Charleston West Virginia Economic Development

Discussions on Economic and Community Development in West Virginia and the Charleston MSA as well as issues of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The article below appeared in yesterday's Charleston Daily Mail.

Charleston Chamber Monitors Auto Industry

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce said it is actively engaged in developments regarding the future of the auto industry.

The chamber's staff participated in a conference call on Friday with the presidents of the Michigan State Chamber of Commerce, the Detroit Chamber of Commerce and General Motors.
Congress failed to approve a $14 billion bailout of the auto industry last week. The administration of President George Bush is currently working on a rescue plan.

Matt Ballard, president of the Charleston Area Alliance, said in a prepared statement, "It may not be widely understood that what could happen in Michigan is going to impact our state immediately. Just because we don't have a Ford or GM plant doesn't mean this won't affect West Virginia families."

According to the Charleston Regional Chamber, Kanawha County has eight automotive suppliers that employ about 443 people and Putnam County has eight suppliers that employ a total of 1,400 people. The chamber's membership includes auto and truck dealerships and tire stores.

The Charleston Area Alliance issued a statement Nov. 19 supporting the U.S. auto industry. On Friday Ballard said, "We applaud Senators Rockefeller and Byrd for voting to bring the House emergency auto loan proposal to the Senate floor. We urge President Bush and lawmakers to continue to consider all reasonable measures to prevent the collapse of the U.S. auto industry. This dilemma is too far-reaching to ignore."

The Alliance was formed in 2004 with the merger of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce, the Charleston Renaissance Commission and the Business and Industrial Development Corp., also known as BIDCO.


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