Economy

Century Aluminum

A group of retired workers from Century Aluminum says the company has agreed to pay $23 million to help cover their health care.

Benefits were taken away shortly after the plant in Ravenswood closed in 2009.

Milton
TimK MSI / Wikimedia Commons

  State officials say wholesale grocery distributor H.T. Hackney Co. is opening its first warehouse in West Virginia and creating an estimated 70 jobs.

The state Department of Commerce says in a news release that the company will locate a 246,000-square-foot warehouse in Milton.

WVU Tech
West Virginia University

The West Virginia University Institute of Technology campus could become a college for former foster care children.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports KVC Health Systems is hoping to turn the Montgomery campus into a college for children who have aged out of the foster care system.

WVU / WVU

The West Virginia Economic Outlook is presented to lawmakers each year on the first day of the session. Compiled by economists at the WVU Bureau for Business and Economic Research, in 2017 they say overall, West Virginia’s economy is starting to improve.

Energy Transfer

A federal agency has approved construction plans for one of the major natural gas pipelines planned in the region. The 4.2 billion dollar Rover pipeline project is slated to begin phase one of construction this year.


Flickr / davidwilson1949

In a conference call with the press on Friday, Department of Revenue Cabinet Secretary Dave Hardy said West Virginia revenue collections for the month of January came in about $18M short of state estimates. 

Tim Reddinger, Ohio River, Beaver, Pennsylvania
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s easy to take the water coming out of your faucet for granted, but tragedies like the Elk River Chemical spill that left thousands of residents in West Virginia's capital city without water for days have put tap water front and center.

Appalachia is no stranger to water contamination, especially in places with a history of heavy industry, like the Ohio River Valley. But as a large source of drinking water, how do we know it’s safe?

Competing Bills On Miners Benefits

Jan 25, 2017
Becca Schimmel

Tens of thousands of retired coal miners and their families in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia face another deadline on expiring healthcare benefits and pensions. A temporary extension Congress funded late last year expires in April.

A regional Senate Republican and Democrat have offered competing bills to address the issue. The two measures differ sharply in the support offered for miners’ benefits and in the strings that would be attached to the funding.

Ruby Memorial Hospital
Michael Virtanen / AP

In a state with above-average unemployment, the state's premier hospital system is booming.

WVU Medicine hired 2,228 staff last year, has openings for 699 more and expects further expansion in its high-level specialties.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly in December to 5.9 percent.

WorkForce West Virginia says the number of unemployed residents dropped by 1,100 to 46,800.

Arthunter / wikimedia commons

An Italian manufacturing company is moving forward with plans to invest $9 million toward a new facility on West Virginia's Northern Panhandle.

News outlets report that local officials met with representatives of Pietro Fiorentini USA on Friday to officially sign off on a land purchase agreement at a business park in Weirton. The planned industrial facility was first announced in 2013.

Aaron Schackelford / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The billionaire Wilbur Ross is headed for Senate confirmation hearings as President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Commerce. Ross made it to ultra-rich status in part by salvaging coal and steel assets in Appalachia and the Rust Belt. His business dealings leave a mixed legacy in the Ohio Valley region, from rescued steel mills to the site of a searing workplace disaster, and raise questions about the leadership he would bring to the president’s cabinet.  

 

U.S. National Archive Jack Corn

Why is Donald Trump so popular in Appalachia? And how confident are Appalachians that Trump will change the economy and bring back thousands of coal mining jobs?

Three New Developments to Watch Along the Ohio River

Jan 13, 2017

Cities and towns all along the Ohio River are pushing to reinvent their economies. And they’re turning to everything from recreation to new industry to do it. Here are three new developments we’re watching from Pennsylvania to West Virginia.

1. Shell’s Ethane Cracker

Kara Lofton

As towns large and small along the Ohio River struggle to rebuild their economies, many are trying to attract more industry. But some places are realizing that embracing the recreational side of their riverfronts can also be a key engine for growth.

Business has been picking up in recent years for Tim Reddinger, who owns a bait shop in Bridgewater, just north of Pittsburgh, along the Ohio River.

“Can you see that right there?” Reddinger asks, pointing from the bank to a nearby eddy in the river. “Those are baby shad—probably not a couple months old.”

Kroger
Magnus Manske / Wikimedia Commons

The Kroger grocery chain says it has begun online ordering in West Virginia at its market in Barboursville.

Customers can order groceries by computer or mobile device then pick them up at store curbside the same day without leaving their vehicles.

Jessica Lilly

The economy in southern West Virginia is suffering due to the collapsing of the coal industry and it’s not hard to find reports of layoffs. But an international coal company called ArcelorMittal Princeton is expanding operations at a McDowell County mine bringing 50 to 75 jobs back to the region.


Rebecca Kiger

Can a photograph help a community grow? One photographer is shedding some light on ongoing efforts in a region looking for some new ways to sustain itself.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

With only two days left until Christmas, how many of you are still out looking for that one final gift? Well, there’s lots of ways to find that last present – big superstores, malls, or online – but what about shopping locally?  The West Virginia Small Business Administration says, small, local businesses employ nearly half of all West Virginia workers.

 

Procter and Gamble, Procter & Gamble, P&G, Construction
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia’s first Procter and Gamble manufacturing site located in Martinsburg has been accepting job applications since October 2015, and now the first employees for the plant have been hired. By 2019, about 700 total employees are expected to be working on the site, but there are plenty of hoops to jump through before production actually begins.

 

Pages