WV EDGE Business Report | September 2015

Published Monday, September 14, 2015 @ 11:06 AM by Andrew.C.King@wv.gov (Andrew King)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 14, 2015

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

Governor Tomblin Releases September Edge Business Report

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today released the West Virginia Edge Business Report, highlighting the state’s ongoing economic development efforts. The September 2015 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 announces 11th consecutive reduction in workers' comp rates
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced West Virginia employers will see a projected $43 million reduction in workers' compensation premiums in the coming year, and have seen a savings of more than $323 million since the program was privatized in 2006.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) recently filed a proposed reduction in workers' compensation loss cost rates with the Offices of the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner - the 11th reduction in 11 years.

"For years, we have worked hard to create a business climate in West Virginia that encourages companies to innovate and expand," Gov. Tomblin said. "This rate reduction shows our prudent and fiscally responsible policies are helping businesses operating here, and they are benefiting from both lower taxes and lower workers' compensation insurance premiums. This rate reduction reaffirms the steps we are taking to move in the right direction for continued job growth."

NCCI, the state's rating and statistical agent, has proposed an overall decrease of 12.1 percent with the Offices of the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner. The loss cost rate is effective November 1, 2015.

This is the 11th consecutive reduction since privatization and accounts for a cumulative decrease of 63.7 percent from pre-reform levels. Additionally, a proposed 15.3 percent rate decrease for the assigned risk market has also been filed by NCCI.


Gov. Tomblin congratulates NGK Spark Plugs on 20th anniversary in West Virginia
NGK Spark Plugs hosted a celebration to mark 20 years of operation in West Virginia.

The company held a ceremony in Charleston to honor the milestone. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin attended the event, along with Shinichi Odo, president of NGK Spark Plug Co. LTD; and Hitoshi Iimi, president of NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.) Inc.

Today, the Sissonville plant manufactures and sells spark plugs and related products for internal combustion engines, along with ceramics and applicable products. The West Virginia plant, alone, has shipped over 100 million units in the last year.


Governor Tomblin celebrates Conley Fabrication expansion in Mineral Wells
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin joined Conley Fabrication employees and owner Roger Conley to celebrate the company's $2 million facility expansion in Mineral Wells.

"I'm pleased to join representatives from Conley Fabrication to not only celebrate the grand opening of its newest facility, but also recognize the strong working partnership that has allowed a homegrown, West Virginia-based company to grow and expand," Gov. Tomblin said. "The high-quality work of Conley Fabrication strengthens our state's metal manufacturing industry and supports hardworking West Virginians. I look forward to seeing their continued success for years to come."

Conley was started by Roger Conley in 2010 with six employees who repaired trailers and truck bodies. A year later, the company expanded operations to include the fabrication of custom bodies for dump trucks and transportation manufacturing. Conley is expanding to serve West Virginia's growing natural gas industry and fabricates its products out of aluminum, steel and stainless steel.

Since 2010, the number of employees at Conley has tripled. In addition, the new, 30,000-square-foot facility will allow Conley to double its workforce in the coming months.

"With this new facility, we are now poised to move to the next level," Roger Conley said. "We will be providing additional jobs, as well as providing our existing and future customers with the best possible product in a timely manner and at a competitive price."

The new facility expansion sits on a 27-acre property in Mineral Wells, which Conley is working to develop into a business park. The state Industrial Road Fund has assisted in this effort, and the park is already receiving interest from potential tenants, including national electrical supply company Gexpro. The company has also received assistance through the Governor's Guaranteed Workforce Program, which helps fund specialized employee training.


Governor Tomblin announces federal grant funding for small business export assistance
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced West Virginia has been selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to receive $200,000 in State Trade and Export (STEP) grant funding to support a new export assistance program under the West Virginia Development Office – West Virginia First STEP-Next STEP.

“When West Virginia businesses enter markets around the world, they help foster trade opportunities, support job growth and diversify our economy here at home,” Gov. Tomblin said. “For years, our state’s exporters have demonstrated that local operations can make an impact not only in our communities and our state, but around the globe. It is my hope this grant program will not only support our state’s current exporters, but also those interested in entering the export market for the first time.”

The West Virginia First STEP-Next STEP program will provide additional assistance to West Virginia small businesses that export goods to international markets. The STEP grant period will run from Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 29, 2016.

The program will help qualifying small businesses offset their costs of participation in export activities, including Development Office trade missions, international trade shows and “Trade Winds” conferences organized by the U.S. Commercial Service. Direct assistance will also be available to West Virginia exhibitors at the 2016 Mine Expo International show.

Since 1985, the International Division of the West Virginia Development Office’s Export Promotion Program has led delegations of small- and medium-sized companies on trade missions and participated in international trade shows in more than 30 countries.


Natural gas contractor Cenergy expands operations in Cabell County
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined natural gas contractor Cenergy LLC to announce the grand opening of the company's new expanded operations facility in Milton.

Natural gas contractor Cenergy expands operations in Cabell County
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Cenergy President Chuck King discuss the expansion of the natural gas industry contractor’s operation
Cenergy is a West Virginia-based contractor for the natural gas industry that provides turn-key facility and equipment engineering and fabrication for natural gas producers in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Founded in 2006 by Milton native Chuck King, Cenergy doubled its size in 2014 despite the downturn in oil and gas prices worldwide. The company has expanded four times in Milton and currently employs 170 workers.

"Cenergy could have chosen any number of locations to expand its operations,” said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. “We worked with them to meet their workforce needs and they chose to invest here in West Virginia. I want to thank Cenergy for continuing to expand its footprint in West Virginia and for giving hardworking West Virginians the opportunity to find good-paying jobs with a first-rate employer."

The centerpiece of the expansion is a new assembly plant that manufactures what are called "measurement skids." The skids measure gas when it's sold from producers to midstream suppliers or transmission companies. The facility operates three shifts: two welding shifts, where certified welders fabricate piping and steel structures, and one testing shift, where workers x-ray pipe to test for integrity and precision.


Multicoat celebrates expanded operations with grand opening
The West Virginia Department of Commerce joined Multicoat Products Inc. in celebrating the completion of its new East Coast headquarters in Putnam County.
Multicoat celebrates expanded operations with grand opening
Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette, joined by Multicoat Vice President John Dill (left), speaks at the grand opening of the company’s East Coast headquarters
Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette and other state and local officials attended a grand opening with company executives at Putnam Business Park in Fraziers Bottom.

California-based Multicoat manufactures pool, deck, concrete, floor, and wall coating materials. As the company grew, its leaders decided to step up East Coast operations to keep from shipping products across the country. They initially looked at several other sites, but the company’s West Virginia team convinced them to expand operations in the Mountain State.

Multicoat had five employees in West Virginia before the expansion and envisions employing 30 workers by this time next year. Sales this year are up more than 30 percent and climbing, Dill said.

Before construction began in July 2014, Multicoat had been leasing space in Winfield. The new facility, scheduled for completion by mid-August 2015, will provide 25,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space and 3,000 square feet of office space. The structure is situated on the site to allow for additional 40,000-square-foot expansion in the future.


West Virginia GDP ranks “third fastest economic growth”
West Virginia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth ranks as the third fastest in the nation, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau for Economic Analysis (BEA). The state’s GPD grew from $64.7 billion in 2013 to $68 billion in 2014, an increase of 5.1 percent. U.S. real GDP grew 2.2 percent in 2014.

According to the BEA report, the largest contributor to U.S. real GDP growth was professional, scientific and technical services. The industry grew by 4.2 percent in 2014. GDP is an indicator of a country's economic health. State GDP measures the economic output of a state.


West Virginia Edge magazine features big impact of small businesses
WVDO promotes state industries through trade events
Small businesses play a big role in West Virginia’s economy. The 2015 edition of West Virginia Commerce Edge magazine, Issue 5, features a selection of businesses from different economic sectors, how they succeed and measures of their impact.

Edge magazine is distributed in print to 20,000 individuals, trade associations and businesses, ranging from small to Fortune 1,000. To request a print copy of Issue 5, click here.


United Technologies continues to expand workforce in Monroe County facility
Strong demand in the aerospace industry continues to drive United Technologies Corporation to grow its workforce in Union. The manufacturer has added 50 jobs during the first quarter of 2015 and plans to fill more during the remainder of the calendar year. Currently the United Technologies Corporation facility in Monroe County employs approximately 450 workers.

UTC Aerospace Systems is one of the world’s largest suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and defense products. It makes products such as deicing equipment and sensors for commercial, regional, business and military aircraft, helicopters and other platforms.


Monongalia County’s KeyLogic receives two national business honors
KeyLogic Systems Inc. has received two national recognition awards. In May, the professional services and engineering company was awarded the 2015 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) National Prime Contractor of the Year for excellence in federal contracting and providing outstanding services. In June, KeyLogic was honored as the 2014 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business of the Year for the innovation and technical solutions that contribute to the mission of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and DOE. Each year, each award is given to only one company in the nation. The company was nominated for both awards by its client, NETL.

In addition to DOE, KeyLogic provides IT solutions and management services for numerous other federal agencies. The company is heavily focused on national security, with the Defense Information Systems Agency, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security as customers. Civil agencies that KeyLogic supports include NASA, EPA, the IRS, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Labor Department among others. KeyLogic is headquartered in Morgantown, with offices in Maryland, Virginia, and New York.

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Governor Tomblin announces 11th consecutive reduction in workers' comp rates

Gov. Tomblin congratulates NGK Spark Plugs on 20th anniversary in West Virginia

Governor Tomblin celebrates Conley Fabrication expansion in Mineral Wells

Governor Tomblin announces federal grant funding for small business export assistance

Natural gas contractor Cenergy expands operations in Cabell County

Multicoat celebrates expanded operations with grand opening

West Virginia GDP ranks “third fastest economic growth”

West Virginia Edge magazine features big impact of small businesses

United Technologies continues to expand workforce in Monroe County facility

Monongalia County’s KeyLogic receives two national business honors

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