West Virginia - Wild and Wonderful

About West Virginia

West Virginia is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research.

Business

West Virginia is full of opportunity for any business with a growing economy and a highly dedicated workforce. Whether you are running an existing business or thinking of starting a new business you can find all of the information you need throughout this business section.

Education

West Virginia is fortunate to have a tremendous education system with a high standard of excellence. Please use the information provided here to learn more about the wealth of educational opportunities in our great state.

Employment

West Virginia is home to one of the finest workforces in the country based on our hard work and commitment to quality. Whether you are looking for new job opportunities, enhancing your job skills or researching future employment trends you can find all of the information you need throughout this employment section.

Family

West Virginia offers the perfect balance of a rural and urban setting that suits a variety of lifestyles. This is a state where you can go whitewater rafting in the morning, go to an art exhibit in the afternoon and attend a concert in the evening. Whether you just moved to the Mountain State or your family has been here since it was founded, you are part of our community.

Health

Maintaining proper health is vital to ensuring the highest quality of life possible. West Virginia strives to provide one of the best health care systems in the country that is affordable and available to all residents of the state. This section contains numerous resources to assist you in accessing the health care services provided in the state.

Tourism

Exhilarate in the lasting beauty and natural wonder scattered throughout West Virginia. From unmatched outdoor recreation to world-class resorts, breathtaking scenery and a variety of cultural and historic attractions, West Virginia is an ideal spot to plan your next adventure. Discover for yourself what makes West Virginia wild and wonderful.

 WVJIT invests $100,000 in The Fenton Group Funds to help revitalize iconic art glass manufacturer

3/14/2013
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — New funding and new ownership may revive a productive future for 107-year-old Fenton Art Glass Company in Williamstown.

With a signing ceremony for an investment of $100,000, the state’s venture capital firm West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust (WVJIT) closed its first round of funding in The Fenton Group on March 7. In 2012, the Fenton Group (doing business as USGlass Inc.) acquired the assets of the Fenton Art Glass Company in Williamstown.

The financing through the West Virginia Capital Access Program (WVCAP) provides for operating capital, marketing and advertising support.

“The funds will be used to reinvigorate Fenton’s factory operations and refresh its marketing efforts,” said Keith Burdette, cabinet secretary for the West Virginia Department of Commerce. “Fenton Art Glass has been a fixture in Wood County since 1905. In addition to the direct jobs that supported the employees and their families, the company had been a tourist destination, attracting visitors to the community and to the state.”

“WVJIT is delighted to become a partner in the next phase of Fenton Glass and USGlass” said Andrew Zulauf, executive director of WVJIT. “The investment meets our social mission of creating new jobs in West Virginia. We believe the new business model and management team lead by Mr. Bem will revitalize the local area and compete nationally and globally.”

Owned by the Fenton family for generations, the company struggled in recent years with rising costs and declining sales. In 2011, Fenton shut down its main furnace, stopping production of its classic lines of art glass. The gift shop remained in operation.

“The intention is to revitalize the American glass art craft as well as maintain and rejuvenate the local industrial community,” said Gene Bem, CEO of USGlass. “The Fenton Group looks to re-introduce the legacy of the Fenton Art Glass Company, appealing to the growing number of metropolitan consumers while maintaining Fenton Art Glass’ historical glassmaking traditions and its American-made brand."

Contact Information

Andrew Zulauf
304-345-6200