Associated Press Published

Exiting West Virginia Governor Travels for Business

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who inherited a national recession and coal industry downturn, says attracting business has been his six-year administration’s priority, counting $13 billion in commercial investments that had some state involvement.

After announcing a Canadian aircraft company’s expansion in Bridgeport last week, Tomblin headed to Cuba with representatives of three West Virginia companies looking to export there.

He went to Britain and Ireland in October and says he expects two related business expansion announcements before exiting office in January.

West Virginia’s unemployment rate still hovers near 6 percent, above the national average, in a state that lost 7,000 mining jobs since 2008.

The Tomblin administration’s count includes $7 billion in private investments for retention and expansion projects and $6 billion for new projects, many seeded with tax breaks.