Technology & Information Services is an emerging industry in West Virginia. This growing cluster of researchers and practitioners includes university research facilities, government agencies and commercial enterprises. The concentration of Technology and Information Services, specifically our leading biometric organizations in north-central West Virginia, has been called the "Silicon Valley of America's biometrics activity," by Wes Bush, CEO of Northrup Grumman Corporation. These strengthens, combined with our state's skilled workforce, low cost of doing business and high quality of life make West Virginia a great place to relocate, invest and expand.
West Virginia is within easy range - 8 hours if you drive, faster if you fly - of half of the U.S. population and a third of the Canadian market.
Key research and federal agencies. Close proximity to research universities, federal agencies in Washington DC, Baltimore and northern Virginia, as well as industry concentrated in Charlotte and Raleigh.
West Virginia is connected to the East Coast and United States by highways, railways and navigable waterways. The new Heartland Intermodal Gateway provides access for double-stack clearance for rail cars from Roanoke, Virginia, through southern West Virginia to Chicago.
World-class workforce with turnover rate
below national average and tied for
3rd-lowest for manufacturing.
Pro-business tax-climate with no new
business taxes in the last 20 years.
Business franchise tax eliminated in 2015.
Fiscally responsible state government with
Fitch credit rating AA+ for general debt
obligation and overall stable outlook
Low cost of living 14% lower than
national average with safe communities
and unparalleled outdoor
Electricity rates more than 33% lower
than the national average
Employers have saved more than
$280 million since the state privatized the
Worker's Compensation fund in 2006
Cost of doing business 14% below the
Many federal agencies have already found West Virginia to be the perfect location for their research and information technology services hubs. Among the federal agencies with established facilities in the state are the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division; the Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency's Biometrics Identity Management Activity; and the FBI Biometric Center of Excellence.
World Class Workforce
Technology and Information Service companies have abundant access to highly-skilled workers with experience ranging from skilled training to undergraduate and advanced degrees. Students in West Virginia have the option to earn career-ready skills, as many of our universities and community and technical colleges offer specialized education and training in computer science, network engineering technology and maintenance, repair, CISCO Network Professional, website development, animation, game development and many more.
Advanced Research & Technology
West Virginia's higher education system is developing new and innovative certificate and degree programs for technology and information-based industries. West Virginia University's biometric program is recognized worldwide for its cutting edge research, particularly in face, iris and fingerprint recognition. In addition, West Virginia University is one of only four university partners in the Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR) program. This program is partnership among government and industry stakeholders and is designed to advance industry capabilities through university research. In addition, West Virginia is home to the Forensic Science Initiative and WVU Homeland Security Programs. West Virginia's Marshall University is also home to an advanced Forensic DNR Analysis laboratory and offers a Forensic Science Graduate program, one of only seven such Master of Science degree programs nationwide.
Companies in Technology & Information Services also have direct access to research and innovative capabilities found at groups such as Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center (MATRIC); and the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI), which includes the nationally-certified RCBI Machinist Technology Program. These skill building organizations combined with many technical programs and partnerships help build and support our skilled, well-trained workforce.
Employer-friendly Business Climate
Thanks to aggressive pro-business legislation, West Virginia offers some of the lowest worker's compensation rates in the country. We also provide our business and industry partners with low startup and overhead costs compared to others in more saturated technology corridors.