West Virginia Governor Releases September Edge Business Report

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin released the West Virginia Edge Business Report for September 2013, documenting the state’s economic progress.

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“In West Virginia, we’ve welcomed billions of dollars in new business investments and thousands of good-paying jobs in recent years because of the competitive, friendly-business environment we maintain,” said Gov. Earl RayTomblin.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (PRWEB) September 19, 2013

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin released the West Virginia Edge Business Report. The report documents the state’s economic progress. The September 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.

TMMWV $90 Million Expansion to Add 80 Jobs at Buffalo Plant

Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia (TMMWV) is investing $90 million in its Buffalo plant and creating about 80 jobs. This investment makes the eighth expansion of the Putnam County facility since it opened back in 1996. TMMWV will increase 6-speed automatic transmission assembly and machining by 20,000 per month by early 2015. Currently 1,300 people are employed at the facility.

Gov. Tomblin announced the expansion during a special visit to the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce's 77th Annual Meeting and Business Summit at The Greenbrier.

Governor Tomblin Launches Business at the Speed of Life Video
The governor unveiled a video showcasing West Virginia’s positive business climate. It features six CEOs who tell about the success their companies have found in growing their business in West Virginia. The video includes Bombardier Aerospace, Schonstedt Instrument, Rubberlite, Gestamp, UG Apparel and Mountain View Solar, and can be viewed online at http://www.BusinessAtTheSpeedOfLife.com.

Governor Tomblin in Panel Discussion at U.S. Manufacturing Summit
Gov. Tomblin participated in a panel discussion at the U.S. Manufacturing Summit in Florida, Aug. 22. The summit, sponsored by Wal-Mart and the National Retail Foundation, was attended by seven other governors and 1500 government and business leaders from across the country. The panel discussion was on U.S. Manufacturing Success Stories. During the event, Gov. Tomblin explained why, since 2005, West Virginia has seen over $21 billion in new business investments.

“In West Virginia, we’ve welcomed billions of dollars in new business investments and thousands of good-paying jobs in recent years because of the competitive, friendly-business environment we maintain,” Gov. Tomblin said. “I’m proud to say we not only have the capable, world-class work force needed to get the job done, a strategic location to get goods to market, but our state is also a reliable, fiscally responsible partner to our business sector.”

West Virginia to Present Biometrics Seminar Oct. 8 in Washington, D.C.
The sixth annual biometrics Intelligence and Identification Seminar and Expo takes place Oct. 8 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. 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 the West Virginia’s business opportunities. The briefing is followed by the seminar and expo from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Intelligence and Identification Seminar and Expo is hosted by Discover the Real West Virginia, the West Virginia Development Office, the I-79 Development Council and the Identification Intelligence Group with assistance from Marshall University and West Virginia University.

A career opportunity event will be added to the Expo this year. Interested professionals are invited to register, attend and bring their resumes. Expo companies are recruiting for positions in West Virginia, the National Capital Region and across the U.S.

To register for the event please, call 304-345-0700 or email Sara Dearing at sdearing(at)drwvfoundation(dot)org. Participants should indicate whether they will attend the 5:30 p.m. briefing, as seating is limited.

MOVRC to Receive $810,000 for Business Development
The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council (MOVRC) has been selected to receive development funds from two different government agencies. Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Jay Rockefeller announced that the Economic Development Administration will provide $60,000 to the MOVRC to invest in job creation and economic development in the region. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing MOVRC with a $750,000 Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) loan. MOVRC will provide loans to public and nonprofit organizations to re-lend to business and community development projects. The MOVRC development district represents Calhoun, Jackson, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt and Wood counties.

New mobile Software Tool Helps Match Properties with Business Needs
West Virginia’s state and local economic developers will soon have a new tool to help match property features with prospects’ requirements. The Economic Development Data Portal (EDDP) mobile tool sorts through a database of properties and identifies the sites that fit the company’s needs. Users can view customized maps on mobile devices such as an iPad. EDDP offers nine map views including aerial, street and imagery, as well as information on demographics, utilities and more than 100 additional Geographic Information Systems (GIS) information layers.

Representatives with the West Virginia Development Office (WVDO) began using the program the second quarter of 2013. The EDDP will be introduced during the West Virginia Economic Development Council on Sept. 24 and is expected to be available to all county economic development authorities by the end of the month. The EDDP was developed as a joint partnership with the Office of Coalfield Community Development, WVDO and the Rahall Transportation Institute.

Education Magazine Names WVSOM as “Great College to Work For” 2013
The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) has been selected as a “great college to work for,” according to a survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. This marks the third consecutive year that WVSOM has received this recognition from The Chronicle, considered one of the nation’s important sources about colleges and universities. In the independent survey of employees at participating institutions, WVSOM earned high marks for its performance in the categories of professional/career-development programs; teaching environment; compensation and benefits; facilities, workspaces and security; and respect and appreciation.

Wehrles Donate $1.25 Million to WVU Business and Law Schools
West Virginia University’s business and law schools have received $1.25 million from a Charleston couple. Businessman H. Bernard Wehrle III and his wife Cecilia donated $500,000 for building expansion and redesign of the College of Law. The College of Business and Economics received $750,000 to create a non-endowed supply chair professorship to launch a supply chain management program. An additional $250,000 was provided by the H.B. Wehrle Foundation to support the supply chair professorship. Wehrles is a director of McJunkin Redman Corporation Global and holds membership with several other company boards.

Marshall University Researchers Awarded Grants for Diverse Projects
A diverse range of Marshall University projects have attracted research grants. For more information on these research projects, visit http://tinyurl.com/lexy9fc.

-- Physical effects of space travel:
NASA granted $750,000 to Dr. Miaozong Wu of the Center for Diagnostic Nanosystems at the Marshall University School of Pharmacy to lead a team of researchers to study the effects of space travel on muscle and bones. Wu’s three-year project was one of only 14 funded nationally through NASA’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The project will study how the loss of gravity affects the body’s muscles and bones, the possible causes and potential treatments. Team members include Dr. Eric Blough and Dr. Nicole Winston, also of the School of Pharmacy; Dr. Henry Driscoll and Dr. Omolola Olajide of the university’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine; and Dr. John Leidy of the Huntington VA Medical Center. Other contributors include colleagues at West Virginia State University, University of Louisville, University of Delaware, Universities Space Research Association and NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

-- Mechanisms of human reproduction:
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Dr. Guo-Zhang Zhu, an associate professor of biology at Marshall University, a two-year $148,800 grant. His research focuses on the molecular basis of fertilization and early embryonic development. The findings will help scientists understand the mechanisms of cell differentiation and development, and may offer insights into the causes of infertility in men.

-- Skin repair technology:
The Chemical Alliance Zone’s Chemicals and Materials (CAM) Commercialization Fund awarded $20,000 to support the commercialization of a technology to repair skin injuries such as burns. The technique uses nanotechnology to create miniscule fiber scaffolds to be used as skin grafts. The research team was led by Dr. Jingwei Xie of the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR). To reach market, the researchers will need to produce device prototypes and samples, market to potential customers and conduct patent analysis. CAM Commercialization Fund assists researchers, entrepreneurs, startup companies and small-to-medium firms with the commercialization of technology and products related to the chemicals and materials sectors in West Virginia. Funds are provided through a grant to TechConnect West Virginia from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. The Chemical Alliance Zone administers the CAM program with the assistance of an advisory group that includes representatives of INNOVA Commercialization Group, Mountaineer Capital, the West Virginia Angel Network and the West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust.

Marshall University Forensic Science Program Ranks No. 1
The Marshall University Forensic Science Graduate Program ranks number one in the nation, according to a national assessment of tests given by the American Board of Criminalistics. Of the top 25 highest test scores, 11 were students from the Marshall program. The exam includes areas such as forensic biology, controlled substances, trace analysis, toxicology, latent prints, questioned documents, fire debris and firearms. Dr. Terry Fenger is director of the forensic science graduate program. Marshall’s program is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

WVEDA Approves $5.1 Million in Loans for Two Businesses
The West Virginia Economic Development Authority (WVEDA) approved new loans for two companies during its August meeting:

-- Vintec Manufacturing, $141,000, to purchase equipment and a building in Poe, Nicholas County. Established in 2000, the machine shop currently employs four people, a number expected to double after three years.

-- TenX Group, $5 million, for the acquisition of the former Moorefield Training Center in Old Fields, Hardy County. TenX provides training services and support in the areas of special operations forces and intelligence agencies.

Business, University, to Develop Online Science Teaching Lab
A partnership between Polyhedron Learning Media (PLM) and West Liberty University has received a $5,000 seed grant from Innovation Transfer Consortium (ITC), a statewide economic development initiative. Wheeling's PLM and the university received the grant to develop two online physics lab simulations. The online labs are intended to enable WLU to teach labs more economically and to allow more scheduling flexibility for students. The resulting product may also be marketed to other colleges and universities across the country. A project of TechConnect WV, ITC works to forge productive connections between West Virginia's research universities and the private sector to produce viable products, technologies and jobs.

WVSBDC Business Coach to Be Honored as State Star at National Conference
West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WVSBDC) small business coach Robert Marggraf has been selected as the West Virginia 2013 State Star by America’s Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC). The ASBDC State Star honors outstanding employees from Small Business Development Centers. Marggraf, representing West Virginia, and Stars from other states will be recognized Sept. 9 in a private reception during the ASBDC national conference in Orlando, Fla. Under an agreement with the Morgan County Economic Development Authority, Marggraf is a business coach with the WVSBDC center in Berkeley Springs. He joined WVSBDC in 2011. The WVSBDC is part of the West Virginia Development Office and is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The WVSBDC is an Accredited Member of America’s SBDC network.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 17, 2013
CONTACT: Amy Goodwin, 304-558-2000; Catherine Zacchi, 304-957-9340