Posted: Aug 24, 2016

Upshur and Randolph County Economic Development Authorities Receive POWER Funds for Economic and Workforce Development Initiatives

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin joined representatives of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to announce the first round of federal Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) grants, which total over $16 million for West Virginia, or more than 40 percent of the federal money, and will support thirteen economic development projects across the state—two of which are located in the Region VII PDC district.

With the help of Region VII’s services, the following two projects are slated to receive over $4,000,000:  

·         $2,285,049 EDA grant to Upshur County Development Authority in Buckhannon, WV, for the Upshur County Knowledge and Innovation Business Center. This project consists of the construction of the new Business Center on property donated by the City of Buckhannon, which will host a small business development center to be managed by the Upshur County Development Authority. Small business development support services will be targeted to IT and other technology-based business interests. The Center will also provide flex-office and incubator space. Broadband access will be available at the facility as a result of a privately-funded initiative to address the current lack of broadband access in Upshur County. One technology company has already committed to locating in this facility. The project will create and retain 78 jobs and leverage $8,500,000 in additional investment.

·         $1,822,500 total (a $1,200,000 EDA grant and a $622,500 ARC grant) to the Randolph County Development Authority in Elkins, WV for the Hardwood Cluster Manufacturing Expansion Project. POWER funds will be utilized to expand a major cabinet manufacturer’s operation by enabling the doubling of its current production rate due to a new national contract – thereby creating 45 new jobs and adding $2,500,000 in annual wages to the regional economy. In addition, the award will strengthen the Hardwood Alliance Zone – a nine-county region in Central West Virginia containing a cluster of hardwood businesses.

Region VII worked diligently with Rob Hinton, Director of the Upshur County Economic Development Authority and Robbie Morris, Director of the Randolph County Economic Development Authority to secure this vital funding for the betterment of the region.

Congratulations to the Randolph and Upshur County Development Authorities!

For a full list of all first round awards, click here.