#34 West Virginia
From the Governor
“I’ve said for a long time that our people won’t tolerate being 50th anymore. But to see us jumping up to #1 in the entire country, over and over again, in so many different categories of economic growth, it’s truly phenomenal…. There’s no way around it, with West Virginia on the national stage time and again, this is one of the best years in the history of our state’s economy!” —Gov. Jim Justice
Moving Up in the Mountain State
There’s no hiding the fact that West Virginia has often ranked near the bottom of many national rankings. While the opioid crisis and the decline of coal is also hampering the Mountain State’s reputation, the tide is starting to turn. The Department of Commerce announced that the state leads the nation in GDP growth for the first quarter of 2019, and it has now attracted more than $5 billion in investment since 2017.
West Virginia Economic Development Authority Direct Loan Program: Offers financial assistance in the form of loans, direct financing and operating leases to industrial development agencies and enterprises.
Special Property Valuation: Offers up to a 95% reduction in property taxes for certain sectors, including chemicals, polymer metals, data centers and aviation.
Manufacturing Investment Credit: Offers a tax credit against up to 60% of the corporate net income tax base on qualified investments in an eligible manufacturing facility.
Governor’s Guaranteed Work Force Program: Offers up to $2,000 per employee or new or expanding companies for training and technical assistance to perform training strategies.
West Virginia Department of Commerce: westvirginia.gov
Charleston Area Alliance: charlestonareaalliance.org
Huntington Area Development Council: hadco.org
Highlighted Program or Initiative
The Apprenticeship in Motion program promotes and expands the nontraditional apprenticeship activity in the Mountain State. Benefits to businesses include training summits for integrating apprenticeship models into HR practices, connections with senior business leaders, curriculum design and program orientation help and access to quality workers who are ready to learn.
- Software and technology provider Sparksoft Corporation announced in May 2018 plans to locate an office in Fairmont.
- Toyota announced in March 2019 a $111 million investment and 123 new jobs at its plant in Buffalo.
- Tasty Blend Foods completed a $3 million expansion in June 2019 on its facility in Putnam County.
- Italian manufacturing Pietro Fiorentini held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in July 2019 for a $9 million facility in Weirton.
- Hino Trucks opened in August 2019 its manufacturing facility in Mineral Wells and announced an additional $40 million investment that will add another 250 jobs.
Hino Motors Manufacturing USA
Proctor & Gamble
Murray American Energy
“We’re very pleased to announce the opening of our new location in Weirton, West Virginia…. This is not only an opportunity to bring more jobs to the area, but is also a milestone, allowing us to expand our manufacturing capabilities locally in the United States.” —Mario Nardi, CEO, Pietro Fiorentini Group
“By bringing Snak-Time Foods to West Virginia, we can provide top quality products and service the needs of our foodservice and retail customers with true made-in- West-Virginia products.” —Roy Elswick, President, Tasty Blend
“We are proud to add such a significant cost investment to Toyota West Virginia—not only financially but also in adding team members to the Toyota family…. Doubling our production of hybrid transaxles in West Virginia solidifies our facility’s role in producing next generation engines and transmissions that will drive the future of Toyota’s advanced mobility technology.” —Leah Curry, President, Toyota Manufacturing West Virginia