year and the tremendous welcome they’ve received here. I look forward to working hand-in-hand with them to see this project come to life.”

The meetings in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro came one year into planning and preparation for the complex, which Gov. Tomblin announced alongside Odebrecht and Braskem representatives last November. Since then, the companies have been working with state officials to lay the groundwork for construction, including purchasing a site, completing environmental studies, pursuing required permits and approvals and securing the ethane supply needed to feed the facility.

The governor was accompanied on the mission by First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette, Business and Industrial Development Director Kris Hopkins and Wood County Area Roundtable President and CEO Cam Huffman. Company consultants Phil Reale and Kurt Dettinger also traveled with the delegation.

Mountain Craft hardwood company to build $1 million facility in Preston County
Mountain Craft hardwood company to build $1 million facility in Preston County
Photo courtesy Preston County Economic Development Authority
Shown at groundbreaking (left to right): C.J. Callahan, United Bank; Matt Borror, West Virginia Development Office; Robbie Baylor, Preston County Economic Development Authority; Matt Thorn, Mountain Craft Wide Plank; Geary Weir, West Virginia Hardwood Alliance Zone; and Shawn Grushecky, Appalachian Hardwood Center at West Virginia University
Mountain Craft Wide Plank broke ground for its new headquarters and manufacturing facility in Northpointe Business and Industry Park in Hazelton. Once completed, the site will include a drying facility, sawmill and showroom. Mountain Craft expects to hire 10 workers when construction on the $1 million structure is completed, which is scheduled for spring 2015. The company will produce wide plank Appalachian hardwood flooring from hickory, cherry, maple, red oak and white oak. The product will be used by builders, architects and homeowners for new or remodeling construction projects.

Williams Lea expands facility in Wheeling
The Williams Lea Group celebrated the addition of 11,250 square feet to its operations center in Wheeling. The expansion brings the Williams Lea total space in the Stone Center Building to nearly 50,000 square feet. The expansion was in response to anticipated increases in client activity. The projected growth is expected to lead to 100 new positions in the near future. Williams Lea is a global leader in providing specialist Business Processing Outsourcing services. The Wheeling center currently provides document creation, word processing, creative services, administrative services and finance and accounting support functions for law firms, investment banks and other clients.

West Virginia to host Identification Intelligence seminar Dec. 9, Washington, D.C.
The seventh annual Identification Intelligence Seminar and Expo is set to take place on Dec. 9 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Special guests include U.S. Senator Joe Manchin III and Amy Hess, executive assistant director, Science and Technology Branch, Federal Bureau of Investigation. The event opens at 5:30 p.m. with an optional West Virginia Investment Briefing. The briefing includes presentations by state and local officials for out-of-state companies wanting information on West Virginia’s business opportunities. The briefing will be followed by the seminar and expo from 6 to 8 p.m. The Intelligence and Identification Seminar and Expo is being hosted by Discover the Real West Virginia, the West Virginia Development Office, the I-79 Development Council and the Identification Intelligence Ridge, with support from Marshall and West Virginia Universities. Seating is limited for the West Virginia Investment Briefing. To register to attend the briefing or the seminar, contact sdearing@wvfoundation.org. For information on exhibiting, contact 304-680-7932 or i79dc.org@gmail.com.

Italian Embassy officials take introductory tour of Eastern Panhandle
Two representatives from the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C., recently toured sites and facilities in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. The visit was part of an initiative by the West Virginia Development Office International Division, the Jefferson County Development Authority and Berkeley County Development Authority to strengthen connections with potential Italian and international investors by actively engaging with their embassies. This firsthand approach will enable to share the investment opportunities in West Virginia with companies in their respective home countries who are interested in investing in the United States.

The purpose of the tour was to introduce the Embassy officials to the area and to acquaint them with investment opportunities in the state. Andrea Cascone, first counselor and head of the Economic and Scientific Affairs Office, and Nicola Carbone, commercial attaché of the Economic, Commercial and Scientific Affairs Office, visited the cement producer Essroc, a member of the Italcementi Group, headquartered in Bergamo, Italy. They also toured Summit Point Automotive Research Center, where government and international organizations receive vehicle and firearms training and met with the company Entsorga, a subsidiary of Italian-based Entsorga Italia S.p.A., recovering bio-mass, plastics, other carbon based materials and traditional recyclable materials from municipal solid waste streams to be converted to a safe alternative fuel source.

WVDO promotes state industries through trade expos
The West Virginia Development Office maintains an active schedule of trade show events.

Coming in 2015:

InformEx, February 2015, New Orleans. The exhibition and conference serves the fine, specialty and custom chemical marketplace. InformEx attracts more than 3,500 senior-level attendees responsible for sourcing, purchasing and making other decisions in the chemical end-use markets.

Retail Industry Leaders Association Retail Supply Chain Conference, February 2015, Orlando. The show gathers the top retail supply chain executives from across retail channels.

Recent 2014 exhibitions included:
Fabtech, November, Atlanta. Fabtech focuses on the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industry. A contingent of West Virginia instructors and officers from the state’s high school vocational system received a grant from the West Virginia Department of Education that enabled them to attend Fabtech to learn more about the industry and technology advances. Fabtech attracts an estimated 27,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibiting companies. The event also provides learning opportunities, including more than 100 educational sessions and expert-led presentations on the latest industry trends and technology in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries.

Composite and Advanced Materials Expo
October, Orlando. The show focuses on composites and advanced materials used in applications such as automotive, aerospace, marine, wind energy, software, construction and infrastructure, medical, transportation, academics, sports and leisure. The Development Office teamed with Touchstone Research Labs. The Wheeling-based company exhibited its Coal-Based Carbon Foam (CFOAM®) products for military and commercial applications.

National Business Aviation Association, October, Orlando. The Development Office exhibited with several representatives of Charleston’s Yeager Airport, Huntington’s Tri-State Airport, the Mid Atlantic Aerospace Complex and the Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center based at Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College.

International Manufacturing Technology Show September, Chicago. IMTS is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, featuring more than 2,000 exhibiting companies and more than 114,000 attendees.

IDINTEL magazine
Global Identity Summit, September, Tampa. West Virginia revealed the new magazine IDINTEL at the Global Identity Summit, a training and trade event focusing on biometrics and identity management. The magazine showcases biometrics and identification companies clustered in West Virginia’s I-79 High Technology Corridor. The I-79 Development Council and West Virginia Development Office participated in the exhibit, which attracts corporate, defense and homeland security professionals from 30 countries

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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.

Governor Tomblin returns from Brazilian trade mission

Mountain Craft hardwood company to build $1 million facility in Preston County

Williams Lea expands facility in Wheeling

West Virginia to host Identification Intelligence seminar Dec. 9, Washington, D.C.

Italian Embassy officials take introductory tour of Eastern Panhandle

WVDO promotes state industries through trade expos

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