WEST VIRGINIA: A Place to Grow
10 Oct, 2019
Opportunities abound for business relocation and expansion throughout West Virginia. The state offers a thriving pro-business climate and economy, abundant resources including a first-rate work force, and several strategic advantages.
West Virginia has not introduced new business taxes in the last 20 years and is rated 19th in the nation for business tax climate. A recent report published by gobankingrates.com found that West Virginia was near the top in the nation for overall economic growth (GDP).
The state is very affordable and the cost of doing business is among the lowest in the country. In fact, CNBC ranked West Virginia eleventh among all states in the category of cost of doing business in a 2018 report. Boasting a cost of living 14% lower than the national average, employees are able to see their earnings going further in the state.
A great place to move or build a business, there are scores of great companies who call West Virginia home. Industry leaders such as Bombardier, Toyota, NGK Spark Plugs, Procter & Gamble, and Northrop Grumman all choose West Virginia for their facilities. Most of the state is within one day’s drive of half the U.S. population and a third of the Canadian market putting a business close to supply hubs, distribution bases and major customer markets.
Finally, the state’s strong labor history continues to resonate today. West Virginians are known for their grit and hard work. The work force also has an expanding knowledge base to pair with their determination. Over the last decade, West Virginia’s community and technical colleges have created nearly 150 new custom training programs, many in partnership with local companies and business investors.
WEST VIRGINIA: MINGO COUNTY
Mingo County, West Virginia has a long and proud history. Located in the heart of the West Virginia coalfields, Mingo County is successfully dealing with the challenges created by an economic dependence on the declining coal industry.
“For several decades, the coal mining industry has fostered what we’ve referred to as an economic monoculture. It supported of thousands of direct, indirect, supply chain and transportation jobs,” said Leasha Johnson, Executive Director of the Mingo Country Redevelopment Authority.
However, Johnson is very optimistic about the wave of change, from value added wood manufacturing to developing business and job opportunities around aviation. Johnson explains, “Mingo County’s Land Use Master Plan has facilitated the creation of large, post-mined development sites that have been configured to create unique diversification opportunities in southern West Virginia, opportunities that will adequately prepare us for a post-coal economy.”
One such innovation is the Wood Products Industrial Park, a 650 acre reclaimed surface mine site that has been innovatively transformed into a successful, working industrial site. Located in the heart of the Appalachian Hardwood Region, the Wood Park provides access to an abundance of hardwood. The availability of a skilled workforce, large development sites, and affordable energy create a unique opportunity for expansion of the wood products industry in Mingo County.
Another innovative site is the Air Transportation Park, a 400-acre site adjacent to a new state of the art general aviation airport. The Air Park was developed as a post mine land use project and affords Mingo County the ability to develop aviation manufacturing and supply chain businesses in the near future.
With the shift away from a coal based economy and significant job losses, Johnson notes that Mingo County residents are both resilient and hard working.
Mingo County is within a 500-mile radius of nearly half the U.S. population and major markets in the eastern U.S. and Canada. With West Virginia’s pro-growth business climate, and a cost of living that is well below the national average, Johnson touts Mingo County as a “place where innovation meets opportunity, where affordable energy and geographical location foster a competitive business climate, and where quality of life transcends through our gorgeous landscapes, authentic hospitality and dynamic heritage. Mingo County is the gateway to business and leisure in “Almost Heaven” West Virginia.”