• Strategic Advantages
  • Key Industries
  • Business Assistance
  • Global Engagement
    • Global Engagement

      West Virginia is home to more than 130 businesses representing 27 countries from around the world, and West Virginia businesses export goods and services to more than 95 countries. Learn how our international team works out of three worldwide office to foster global engagement.

  • Sites & Buildings
    • Sites & Buildings

      West Virginia has a number of diverse site and building opportunities. One of our most exciting opportunities is Rock Creek Development Park, offering 12,000 acres of flat, developable land in southern West Virginia. Explore Rock Creek Development Park and our site selection tool that lets you take the first steps to finding a new location in West Virginia.

  • EXCEL WV 
  • WVForward
  • News 
  • Close
  • OpportunityZones

West Virginia is the right place to locate.

WV Ready, a site certification and readiness program, was developed to make the evaluation of WV industrial sites more efficient and effective for companies and consultants.

WV READY Program Goals:

  • De-risk selection of a WV site for companies
  • Reduce a company’s capital investment cost
  • Accelerate a company’s ability to get to market

How will WV Ready achieve program goals?

  • Develop high valued industrial sites
  • Increase quantity of available industrial sites
  • Improve quality of available industrial sites

WV Ready, certified sites are:

  • Controlled with an asking price
  • Have completed due diligence
  • Can achieve permits quickly
     

Find a WV READY Site
 

WV READY Program Goals:

  • De-risk selection of a WV site for companies
  • Reduce a company’s capital investment cost
  • Accelerate a company’s ability to get to market

How will WV Ready achieve program goals?

  • Develop high valued industrial sites
  • Increase quantity of available industrial sites
  • Improve quality of available industrial sites

>WV Ready, certified sites are:

  • Controlled with an asking price
  • Have completed due diligence
  • Can achieve permits quickly  

Find a WV READY Site
 


Are you ready to become a West Virginia Ready Site?

Available, ready industrial properties are essential for West Virginia to remain competitive for industrial recruitment. The WV READY program supports local economic development groups through technical assistance in readying industrial properties and evaluating potential industrial sites.

 

WV READY is a three-step process:

Step 1: Intent to Apply

This short letter will be completed by the local economic development board and submitted to WV READY.  Up to ten properties may be identified in this submission.  The WV READY team will select sites for participation in this program.

Download the Intent to Apply Template
Intent to Apply letters should be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Deadline: April 30, 2018

 

Step 2:  Application

Upon receipt of the Intent to Apply letter, submitted sites will be reviewed by a selection committee, and the Economic Development Board will be sent a WV Ready application.

 
Note: Only groups that have successfully completed and submitted the Letter of Interest and the Application by the deadline will be eligible to participate.


The Economic Development Board for a selected site will receive a WV READY site inventory application. The site inventory application along with the site documentation shall be completed and submitted by the Economic Development Board. Successful applicants will be notified via email and/or telephone to the primary contacts listed on the Intent to Apply letter.

 
Note: A limited number of site will be selected to participate in WV READY Evaluation program. Sites will be selected to participate through a competitive application process.
 
Note: Incomplete applications will be returned, and sites will not be evaluated.

 

Step 3: Site Readiness Evaluation

The WV READY team will prepare a final report that addresses the property's readiness along with its strengths and weaknesses. Recommendations to improve the site’s readiness and marketability will be included.




 

     



Leave Your Mark on West Virginia

Major market transitions require bold, innovative thinking. In response, the West Virginia Development Office (“WVDO”) developed a loaned executive program to capture new and unrealized opportunities for the Mountain State. We are now accepting our next round of applicants for the program. Join our team and help West Virginia reach its potential.

West Virginia Executive Loan Program (“EXCEL WV”)

EXCEL WV is a special opportunity for top-level talent to share their expertise with the WVDO. Participants confront challenging economic development issues and help grow jobs in West Virginia. Participants solve problems, improve processes, and design new programs to change the trajectory of West Virginia.


Apply Now

  • Application deadline for the next Excel WV class is April 9, 2018.
  • Class begins May 1, 2018.

Apply Now


 

About the Program

What is the EXCEL WV program?

 

Program partners “loan” their talented leaders to the WVDO for a defined period not to exceed one year. These loaned executives may participate on a part-time or full-time basis and be on-site or serve remotely. All participants are expected to be fully-committed to the program while involved. During their tenure, participants remain employees of their host company or institution. The WVDO organizes and administers the program in conjunction with a volunteer steering committee comprised of distinguished business leaders from across the state.

EXCEL WV loaned executives apply their specialized skills to projects that produce assets to support the efforts of the Development Office. Examples of projects include developing a sustainable site readiness program, economic impact studies to support legislation and creative funding sources for business development. Loaned executives are mentored by senior, second career executives who have achieved a high level of success in West Virginia and desire to further contribute to advance the future of the Mountain State.

 

Why should you participate in the EXCEL WV Program?

 

  • Loaned Executives are mentored by some of West Virginia’s top business and thought leaders, and have the opportunity to work directly with WVDO clients interested in West Virginia.
  • Employers should participate because their loaned employees enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience to help grow the state’s economy, while further developing their employees as future leaders for the state.
 

Here’s an example of a EXCEL WV program initiative

 

 

How will your company benefit from the EXCEL WV Program?

 

EXCEL WV is a highly-selective program and multi-disciplinary team. We are seeking engineers, lawyers, accountants, sales persons, business executives, logisticians, economists, technologists, and others. Participants must be passionate about West Virginia and committed to its success.

 

EXCEL WV Photos

 

Meet the Team

Loaned Executives

 

Second Career Executives




For more information contact:

Kris Hopkins, Executive Director 
West Virginia Development Office 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
304.558.2234 

For more information contact:

Kris Hopkins, Executive Director 
West Virginia Development Office 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
304.558.2234 



 
Apprenticeship In Motion (AIM) is a program of the West Virginia Development Office that promotes and expands registered apprenticeship activity in West Virginia. This working group of partners identify, standardize and develop courses that are needed statewide to increase the number of registered apprenticeship programs and improve the capacity of the traditional providers to better serve the apprenticeship model.
Join us to learn more about how you can integrate apprenticeship training into your current training and human resource strategies.

 

AIM 2018 Summits

Click the blue box below to register for the Summit in that location.
FREE to attend. Registration is mandatory.

 

Summits: What to Expect

  • Hear from senior business leaders across the nation about why apprenticeship has been an effective training model for their workforce
  • Engage in dialogue with other businesses and industry stakeholders about the challenges and opportunities for workforce development
  • Access information and resources to help you get started on developing an apprenticeship program


Keynote Speakers

Girish SeshagiriGirish Seshagiri

Girish Seshagiri is Executive Vice President | Chief Technology Officer, of Ishpi Information Technologies, Inc., a fast-growing provider of cybersecurity services to the Department of Defense and other civilian agencies of the federal government.  Girish is an early adopter of the apprenticeship dual model for skills formation. He is a staunch advocate of creating workforce capable of developing software which is secure from cyber-attacks. Girish is currently providing the founding organizational leadership to the national roll out of the Community Initiative Center of Excellence for Secure Software (CICESS). Girish is a U.S. Department of Labor Leaders of Excellence in Apprenticeship, Development, Education, and Research (LEADER). He is a co-chair of the NICE cybersecurity apprenticeship working group.

Girish has an MBA (Marketing) from Michigan State University.


Dr. Pamela HowzeDr. Pamela Howze

Dr. Pamela Howze leads the National Funds' efforts to expand apprenticeship and work-based learning. Prior to joining the National Fund, she was the statewide director of Apprenticeship, Business and Veterans Services for the North Carolina Department of Commerce/NC-Works. Prior to that she worked in private industry for both Siemens and Merck as a Chief Learning Officer focusing on Workforce Development and Apprenticeships for five years. She has taught in both the North Carolina and South Carolina Community College systems for more than 20 years. She began her career as a U.S. Army Officer and served for seven years both on active duty and in the S.C. National Guard. She earned a B.S. degree from Western Carolina University and an M.S. degree from Troy State University.  She was awarded a Doctorate of Education in Adult and Community College Education in August 2015 by North Carolina State University for her research in career technical education and apprenticeship publishing a phenomenology study on Youth Apprenticeships.


Tia JohnsonTia Johnson

Tia is a Certified Project Manager Professional who has spent the last seven years managing projects for the Center. She is currently the Program Manager and Apprenticeship Consultant for the Center’s American Apprenticeship Initiative project to develop transit apprenticeships in five transportation occupations: transit coach operator, bus maintenance, rail vehicle apprenticeship, signals maintenance apprenticeship, and elevator escalator maintenance. She has over 10 years of transportation industry experience, having worked as contract analyst for the Amalgamated Transit Union and as a transit coach operator for the University of Alabama. She holds an Master of Information Systems Management, Master of Project Management, Post-Graduate Degree Certificate in Instructional Technology, and a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification.


Michael PrebilMichael Prebil

Michael Prebil is a program associate with the Center on Education & Skills at New America (CESNA), where he studies workforce development strategies and learning models that address employers' needs for capable and flexible lifelong learners in a globalized and rapidly automating economy. A product of work-based learning himself, he began his career in labor and education policy as an intern at New America, after having worked in public health research, in the for-profit education sector, and for over 10 years as a bicycle mechanic. 

 


Eric M. SeleznowEric M. Seleznow

Eric M. Seleznow is a senior advisor and directs JFF's Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning. He works to further the organization’s goals of advancing innovative workforce policy and programs. Mr. Seleznow is contributing to the organization’s work on apprenticeship, reentry, and sector strategies.

Prior to JFF, Mr. Seleznow served as deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor’s, Employment and Training Administration, under Secretary Tom Perez. During his tenure at USDOL/ETA, he focused on implementing the Obama administration’s vision for workforce development, skills training, and registered apprenticeship.

Mr. Seleznow has over 30 years of experience managing a range of workforce development and correctional reentry programs at the federal, state, and local levels. Prior to his position at DOL, he served as the state policy director with the National Skills Coalition, executive director of the Maryland Governor's Workforce Investment Board, and as the local workforce board director for the Montgomery County (MD.) Department of Economic Development. His experience also includes nearly 20 years in the corrections system operating jail-based training, employment, and pre-release programs—re-entry efforts for which he is still regarded as a national expert. Mr. Seleznow is a graduate of Northeastern University and resides in Washington, DC.


Jens KielJens Kiel

Jens Kiel is the founder and CEO of Made in Germany, an award-winning American marketing and creative strategy consultancy. A German native and Mountaineer by marriage, he is a consummate professional with significant national and international experience in advertising and marketing, branding, and social media. His business is helping professional, technical and scientific service companies and government agencies to communicate to their audiences with impact.

Kiel has been presenting his workshops on business skills and digital communication nationwide to the Veterans Health Administration, and regional at the WV Chamber's "ResourceU", Toyota Motor Works, the Small Business Administration's District Office, and several Create WV conferences. His ongoing national webinar series is presented by the SBA and SCORE. In 2016, Kiel was awarded the SBA’s West Virginia Small Business Champion of the Year.


Nicolas DiehlNicolas Diehl

Nicolas Diehl is a native of the Mountain State, where he has devoted his career to economic development and the betterment of fellow his West Virginians.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Advertising from Concord University and a Master’s degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in Organizational Communication from WVU.  He has lived in the Eastern Panhandle since 2005.  Prior to moving to the eastern panhandle, he spent several years in higher education, and served as Executive Director of the United Way of Southern West Virginia.  Nic served as Director of One Stop Operations for the Region VII Workforce Investment Board before accepting a position with the State of West Virginia.  He worked for the West Virginia Department of Commerce for ten years, serving first as Regional Manager and Business Consultant for WorkForce West Virginia, then Manager of Business and Industrial Development for the West Virginia Development Office’s Eastern Panhandle Region.  During his tenure at the Department of Commerce he has served as liaison to over 500 businesses. Nic now serves as Executive Director of the Jefferson County Development Authority, where he continues to work with federal, state, and county agencies to support economic development in the beautiful Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. 


James FotiMr. James Foti
United States Department of Labor


Mr. James Foti currently serves as Regional Director for the Office of Apprenticeship at the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration. He previously served as Deputy Administrator and Senior Policy Advisor at DOL’s National Office of Apprenticeship in Washington D.C. Mr. Foti’s career encompasses twenty-five years of management experience and more than a decade in senior leadership positions, with a focus on workforce training, education and technology. His executive-level experience includes: Executive Director of the American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeship; Director of the National Healthcareer Association, the largest U.S. allied healthcare certification agency; and, CEO of the National Council of NGOs of Kenya, an association of 4,000 nonprofit organizations. Mr. Foti completed a 4-year apprenticeship making precious metal parts earlier in his career. He holds an MPA from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in Management from Rutgers University.




For more information contact:

 

Sharon Adams
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jeff Huffman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

AIM Partners

 


 
 





 

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Contact for Media:

Chelsea A. Ruby
Director of Marketing and Communications
West Virginia Department of Commerce
304-957-9364