Economy

Coalfield Graduation
Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Coalfield Development Corporation hosted its first graduation of the job training program, Reclaim Appalachia.

The two-year Reclaim Appalachia program provides training in environmental service jobs such as asbestos and lead abatement, mold remediation and meth-lab cleanup as well as offering classes on how to install solar power panels. 

Federal labor officials say another $4.3 million is heading into West Virginia to help out-of-work coal miners.

A U.S. Department of Labor news release Tuesday says the National Dislocated Worker Grant money will go to WorkForce West Virginia.

The release says West Virginia has previously received $10.7 million combined since 2012 through the grant program.

Saws Edge
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

Since acquiring the old Corbin Factory building in Westmoreland in the summer of 2014, the Coalfield Development Corporation has turned the building, now called West Edge, into a hub of training and opportunity. West Edge has developed a woodworking workshop that’s slowly cutting into the areas unemployment numbers. 

Glen Wilson is a former marine corps veteran from Wayne.

Swimming Pool
Lyn Lomasi / wikimedia commons

Officials have delayed opening six swimming pools managed by the Division of Natural Resources due to the uncertainty over the upcoming state budget.

Department of Commerce spokeswoman Chelsea Ruby says the openings have been pushed back for pools at Panther Wildlife Management Area, Twin Falls Resort State Park, Cabwaylingo State Forest, Babcock State Park, Watoga State Park and Kanawha State Forest.

Petr David Josek / AP Photo

Correction: Name corrected from Ranger Scientific LLC to Ranger Scientific. 

 

An ammunitions company has announced plans to build a factory in southern West Virginia and add 400 jobs.

Ranger Scientific officials said Tuesday the company has acquired 1,000 acres on a reclaimed mountaintop removal coal mine.

It says the $50 million facility will produce more than 500 million rounds of specialty rifle ammunition each year.

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.

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