Dr. Brian Noland, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission), released the following statement regarding today’s official transfer of property at the technology park in South Charleston – now the West Virginia Education, Research and Technology Park – to state ownership:
“Today marks the formal transfer of property as the West Virginia Education, Research and Technology Park becomes our state’s new and unprecedented research and development endeavor. This day was only possible because of the vision of our board and chairman, David Hendrickson; the leadership of Senators Manchin and Rockefeller, Governor Tomblin and our state and local leaders; and the backing of local businesses and communities.
“With their collective support, we were able to immediately save more than 500 jobs at the park, while securing the promise for a new future – one that we hope and believe will see new jobs in start-up companies rooted in innovation and high-tech, high-wage industries that hold great promise for West Virginia’s economy.
“For our state to grow and diversify, we need to strike a smart balance between holding true to our strongest industries and re-tooling ourselves for the skills needed to work in those jobs and new ones now and in the future.
“Getting there will not be simple, but we have assembled a good team at the park to steer the way in the coming weeks and months, and we have solid recommendations before us thanks to the expertise of Battelle and CH2M HILL. Their sustained guidance combined with ventures that are right around the corner, including the advanced technology center through our Community and Technical College System, are assurances that success isn’t a matter of ‘if’ – it’s a matter of ‘when.’”
With support of then-Governor Joe Manchin and congressional and state representatives, the Commission voted in March of this year to accept a donation of facilities and property from Union Carbide Corporation, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, at its 258-acre technology park in South Charleston.
Since that time, the Commission has led a transition and planning phase leading up to the December 15 transfer of ownership. Through a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Commission worked with leading firms Battelle and CH2M HILL to map out a long-range strategy for the park’s redevelopment. Their recommendations, which were released in November, will lay the underpinning for planning as new park initiatives move forward.
For more information, visit www.wvtechnologypark.com.