WorkForce West Virginia Receives $250,000 Grant for Regional Economic Development

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WorkForce West Virginia Receives $250,000 Grant for Regional Economic Development

Charleston, W.Va. – The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded WorkForce West Virginia a $250,000 Regional Innovation Grant to help the Advantage Valley region of West Virginia and nearby counties in Kentucky and Ohio establish economic development plans that will create long-term sustainable growth and employment opportunities.

“West Virginia is committed to doing all we can to address changing economic conditions,” said Gov. Joe Manchin. “Funding from this grant will help make sure we have a well-trained work force capable of meeting current and future workplace challenges.”

Implementation of the plan includes determining the strengths and weaknesses of the Advantage Valley region, identifying target industries and helping displaced workers train and connect with available jobs.

“WorkForce West Virginia and our partners will collaborate to establish economic and education projects that offer area workers high-quality career opportunities and promote business growth in the Advantage Valley region, "said Russell Fry, acting executive director for WorkForce West Virginia.

Advantage Valley was created in 1996 to promote the region along I-64 from Montgomery, W.Va., to Ashland, Ky. The region was later expanded and now includes Boone, Clay, Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam and Wayne counties in West Virginia; Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties in Kentucky; and Lawrence County, Ohio.

"Advantage Valley is grateful for the support received from the Governor's Office, the West Virginia Department of Commerce and WorkForce West Virginia for this project,” said Mike Herron, Advantage Valley president. “We are anxious to begin working on plans to strengthen the area's identity and refining a strategic plan that supports regional goals that will help ensure that the area's work force remains globally competitive.”

WorkForce West Virginia is a network of work force development services designed to provide West Virginia's citizens and employers the opportunity to succeed in today’s competitive global economy. For more information, visit www.workforcewv.org or call toll free 1-800-252-JOBS (5627).

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For Immediate Release: Feb. 18, 2010
Media Contact: Jama L. Jarrett, Public Information Specialist, 304-957-9341