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Posts filed under 'Economic Development'

Marcellus Shale and the Charleston Area Alliance

Marcellus and the Charleston Area Alliance

The Charleston Area Alliance is focused on maximizing job creation, economic diversification, building the tax base, and keeping the value of the Marcellus Shale to benefit West Virginia and her citizens.   One of the most interesting parts of the Marcellus discovery is that the deposit is rich (or what some call “wet”) in ethane.  The percentage of the whole that ethane represents of the different types of gases extracted in the Marcellus (others being methane, propane etc) can be as high as 15-20%.  Ethane can be converted into Ethylene which is a building block of many other products we all use on a daily basis. 

You have likely heard about the Charleston Area Alliance efforts to attract an ethane “cracker” to West Virginia and specifically the Kanawha Valley, where ethane would be converted to ethylene.  Such a facility would cost upwards of $1-2 billion dollars to build, creating approximately 2000 construction jobs in the process.  Once operational, the facility would likely employee approximately 750 full time employees.  Additionally, an ethane cracker would create new feedstock for the region which would likely attract more new manufacturing facilities to locate nearby.

In a recent radio interview, Charleston Area Alliance President and CEO Matthew Ballard talks about the Marcellus and the ethane cracker in part one of this radio interview (more to be posted later):

 Ballard Radio Interview on Marcellus Shale Part 1

 

 

 


Telling Your Story

In today’s competitive climate, offering a quality product or service at a fair price is only half of the success equation.

What sets the most profitable businesses apart is their ability to connect with customers. And that starts with a persuasive brand story.

For 25 years, MotionMasters, an award-winning multimedia company based in Charleston, has been helping organizations and businesses around the world reach – and connect with – target audiences through compelling videos, DVDs, commercials, print collateral, websites and streaming video.

Stories have the power to galvanize an organization around defined business objectives, says MotionMasters CEO Diana Sole Walko. “They can spark action, transmit values and foster collaboration.

“If you look back through history, the best and most memorable leaders are the ones who can communicate through story. Unfortunately, businesses are often the worst at that,” she observes. “They want to bombard you with facts and statistics about why you should purchase their product or service. But people are justifiably suspicious of that type of approach.

“Instead, tell them a story,” she says, “by explaining what those facts and figures mean and why they should matter to the customer.”

The Charleston Area Alliance is a good channel for sharing your story with potential customers and fellow business owners, says Diana.

“Early in my career as a business owner, I felt very isolated. I had questions about so many things, and didn’t really have someone to bounce issues or ideas around with,” she says.

Membership and active participation in the Alliance gave her the chance to interact with others facing the same challenges. “All these years later, I still have questions — and so do they…. We learn from each other. And that’s made us, and our companies, stronger.”

The Alliance offers a wide range of programs and services that help businesses and our community succeed.

“Membership has very practical, present value, like the ability to send your employees, or yourself, to training seminars, attend Business After Hours to mine new business, participate in Art Walks, etc.,” says Diana, adding that “for me, however, the real value of my membership is its future value — the community we can build by acknowledging no man is an island.”

At the Alliance, we’re proud to provide a forum for businesses to share their story, and we’d love to hear yours.

Join us at upcoming event and help create “happily ever afters” for you, your business and our region.

To see how the Alliance tells its story through video (many produced with the help of MotionMasters), visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/CharlestonArea.


Alliance staff gets look at new training equipment for chemical industry

This past week Charleston Area Alliance staff were given a tour of new equipment being used to train for jobs in the Chemical Industry by faculty at the Kanawha Valley Community and Technical School.   Those enrolled in the Applied Process Technology program are now training on new equipment critical for maintaining our quality workforce in an industry that remains vital to our regional economy.

Should our region or our state be successful in attracting the investment of an ethane cracker facility, training programs like these will be even more important.  A chemical operator can make an annual salary of over $50,000 in the Kanawha Valley!

 


Power Park to Host GC Night June 17

Generation Charleston is asking the region’s employers to send their summer interns and emerging leaders to Generation Charleston Night at Power Park June 17.

Let’s show them why Charleston is a great place for living, working and playing!

Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and the Power take on the Lakewood Blueclaws at 7:05 p.m.

Tickets are $15. The price includes admission, food (hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, pulled pork and more) and beverages (keg beer, soda and water).

Click here to pre-register. Tickets also are available at the gate.

Fireworks follow the game.


BB&T CEO Predicts Steady Growth

This story appears in this morning’s Charleston Gazette.

By Eric Eyre
Charleston Gazette

The U.S. economy is “kind of sputtering along,” but that’s not a bad thing, BB&T CEO Kelly King told Charleston business leaders Wednesday night.

“That’s the way an economy has to rebuild itself during recovery, especially after a recession that was so deep and so broad,” said King, who heads the nation’s eighth-largest commercial bank.

Speaking at the Charleston Area Alliance’s “Annual Celebration” at the Clay Center, King said Americans shouldn’t expect a robust or “boomerang” economy during the next three to five years. Instead, he said, they’ll see slow, steady growth.

“What we need is jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said. “The recession is over. We are in recovery.” (more…)


BB&T Chief Speaks at Annual Celebration

This story appears in today’s Charleston Daily Mail.

By George Hohmann
Daily Mail Business Editor

If the federal government hadn’t overreacted to the 2008 financial crisis, “which whipped the country into a panic frenzy, we would have survived fine,” said Kelly King, chairman and chief executive officer of BB&T Corp.

“Several big firms would have failed, we would have had 30 days of anxiety, then we would have moved on,” King said. “We would have had a tough recession,” but not a catastrophe.

King delivered the keynote speech Wednesday at the Charleston Area Alliance’s Annual Celebration. More than 400 business leaders from the region attended the event at the Clay Center.

Given that the federal government did create a panic, “there were days you could see the whole system collapsing,” he said. “Given that we were in that situation, you had to step in. In that context, TARP (the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, which pumped money into banks, General Motors, AIG and some other companies) was a good thing. But it did not have to happen.”

Although TARP gave the banking business a black eye because people still refer to it as the bank bailout, “when the dust settles the whole TARP program may actually turn a profit,” King said.

The federal overreaction was unfortunate, King said, because “when you have a big panic and the government steps in, it so undermines the system. The system is built on confidence. Before this, we bankers were fairly well thought of. Right after this we were down there with the lawyers.” (more…)


Alliance Hosts Celebration

The story below aired this morning on WCHS Radio.

BB&T CEO Kelly Kings say business leaders in Charleston and around the nation are key to the an economic recovery.

King was the keynote speaker at the Charleston Area Alliance’s Annual Celebration at the Clay Center Wednesday night.

Generation Charleston Co-Char Ryan White says growing business is exactly what Charleston Alliance does.

“The importance of this organization is to encourage business to come in and add jobs, and also build a sense of community,” White said.

The Alliance’s Vice President, JoEllen Zacks, says over the next year the group will work to bring even more business to Charleston.

“Try to recruit companies here, help the companies that already are here become more successful, and improve the quality of life for everyone that lives here,” Zacks said.

King says more jobs can be created as the U.S. comes out of the economic downturn.

White says the Alliance will try to attract companies to drill in the Marcellus Shale in Charleston.  Several sites around the state, including an area in Kanawha County, have been considered.  White says they will work to bring it to Charleston.

“Bringing an ethane cracker to West Virginia, and what comes with that, which is additional chemical industry,” White said.


The Big Show is Tonight!


We Congratulate Carbonxt & Bayer

Charleston Area Alliance President and CEO Matt Ballard today congratulated the Australian company Carbonxt Inc. after it announced plans to build a $29 million plant at Institute that eventually is projected to employ 40 full-time workers.
 
The Alliance has been working with Carbonxt since 2007, when the company reached out for assistance in locating potential sites for short-term and longer-term facility needs. Ballard and Andrew Dunlap, the Alliance’s economic development project manager, worked to schedule meetings for the company and visits to potential sites, one of which was a location at a Bayer facility.
 
“We are proud of our role in this success story,” Ballard said. “The Alliance is committed to bringing jobs and employers to the Charleston region. Major endeavors like this start with handshakes and introductions. We know the Kanawha Valley’s potential, and this is a step toward creating its future.”
 
The Carbonxt plant will convert coal into an activated carbon product that will help remove mercury from coal-fired plant emissions.
 
Carbonxt has been operating a pilot plant in Charleston for years. It also spent four years at Mingo County Wood Products Industrial Park as part of a research and development project called CENfuel, which was focused on chemical purification of coal and coal waste.
 
“I would also like to salute Bayer CropScience, which stepped up to the plate by leasing six acres at its Institute site,” Ballard said. “Bayer understands the potential impact of an investment of this magnitude, and the entire region will benefit. This new investment demonstrates the value to the bottom line for companies seeking to invest in strategic locations where the infrastructure already exists to support chemical manufacturing.”
 
The Charleston Area Alliance is a business membership organization focusing on economic and community development in the Charleston-Metro area.  It is supported by more than 650 private businesses, the Kanawha County Commission and the City of Charleston.


Just This In …. The Business Event of the Year is a Week Away!

The head of one of the nation’s largest financial holding companies will share his insights on the nation’s economic meltdown and what lies ahead at the Charleston Area Alliance Annual Celebration, to be held Wednesday, May 25, at the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences. 

Jackson Kelly is the event’s Title Sponsor.

A keynote address on “After the Crisis” by BB&T Corporation Chairman and CEO Kelly King will highlight this annual tribute to the people, businesses and organizations that have helped build a more vibrant community and prosperous economy.     

The Annual Celebration will feature an engaging, fast-paced presentation, including remarks by King and a salute to the 2011 College Summit Scholarship recipients and Leadership Kanawha Valley graduates, in the Maier Performance Hall. The formal program will followed by a spectacular reception in the stunning lobby of the Clay Center.

A VIP invitation-only reception for event sponsors will kick off the evening’s festivities. 

VIP Sponsor Reception (invitation only):  
4:00-5:00 p.m.
Annual Celebration Formal Program: 
5:00-6:15 p.m.
Gala Reception: 
6:15-8:00 p.m. 

Tickets are $200 Alliance members/$250 future members.

Click here to register.

“The Annual Celebration, the Alliance’s largest fundraiser of the year, is your opportunity to share in the pride for the Kanawha Valley and sustain the Alliance’s vital work in creating jobs, enhancing our community and investing in people,” said Alliance President/CEO Matt Ballard.

“We invite you to join the more than 500 business and community leaders who will attend for this business event of the year. With your participation, we will truly have something to ‘celebrate’ on May 25 – and beyond,” Ballard said.

We are unable to invoice for groups with fewer than 10 or issue refunds for cancellations received less than 48 hours prior to the event. Thank you.