This week, the West Virginia Department of Economic Development partnered with the West Virginia Manufacturers Association for the 8th Annual Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference, held in Morgantown. This growing event hosted companies interested in locating new facilities or expanding existing Marcellus and Manufacturing operations in the state.
“What we are witnessing now feels like an energy renaissance to me,” said Ed Gaunch, West Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce. “The opportunities for continued shale development in the Mountain State are limitless as the diversification and expansion of natural gas industry continues.”
Started in 2011, the Marcellus and Manufacturing Conference was created to provide companies and industry leaders the opportunity to gain an expanded understanding of the potential for ethane and ethylene- related product development in West Virginia. In its 8th year, the conference programming expanded to include discussions about economic development and industry specific workforce needs.
“Our West Virginia Department of Economic Development team is on the front lines marketing West Virginia, its abundant resources and dedicated workforce to the rest of the world,” said Mike Graney, executive director of the West Virginia Department of Economic Development. “West Virginia has several strategic advantages, including tax incentives, environmental permitting and available site options that make the state extremely attractive to companies looking to expand their energy and manufacturing operations.”
This year’s keynote address was provided by Steve Winberg, assistant secretary for Fossil Energy at the United States Department of Energy. He spoke on energy priorities for the country as well as the future expansion of the industry in West Virginia.
“As we look at this part of the country, we not only have rich natural resources, but we have a community that is deeply rooted in manufacturing,” said Winberg. “When you factor in a resource base that includes world-class, higher education institutions and West Virginia’s access to the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, you see the opportunity to build this sector of the economy exponentially in the Appalachian Region.”
To learn more about the Mountain State’s growing energy industry, visit westvirginia.gov/energy.