Economy

Tim Kiser / wikimedia Commons

With West Virginia University opening its Beckley campus this fall, investors from near and far have been looking at potential properties in the city.

Lisa Armes, a Century 21 First Choice real estate agent, tells the Register-Herald that she has been receiving calls for the past six months about properties in the area from local clients and those as far away as California.

Solar panels arriving in Fayette County.
Colleen Laffey

Marshall University is holding a renewable energy conference this week.

The conference will take place Thursday at the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall in Huntington.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Unemployment rates dropped in 52 of West Virginia's 55 counties in March.

WorkForce West Virginia says the unemployment rate rose in McDowell County and was unchanged in Barbour and Brooke counties.

region1workforcewestvirginia.org

West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in March at 6.5 percent.

WorkForce West Virginia said in a news release Tuesday that the number of unemployed state residents increased by 600 last month to 51,400.

Marshall Health Patriot Coal
WCHSTV

  The former corporate headquarters of Patriot Coal in Scott Depot has been sold.

Marshall Health expects to start converting the three-story office building into medical offices this summer. Marshall Health is the faculty practice plan of Marshall University's medical school.

 “I feel sad for the [Washington Works] plant because it was the epicenter for Parkersburg [West Virginia], for income, for community life, for identity. The identity of Parkersburg was tied to DuPont,” said DuPont retiree Jerry Moraczewski. He remembers
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A new report indicates that West Virginia is in an economic recession.

The Register-Herald reports that the Mountain State Business Index has found that West Virginia has seen deterioration in economic activities since the spring of 2015.

The economic recession has been largely a result of the decline in the coal industry. The index found that in March there was a 3.1 percent month-to-month decline in coal production. It also found that there were month-to-month gains registered for natural gas production.

CSX
Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

CSX announced in January it was closing administrative offices in downtown Huntington. That means the loss of 121 administrative jobs, but it also leaves the question of what happens to the building when CSX leaves.

The rail company announced that it will consolidate administration divisions from 10 to 9, moving administrative responsibilities from Huntington to five other divisions in Atlanta, Baltimore, Florence, Great Lakes and Louisville. CSX will continue running trains in the area and will keep open its Huntington locomotive shop. 

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

$65.8 million is now available to help people who are struggling in coal fields throughout the U.S.  $35 million of that will be distributed throughout Appalachia, where layoffs in the coal industry have been especially hard on communities.


CSX Train
FastilyClone / Wikimedia Commons

Officials say 101 positions at a CSX Corp. facility in eastern Kentucky are being eliminated amid a slump in the coal industry.

CSX spokeswoman Melanie Cost told media that the company decided to make the cuts as a last resort. She said the facility in Russell primarily serves trains moving from coal fields in central Appalachia and there is no longer enough activity to support the jobs.

region1workforcewestvirginia.org

West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 6.5 percent in February.

WorkForce West Virginia says in a news release that the number of unemployed state residents increased by 1,300 last month to 50,800.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Dow Chemical and DuPont announced plans to merge late last year in a deal worth about $130 billion dollars. Both companies have long histories in West Virginia, where they’ve been top employers in the so-called “chemical valley.”  They used to compete, but now they are allies in what some West Virginians say feels like the continued death of the Industrial Age in the region. 

WJU President, Rev. James Fleming, S.J. announced the new program.
WJU

Wheeling Jesuit University announced a new program this week that uses novel approaches to make college more affordable for some students, and prepares them more effectively to enter the workforce.

 


Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Is the Northern Panhandle experiencing an economic rebirth? More than one panhandle resident thinks so, and is working toward the goal of seeing every abandoned factory that lines the Ohio River Valley repurposed.


Lance Booth

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear about what it’s like to actually work in a coal mine. So often we hear about miners from environmentalists or people who proudly declare they are Friends of Coal. But so much about what we hear about coal mining these days is full of political agendas.

More than twenty programs will be recruiting service-minded people at Wheeling Jesuit University this week in the first-ever ServeCon event.

West Liberty University

 

West Liberty University is one of several  higher education institutions in the state that have recently hired new presidents. Weirton-native Stephen Greiner spoke with West Virginia Public Broadcasting about coming home to lead a school in the Northern Panhandle.


Glynis Board / WVPB

Former Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich visited the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling last night. He spoke with students and community members about the upcoming presidential election.

“Why 2016 Will Be An Extraordinary Election” was the title of the talk. Several hundred gathered to hear Gingrich analyze the  front runners in  the upcoming presidential election.

AllVoices.com

Alpha Natural Resources says it plans to lay off 831 miners and dozens more support staff in southern West Virginia as a result of the downturn in the coal industry.

Bristol, Virginia-based Alpha announced Monday it has sent 60-day layoff warning notices to Boone and Raleigh counties.

2bgr8 / http://2bgr8stock.deviantart.com/art/Money-Cash-113445826

An Ohio man has won a $1 million prize in West Virginia in the latest Powerball drawing.

Lottery officials said that Steven Wilson of East Liverpool, Ohio, bought his winning ticket for Wednesday's drawing at a service station in Chester.

Amtrak Car
Sitomon / Wikimedia Commons

Amtrak has announced it will add business-class seating to its Cardinal route.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the new service was announced Monday and will start Jan. 20.

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