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Daily Archive for March 02 2010

Alliance Says ‘Yes’ to Future with Jobs Trust Fund Donation

One day after Governor Manchin announced that the State of West Virginia will accept Dow Chemical Company’s donation of land and facilities at the South Charleston Technology Park, the Charleston Area Alliance Board of Directors pledged to continue to invest resources to help transform the property into an economic engine that will save and create hundreds of high-value jobs for West Virginians, attract private investment and commercialize research to help state industries stay competitive in a changing world.

In their meeting last Friday, directors voted unanimously to endorse a resolution supporting the project, which, among other measures, called for a $250,000 contribution from the Alliance’s “Jobs Trust Fund” to the West Virginia Education, Research and Technology Park in South Charleston.

The trust fund was created from proceeds from the sale of property owned by the Alliance at Southridge. The purpose of the fund is to launch projects that will have a significant and sustainable economic impact on the region. The $250,000 contribution does not affect the Alliance’s operating budget, which is funded through private contributions, member dues, foundation grants and government support. Approximately 19 percent of the Alliance’s projected 2010 operating budget comes from public funding. 

“When the Governor asked for help from the private sector, the Alliance was proud to be the first to say ‘yes.’  We can think of no other project that will have a greater long-term impact on jobs and growth for the state than the technology park,” explained Alliance Chairman Jack Rossi.  “This kind of project is why the trust fund was created several years ago. We want to be able to engage these types of job growth projects and push them over the tipping point.”

“This is the opportunity of a generation,” said Alliance President Matt Ballard.  “We are already working with our state and local partners to market the property and its assets, attract new companies and private investment to the site and help it become a research commercialization hub for the East Coast.”

The state’s acceptance of the donation will have an immediate impact on our region, as well. “The 500 families whose jobs were saved live, shop and go to school in our communities. Everyone is hurt when jobs are lost and people are forced to leave the Kanawha Valley and West Virginia,” Ballard explained.

“We look forward to continuing our work with the Governor, the Higher Education Policy Commission, the Kanawha County Commission, the Chemical Alliance Zone, Advantage Valley and other federal, state and local partners to create a recipe for success at the tech park,” Ballard said.

“We recognize the project is a major undertaking. It requires a significant investment. The potential payoff, though, is well worthwhile – sustainable economic development that will spur entrepreneurship, attract private investment and create high-value jobs,” said Rossi.  “It’s about growth, something West Virginia desperately needs.”

“We agree with Governor Manchin when he said ‘we can solve our own problems or wait for someone else.’ We’re proud that West Virginia is setting its own course for the future, and the Alliance stands ready to help steer the ship,” Ballard said. “In many ways, the work is just beginning. But seeing so many people, leaders and organizations work together to make this vision a reality is fantastic.”

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admin in Economic Development on March 02 2010 » Comments are closed