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Alliance to present briefing on storm-related business issues tomorrow

Charleston Area Alliance Storm Briefing
Tuesday, July 3
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Charleston Area Alliance
1116 Smith Street

• Do I have to pay employees if my business is closed due to Friday’s storm?
• Will insurance cover my lost business income?
• My computer is dead. Now what?
• What if I can’t get out of my house to make a loan payment or handle other financial transactions?

An informational briefing on these and other business related issues arising from Friday’s devastating storm will be presented by the Charleston Area Alliance tomorrow, Tuesday July 3, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the organization’s Small Business Incubator at 1116 Smith Street.

The informal event is designed for small business owners and entrepreneurs impacted by power interruption or other storm related issues.

Admission is free, but advance registration is required. Space is limited and admission will be on a first-come basis.

To register, click HERE.

Speakers will share informal updates and be available during a Q&A session. Follow up sessions may be held as events warrant.

Speakers include:

• Frank Baer III, Commercial Insurance Services
• John Calvert, Advanced Technical Solutions
• Tim Gibson, Merrill Lynch
• Tania Hotmer, AEP
• Eric Kinder, Spilman Thomas & Battle
• Mychal Schultz, Dinsmore & Shohl

For more information, contact JoEllen Zacks at JZacks@CharlestonAreaAlliance.org.

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admin in Announcements,Education,Events,In the News on July 02 2012 » Comments are closed

Free Healthy Kids Day at Appalachian Power Park Tomorrow

Charleston, WV (October 21, 2011) – Healthy Kids, Healthy WV is Generation West Virginia’s week-long statewide service project. In the Fall of each year, hundreds of members work in their communities to promote physical activity and healthy eating. From elementary school recipe contests to healthy lifestyle fairs, events are planned to inspire West Virginians to eat right, get fit and live well.

Generation West Virginia’s network of young talent is passionate about making a difference in communities where they live and work. Regional groups strive to teach children and families about enjoyable healthy meal preparation, demonstrate that physical activity is fun and encourage youth to make healthy decisions. This year, Generation Charleston partnered with CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital and the West Virginia Power to offer Chuck’s Healthy Challenge to hundreds of kids throughout the Kanawha Valley.

Based on a national healthy program and used by Dr. Jamie Jeffrey at CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital, Chuck’s Healthy Challenge teaches children the importance of healthy eating and an active lifestyle in a fun and interactive way. Using the 5,2,1,0 plan, volunteers from Generation Charleston will teach children to eat 5 vegetables and fruits a day; limit their screen time to 2 hours a day; stay active for 1 hour a day and have 0 sugary drinks (including juices).

“This program is proven to work and breaks down a healthy lifestyle into four simple methods that are easy for children to remember,” said Rachelle Beckner, Generation West Virginia volunteer who has co-chaired the event with Mandy Curry and Rob Rosano.

One in three West Virginia children is overweight, ranking the Mountain State eighth in the nation for obese and overweight children between the ages of 10 and 17. Obese children are at risk for healthy problems – in their youth and as adults. During adolescents obese children are more likely than other youth to have risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes.

“These are staggering statistics,” stated Executive Vice President of Palisades Baseball Andy Milovich, “and we felt that we could use Chuck, the team mascot, to make a difference in this area.  We’ve teamed up with CAMC and CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital to present Chuck’s Healthy Challenge to area schools.  The event this Saturday is another great opportunity for kids and parents to learn about the program and how to live a healthy life.”

Since its inception in February, the program has been welcomed by area schools and families.  Chuck the Power Street Team have visited over 50 schools/kids events reaching over 13,000 kids with Chuck’s Healthy Challenge information.  Each appearance includes fun activities that are designed to teach kids and their parents about leading a healthier life.

This free public event offers a healthy food station, featuring fruits and vegetables; a hydration station sponsored by West Virginia American Water; an activity station of inflatable games and more sponsored by the West Virginia Power; and Zumba.

For more information about Saturday’s event contact the Power Front Office at 304-344-BATS (2287).

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admin in Announcements,Education,Events on October 21 2011 » Comments are closed

The Artist Factory!

The Artist Factory is a series of workshops aimed to enrich the professional lives of the valley’s artists by impacting,marketing, networking and building professional identities.  The Arts Council of Kanawha Valley has identified themes that will be covered throughout the year.  Some of the themes include: taxes, basics of contract building, copyright & trademark law, basics of public relations, basic website building and much more.  The workshops are taught by established artists and experts in the fields.  These workshops are open to every artist that works under any genre (music, visual, dance, theatre and literary) to provide necessary networking within the artist community.

If you wish to attend any of the workshops, space is limited and registration is required.  Register to mail@artskv.org.  PayPal is available to pre-pay any event by visiting www.artskv.org and clicking on the Sign Up tab!

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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!


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admin in Economic Development,Education,Job Postings on June 18 2011 » Comments are closed

The Future is Now

West Virginia’s future as a leader in technology and innovation took a leap forward last Wednesday with the transfer of the former Dow Tech Park to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

It’s an important step in the Charleston Area Alliance’s technology-based economic development strategy. The creation of the new West Virginia Education, Research and Technology Park (WVERTP) is the culmination of the work of many partners over the past decade and represents a tremendous opportunity for our region and the nation. 

Dow’s donation to the state has saved about 500 high-paying jobs with benefits. The average salary at the park is $81,900.

“The Technology Park employs citizens from 16 counties in West Virginia and two bordering states,” said Matt Ballard, the Alliance’s president and CEO. “The impact will only increase as the vision is realized over the next decade. That vision is to fully develop a diversified, multi-tenant research, development and commercialization park focused on energy, chemicals and related technologies for the advancement of education and economic development in West Virginia and the surrounding region.”

The WVERTP also offers the state a chance to build on the region’s unique competitive advantages through the promotion of collaborative innovation and entrepreneurial activity. 

“The park, combined with other important assets stretching from Morgantown to Huntington, embodies a regional innovation cluster across the state,” Alliance Chairman Pat Bond said.

A regional innovation cluster (RIC), as defined by the Federal Economic Development Authority, is a “geographic concentration of firms and industries that do business with each other and have common needs for talent, technology, and infrastructure.” 

“Being at the forefront of solving national issues, like energy independence, will create a more unique niche for our region and state, grow existing businesses and create new jobs and educational opportunities,” Bond said.

A new report conducted by Battelle, a multi-billion dollar organization with experience in similar projects around the globe, has confirmed the park’s possibilities. Battelle’s recommendations include using the inherent, indigenous strengths of the local region to capitalize on new opportunities.

“Leaders such as Sen. Joe Manchin, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the Chemical Alliance Zone, the Higher Education Policy Commission, MATRIC, the Kanawha County Commission and others had the vision and courage to back our mission and gather support for West Virginia’s future,” Ballard said. “They know advancing technology leads to job creation, and with the Technology Park, we have a fantastic opportunity to boost West Virginia’s technology economy.”

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admin in Economic Development,Education on December 21 2010 » Comments are closed

‘What If We Took Research Seriously?’

The opinion piece below appeared Nov. 19 in the Charleston Gazette. It highlights Generation Charleston’s recent Education Forum, which brought together minds to come up with potential solutions for the state’s high school dropout rate.

By Dawn Miller

“What if we took research seriously?” asks the senior scholar at Child Trends. She was talking about preventing teen pregnancy, but her question has many applications.

For example, I recently had the opportunity to participate in an event organized by Generation Charleston. Scores of people of all ages gathered downtown to brainstorm and strategize for 30 minutes on an important topic: About 6,900 West Virginia students drop out of high school every year. That’s about one in four students who enter high school but don’t come out the other end. What on earth do you do about that?

Good on Generation Charleston for getting conscientious people together to identify one solid recommendation to take to the Legislature. It was a nice crowd, full of people from the school system to the justice system, for-profit, non-profit and government.

My hangup is that there is no shortage of knowledge or even fresh ideas for solving this problem, or most of the problems kids face.

On the contrary. We know which solutions work in which situations. Let’s pick a proven tactic and do it.

I like this one: Make kids go to school. When they don’t show up for school, find out why, help the family fix that problem, and get the kid back in class.


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admin in Education,Generation Charleston,In the News on December 02 2010 » Comments are closed

Report Says Tech Park Retained 550 Jobs

The West Virginia Education, Research & Technology Park has retained more than 550 high-paying, high-quality jobs in West Virginia, according to a new report from Battelle and CH2M Hill released today. Considering economic multipliers, the park has supported more than 1,000 additional jobs in the state and produced more than $600 million in economic output.

The park’s annual economic impact is just under $100 million.

Battelle, a preeminent research and development organization, conducted the months-long study and recommendations for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.  The commission will take ownership of the park on Dec. 15.

The Battelle report includes information on the “next steps” in the development of the Tech Park, but it also provides data on the jobs and economic impact of the businesses and jobs already in located there:

“Today, as the park property transitions to the Higher Education Policy Commission, the state has been able to retain these high paying jobs, which average $81,900 in salaries and wages,” the report says. 

“This represents a total payroll of nearly $39 million with estimated direct and indirect income impacts of over $96 million annually. This activity translates into millions of dollars in state and local taxes collected each year. Few recent state economic development deals have offered as high a return on investment.

“But it is the long-term potential for creating an innovation and technology development driver for reinvigorating the global competitiveness of the state’s long-standing chemical and energy sectors that stands to offer the highest economic development pay-offs for the state.”

“The Charleston Area Alliance would like to acknowledge the hard work and diligence of Battelle and CH2MHill, along with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, in completing the assessment and development plan for the former Dow Technology Park,” said Alliance President and CEO Matt Ballard. 

“This has been an open process, with all stakeholders having input. Mixing those ideas with the skills, expertise and knowledge of Battelle to recommend best practices in the development and management of technology parks has generated a solid document.”

HEPC Chancellor Brian Nolland appointed Ballard to serve on the Tech Park steering committee.

“This regional project will have a wide geographic impact,” Ballard said. “The park’s employment base spans from Ashland, Ky., to Charleston, to Flatwoods, to Ripley. While the jobs help our regional economy, the innovation potential for the park will positively impact our entire state and even the nation. After all, it is innovation that will be the driver to bring us out of this global economic slump.

“Now, the next phase begins,” Ballard continued. “We encourage all stakeholders to maintain their focus on the long-term goal of generating new investment and new jobs and diversifying the tax base through innovation and technology.”

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission press release, which describes the four primary recommendations of the report can be found at http://www.wvresearch.org/techpark/news.htm.

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admin in Economic Development,Education on November 18 2010 » Comments are closed

Generation Charleston, College Summit Team for Resume Workshop

Generation Charleston’s Professional Development Team and College Summit are partnering to conduct resume reviews and mock interviews for Peer Leader Alumni (current college freshmen) at the College Summit fall retreat.

The effort is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21 at West Virginia State University.

Volunteers are needed. Contact Heather Lyons at hrlyons@dow.com or (304) 549-0681 by Nov. 15 to sign up.

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admin in Education,Generation Charleston on November 12 2010 » Comments are closed

Learn About E-Mentoring at the Next Food for Thought

Join us for our next Food for Thought Luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the Charleston Area Alliance.  This session, led by Carey Sadowski of the Education Alliance, will focus on the new eMentoring program of the Education Alliance.

Click here to register.

More than 6,900 West Virginia high school students dropped out of high school in 2009. That’s $1.8 billion in lost lifetime earnings in West Virginia for that class of dropouts alone. Today’s students are tomorrow’s work force!  Mentoring is a way you can help ensure students are ready for the workforce. 

This Food for Thought will include:

  • How to mentor a student without leaving your home or office
  • The obligation of being a mentor
  • Benefits to you and your organization of being a mentor
  • And more…

About the speaker:

Mr. Carey S. Sadowski earned his B.A. in International Relations — American Foreign Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Carey has more than 16 years of experience in software design and development, including desktop applications and Web site design. He co-authored the nation’s first Web application allowing citizens of local municipalities to request services online; created a desktop application for West Virginia’s Bureau of Medicaid Services; and brought The Education Alliance into the technology arena with a variety of Web applications to help serve West Virginia’s public education system.

Cost to attend this Food for Thought Luncheon is $15 for current Alliance members/$25 for future members.  Seating is limited and an RSVP is required to attend.   Lunch will be provided.  For more information, contact Lesley Hager at LHager@CharlestonAreaAlliance.org or (304)340.4253.

The Alliance will only be able to invoice for groups of 10 or more. Contact Deb Coffman at DCoffman@CharlestonAreaAlliance.org for more information.

The Alliance cannot issue cancellation refunds within 48 hours before the event. Thank you.

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admin in Community Development,Education,Events on October 13 2010 » Comments are closed

Meeting of the Minds to Tackle Dropout Problem

This story aired last night on WSAZ-TV. Click here to view the segment.  

Last year, more than 6,900 students in West Virginia didn’t graduate. That’s a number that has a big impact considering that the lost lifetime earnings in the state for that class of dropouts alone totals nearly $1.8 billion.

The statistics have led Generation Charleston to push for a solution to the problem.

“West Virginia needs to do something,” said Ryan White, co-captain of the group’s Public Policy Team. “If we want to attract the industries, we want those high paying jobs. We need to have an educated workforce.”

On Tuesday, the group hosted an educational policy forum.

Educational leaders from around the region were broken into groups to discuss several initiatives that Generation Charleston believes could offer a fix for the growing dropout rate.

Those initiatives include creating a drop out recovery program, increasing reading skills, addressing attendance issues and creating a board to award grants to schools for programs to raise the graduation rate.

Generation Charleston intends to take their discussions to the state level by forming one of the initiatives into a piece of legislation.

The Charleston Committee for Change will use the forum’s suggestions to endorse an initiative during the 2011 legislative session.

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admin in Education,Generation Charleston,In the News on September 29 2010 » Comments are closed

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