Daily Archive for February 16 2010
West Virginia’s future looks brighter today.
We applaud Governor Manchin’s leadership in bringing Dow Chemical’s donation of South Charleston Technology Park to the state a big step closer to reality. And we commend everyone who came to the table to make this happen.
By putting aside politics and pursuing the vision of a globally-competitive innovation center, significant progress was made in saving more than 500 high value jobs already here and preserving the potential to create thousands more. While there are a number of issues yet to be resolved, there is a shared commitment by all parties involved to come together for the greater good of West Virginia.
The Governor affirmed his belief in the vision of a technology and innovation park with a higher education component, a model that has been a blueprint for success in many other parts of the country. At his request, the Governor’s general counsel and the West Virginia Division of Real Estate will continue to work with MATRIC, the Chemical Alliance Zone and the Charleston Area Alliance to finalize the details of the project as the deadline as the March 1 deadline looms. There was recognition that moving state agency offices is not consistent with the vision of a technology park, but that the laboratories and other technical facilities located there may be appropriate for some specialized state scientific and research activities.
Governor Manchin has been tireless in his dedication to fulfilling the promise of a “new” technology park, as have the members of the Kanawha County Commission, representatives of Charleston and South Charleston and other parties who participated in today’s meeting.
The citizens of the Kanawha Valley and of the state have been instrumental in keeping this vision alive. They signed an online petition urging leaders to take immediate action to prevent the demolition of the tech park and enlisted others to join the cause via social media. In a grassroots effort that gained momentum practically overnight, they brought this project to the forefront of the state’s public policy agenda.
With leadership at the highest levels and a groundswell of support from the community, the road blocks standing in the way of jobs and opportunity for West Virginia are falling one by one.
Our work is far from over. We call on everyone committed to our future to continue to communicate and work together to maximize the potential of the world-class facility to bring innovation to the marketplace and create new opportunities for West Virginia’s coal, natural gas, chemical and other leading industries. With only a few days left to make a final decision, the Alliance has committed to providing any support to the Governor necessary to make this project a reality.
We are entering a new chapter in the history of West Virginia thanks to the positive momentum created from the discussion today. It’s a proud day to be a Mountaineer.