CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today released the West Virginia Edge Business Report. The report documents the state’s economic progress. The July 2013 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 economy among country’s fastest growing West Virginia is among the top 10 states with the fastest growing economy, according to preliminary statistics released in June 2013 by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.5 percent in 2012. West Virginia’s GDP grew by 3.3 percent in 2012. A comprehensive measure of U.S. economic activity, GDP represents the market value of the goods and services produced in the country during a specified time.
Coast Guard $15.9 million expansion lands 150 new jobs in Jefferson County The Coast Guard Operations System Center is expanding its operations center in Kearneysville. The project includes leasing 40,000 additional square feet in the Burr Business Park. The space is expected to be ready for occupancy next fall. The extra space will allow the Coast Guard to consolidate several positions and add 150 new personnel over the next few years. The center currently provides support for more than 60 Coast Guard information technology (IT) systems.
Gestamp announces skilled jobs available in Kanawha County plant Gestamp West Virginia is recruiting to fill several positions in its South Charleston automotive stamping facility. The international company currently has approximately 200 permanent and temporary employees and plans to hire more by the end of the year. The positions now available are robotic engineer, tool & die technicians, maintenance technicians, IT manager, manufacturing supervisor and team leaders, and materials planner. For information on open positions or to submit a resume, job seekers can visit WorkForce West Virginia at workforcewv.org and click “Gestamp job openings.”
Shale Gas Innovation Contest opens to West Virginia companies for first time West Virginia shale gas businesses and inventors can now compete in a shale gas innovation contest previously limited to Pennsylvania-based entrants. Last year’s Shale Gas Innovation Contest awarded more than $75,000 in prize money. This year, organizer Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center (www.sgicc.org
) received a grant from the Benedum Foundation that will allow the 2013-2014 event to include West Virginia. The competition’s goal is to identify and develop shale gas technologies that enhance responsible stewardship of the environment while creating high-paying jobs.
Competitors are advised to begin preparing now for the application process that starts in November. TechConnectWV, INNOVA Commercialization Group and West Virginia University’s Office of Research & Economic Development will assist with marketing the event and helping to identify potential applicants across the state. For additional information, contact TechConnect at 304-444-2918 or visit the website at www.techconnectwv.org
Register for Aug. 1 Save Energy Now Regional Energy Efficiency Expo The Save Energy Now Regional Energy Efficiency Expo is set for Aug. 1, 2013, in Morgantown. The program promotes industrial energy efficiency in the state and region. Registration is now open to anyone interested in learning more about how your plant can save energy and money, what technical assistance is available to help your company save money, and opportunities to have the West Virginia University team conduct a no-cost energy assessment for your organization. The West Virginia Division of Energy and Industries of the Future are among the partners in the regional Save Energy Now program. To register, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6394370735
Researchers receive second patent for railroad track inspection system Two Marshall University professors have received a second patent for an invention they say will make inspection of railroad tracks safer, more accurate and less expensive than current methods. Engineering professors Dr. Richard Begley and Dr. Tony Szwilski recently were notified that their Canadian patent application has been approved. It is the first Canadian patent awarded for an invention developed at Marshall. They were awarded a U.S. patent last year. The system uses a combination of specialized GPS devices, cameras and ground-penetrating radar to measure track wear and other problems. The researchers say the invention is intended to complement the visual inspections and should help inspectors identify problems faster.
Protea launches new web-based spectrometry service Protea Biosciences Group in Morgantown now offers a new web-based commercial mass spectrometry service called ProteaScope. The new service enables researchers to view their tissue samples through a high-resolution microscope, find specific organism structures of interest and navigate the Laser Ablation Electrospray Ionization (LAESI) fiber optic tip to that spot. The researcher receives a report with the high-resolution images and mass spectrometry analysis. For more information on ProteaScope, visit https://proteabio.com/ASMS2013/ProteaScope
Registration starts for TransTech Energy Business Development Conference The TransTech Energy Business Development Conference set for Nov. 6-7, 2013, in Morgantown. The conference promotes investment in new companies and commercial projects that can provide solutions to energy, environmental, and economic development challenges such as creating new jobs and more competitive industries. Registration is now open to conference attendees and project presenters. For more information, visit http://transtechenergy.org
Fitch affirms West Virginia’s bonds stable ratings outlook Fitch Ratings has affirmed West Virginia’s bond ratings: AA+ for general obligation debt and AA for both West Virginia Economic Development Authority (WVEDA) and School Building Authority (SBA) debt with an overall stable rating outlook. Fitch cited the “state’s focused and disciplined approach to addressing long-term liabilities and maintenance of sizable reserve balances.”
WVEDA approves resolutions to fund three projects During its June meeting, the West Virginia Economic Development Authority approved an increase to an existing loan and a new loan. WVEDA also approved refunding request.
§ Analabs Inc., $900,000, to finance the new equipment and the expansion of its current facility in Crab Orchard, Raleigh County. Founded in 1987, Analabs is a regional analytical laboratory providing drug testing and environmental testing for corporations.
§ Thelma Daisy Real Estate Company, $360,000 increase to existing loan due to changes in building design. The facility in Clarksburg, Harrison County, will be leased to Valley Supply Company, a wholesaler/distributor of HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), plumbing, pipes, valves and fittings product lines.
WVEDA also authorized the issuance of $65 million in Solid Waste Disposal Facilities Revenue Refunding Bonds for Ohio Power Company’s Mitchell Project. The action allows the company to refinance the bonds for interest savings.
WVCAP approves investments in two companies The West Virginia Capital Access Program (WVCAP) approved investments in two companies. The lending institution for both transactions is Natural Capital Investment Fund:
§ Spring Valley Family Care, $127,000, for capital expenditure, real estate acquisition and working capital. Based in Springfield, Hampshire County, the company provides a full range of medical services and fitness facilities to improve health and supportive preventative care and management of chronic disease. Since 2012, the company has served more than 2,000 patients
§ Mia Margherita restaurant, $300,000, for working capital for the new business. Mia Margherita’s parent company is CP Hospitality, headquartered in Bridgeport, Harrison County. The company anticipates hiring up to 25 people before its grand opening, tentatively set Aug. 1, 2013.
The WVCAP program, administered by West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust (WVJIT), is designed to give small businesses more access to capital and credit and create jobs.
WVDO promotes state industries at trade shows in July The West Virginia Development Office has exhibited in several trade shows to promote state industries. A delegation from WVDO will exhibit July 10-11 at the sixth annual West Virginia Oil and Gas Equipment Show held at Wesleyan College, Buckhannon. WVDO will participate in the bi-annual Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers show, July 24-27, in Las Vegas.
Governor Tomblin honors state’s record 52 export businesses Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined the West Virginia Export Council and the West Virginia Development Office, to honor a state record-setting 52 West Virginia businesses with the Governor’s Commendation for International Market Entry awards. This award honors companies that have successfully exported to a new country in the past year. Commendations were awarded to:
§ Blackheart International, Philippi - Norway, France, Brazil
§ Growth Media Services, Martinsburg - Hong Kong
§ Merco Marine, Wellsburg - Bahamas
§ United States Gypsum Co., Weirton - Russia
§ American Babbitt Bearing, Huntington - Canada
§ Crosscutting Concepts, Huntington - Canada
§ Guyan International, Barboursville - Ecuador, Peru
§ Nippon Tungsten USA, Barboursville - Brazil
§ Star Technologies LLC, Huntington - Brazil, Canada, Mexico
§ Steel of West Virginia Inc., Huntington - Netherlands, Australia, Mexico, Canada, China. South Korea, South Africa
§ Tri-State Coating and Machine, Salt Rock – Canada
§ The Robbins Co., Fayetteville - Brazil
§ Allegheny Wood Products, Petersburg - Indonesia, Mexico
§ Almost Heaven Saunas, Renick - Australia, Belgium, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, Switzerland
§ BMS Rescue Equipment, Friars Hill - Australia, Canada
§ EZEbreak LLC, Frankford - Canada
§ The Homer Laughlin China Company, Newell - France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Norway
§ J & M Industrial Inc., Millwood - Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Israel
§ Schonstedt Instrument Company, Kearneysville - Tanzania
§ Air Robotics, Charleston - Italy, Israel, Romania
§ ConveyWeigh LLC, Dunbar - Dominican Republic, Russia
§ Cyclops, South Charleston - Colombia, South Korea
§ Precision Samplers, South Charleston - Colombia
§ Preiser Scientific, Saint Albans - Bolivia
§ Terraquip Construction Products, Charleston - Australia, India, Ireland, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Turkey
§ Walker Machinery Co., Belle - Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Germany
§ Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Mount Gay - China
§ Backbone Security, Fairmont – Azerbaijan
§ ICL-IP America, Gallipolis Ferry - Trinidad & Tobago
§ Gilco International Lumber, McDowell County - Thailand, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic
§ The Daniels Co., Bluefield - Mongolia
§ Automated Packaging Systems, Inc., Keyser - Malaysia, New Zealand
§ Howell Automotive, Keyser - Argentina
§ Kessel Lumber Products, Keyser - Canada
§ Gurkees, Morgantown - Japan, South Korea, Romania, Tanzania, United Kingdom
§ Petitto Mine Equipment, Morgantown - China
§ RockyBrook Sinkers LLC, Morgantown - Canada, Japan, Russia
§ Z Electric Vehicle Corp., Westover - Australia, Bermuda, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam
§ Caperton Furnitureworks, Berkeley Springs - Dominican Republic, Pakistan
§ Advantage Precision, Summersville - Australia, China
§ DirectOnline Marketing, Wheeling - South Africa
§ Touchstone Research Laboratory Ltd, Triadelphia - Portugal, Israel, Italy
§ TROY Group, Wheeling - Bahrain, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Cayman Islands, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Israel, South Korea, Libya, Nicaragua, Russia
§ Warwood Tool Co., Wheeling - China, United Kingdom
§ Wheeling Truck Center, Wheeling - Azerbaijan, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Mongolia, Namibia, Philippines, Uruguay, Yemen, Zimbabwe
§ Clark International Logistics LLC, Poca - New Zealand
§ Eagle Research, Scott Depot - Bolivia, Peru
§ Premier Solutions, Hurricane - Hungary
§ Quality Environmental Containers, Beaver - Nigeria
§ Aplicare, Inc., Prichard - Afghanistan, Canada, China, India, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom
§ Baron Blakeslee SFC, Williamstown – Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia
§ Rolling Ridge Woods, Parkersburg - Austria
The West Virginia Development Office (WVDO) International Division regularly organizes international trade events to assist small and mid-size West Virginia companies with their export growth. Upcoming events for 2013 include mining trade shows in Australia and China, and an open industry trade mission to Colombia. Interested companies may view upcoming events on the wvdo.org exports website and contact WVDO International Division for details.
Amy Goodwin, 304-558-2000 or Catherine Zacchi, 304-957-9340