Economy

Daniel Walker/ WVPB

As the coal industry in Appalachia continues to decline, more and more families are struggling. Poor job prospects throughout the region are causing a lot of anxiety in families. And mental health expects say that kind of stress can accumulatively lead to mental illness. What can parents do to help their children cope with stress?

Roane County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

Mustang Survival says it will cease production at a safety equipment plant in West Virginia.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports the company said Wednesday it plans to move the Spencer plant's production to a facility in Jacksonville, Florida.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

One of the largest coal operators in the region, Alpha Natural Resources, is striking deals so that the terms of its bankruptcy can be finalized in court. One deal protects hundreds of workers; another sets aside millions for environmental cleanup.

Anne Li/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 West Virginians are no stranger to flooding, but when it comes to flood insurance, it's a different story. Even though floods are the fastest-growing and costliest natural disaster, in all counties in West Virginia, roughly less than five percent of households have flood insurance. 

Coal Stock Pile
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Giant coal producer Murray Energy has issued notices that it could lay off up to 4,400 coal mine workers in six states come September.

A news release from the St. Clairsville, Ohio, company says it issued the notices for its operations in Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Kentucky, Utah and Pennsylvania.

Kara Lofton/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Philanthropy West Virginia wasn’t always equipped to handle disaster relief. The three-person non-profit organization based in Morgantown works year-round to help philanthropists maximize their impact through their donations, in part by learning from the mistakes and successes of similar organizations across the country.

But as volunteers, hospitals and shelters spring into action in flood-affected areas of the southern part of West Virginia, Philanthropy West Virginia has been working behind the scenes to ensure that donors nationwide know how to best help those recovery efforts.

Cash Money
Psychonaught / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Lottery has taken longer this year to reach $1 billion in revenues than it has in more than a decade.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the mark was reached in mid-May. Acting Lottery director John Myers said the month was finished with year-to-date gross revenues of $1.049 billion, down nearly $21 million from the same point in 2015, with one month left in the budget year.

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.


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