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Work Globally. Live locally.



Work globally. Live locally.
By Catherine Zacchi

International and high-tech jobs find a home in West Virginia.

Its verdant beauty, friendly communities and low cost of living make West Virginia an appealing place to live. A growing number of native and transplanted professionals also are finding the Mountain State a rewarding home for their high-tech and international careers.

Workers in West Virginia conduct business with associates in Brazil, Japan, Italy and other formerly distant shores. More than 22,000 West Virginians work for companies from 23 countries.

Among those who have found high tech careers in emerging industries in their native West Virginia include, in the automotive industry: Troy Thomas, Allevard Sogefi USA, Prichard; and Mike Hill, Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc., Williamstown; and in the chemicals industry, Kevin DiGregorio, Chemical Alliance Zone, Charleston; and Glenn Anderson, Kureha PGA LLC., Belle.

Read about these West Virginians who pursue careers with global firms here at home

Auto career steers back home
Pursuit of a career in automotive manufacturing led Troy Thomas away from his native West Virginia. Now that same career has brought him back home. Thomas manages the West Virginia-based plant of an Italian auto firm.

New assembly plant takes root
Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc. gave Mike Hill a chance to stay in the Mountain State, use his degree — and marry his West Virginia sweetheart.

Bringing opportunities home
Inviting chemical companies to make their homes in West Virginia, bringing jobs and creating opportunities, is part of Kevin DiGregorio’s mission. As executive director of the Chemical Alliance Zone, this West Virginia native has worked with attracting global chemical giants such as Kureha and innovative biotechnology startups such as Progenesis.

Mechanical aptitude leads to engineering career
Glenn Anderson’s father recognized his youngest son’s mechanical aptitude and encouraged him to study engineering. Following that career lead Anderson away from his native Charleston. Now a global company with a breakthrough process brings him back home to West Virginia again.

Top 10 Reasons to Come Home!

Growing
In 2008, West Virginia not only led the nation in economic growth, it recorded its lowest unemployment rate in its history in September.

Recommended
Inc., Forbes, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and Where to Retire list West Virginia cities among the country’s best places for business and living.

Central
We’re within overnight trucking distance of more than half of the U.S. population – and a third of the Canadian population.

Profitable
Business costs are 13 percent below the U.S. average.

Expanding
The state has attracted $8.3 billion in new investment and almost 23,000 new jobs since 2005.

Global
Investments from 23 countries employ 22,000
West Virginians. Meanwhile, in 2007 we exported $3.97 billion in goods.

Popular
Eleven million overnight leisure travelers visited the Mountain State last year.

Affordable
Living costs are 4.5 percent below the U.S. average.

Safe
The state has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.

Home
Low property taxes help West Virginia lead the nation in home ownership.