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.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Kanawha County Fair is right around the corner!
September 10-13, 2009
For more information:

Leadership Kanawha Valley registration is open!

Learn how to be a leader in the Kanawha Valley. Meet other leaders. Make a difference.

Leadership Kanawha Valley, a program of the Charleston Area Alliance, is now accepting registrations.

Click here to download the application form.

Half-day classes will take place the first and third Thursdays of October and November. Full days will run from December to May on the first Thursday of each month.

The program's objective involves developing, informing and training potential leaders so they understand the issues and needs of the community. It looks to create an environment that nurtures involvement in the community through volunteerism, service organizations and board appointments.

Leadership Kanwha Valley creates the opportunity for potential leaders to meet, establish rapport and maintain ongoing professional relationships.

Applicants may be self-sponsored and self-nominated. In addition, community members may nominate individuals with leadership qualities for the program, which has 35 seats available.

Participants can miss no more than the equivalent of one full-day session.

The tuition rate is $495 for Charleston Area Alliance members and $595 for future members. The fee covers all expenses for the program.

Contact Susie Salisbury at for more information.

Media Training Workshop

Wednesday, September 16
9 a.m. - Noon
Charleston Area Alliance
1116 Smith St.

Join us Wednesday, September 16 from 9 a.m. to noon for a Media Training Workshop. This workshop, led by George Manahan of The Manahan Group (TMG), will focus on the dos and don'ts of working with the media.

Click here to register.

A few topics of discussion will include:
- Working with news reporters
- Preparing for the interview
- Delivering your message effectively
- Creating your message
- Personal appearance
- Body language
- Overcoming nervousness

During the first half of 2009, The Manahan Group has coordinated more than 15 successful media events for its clients, generating millions of media impressions.

A few examples of TMG's work include the Raze campaign, created for the West Virginia Division of Tobacco Prevention, which helped reduce teen smoking rates by 32.5 percent; West Virginia's SMART 529 College Savings Program which helped the program realize a 23 percent increase in new accounts, and Yeager Airport's Destination campaign resulting in a 79 percent increase in web activity at

George Manahan is a former broadcast news reporter. He served as press secretary for three years for Governor Gaston Caperton and has owned a PR and advertising business since 1993. Earlier this year, the Public Relations Society of American-West Virginia Chapter named Mr. Manahan the 2009 PR Practitioner of the Year.

Cost to attend is $40 for members, $60 for future Alliance members.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

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

Aircraft maker moves to Charleston

Company creates unmanned drones mostly for military applications

by George Hohmann
Daily Mail Business Editor

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A company that makes small, unmanned aircraft is moving from Indiana to the Charleston Area Alliance's business incubator at 1116 Smith St.

Matt Ballard, the Alliance's president and chief executive officer, introduced Jeff Imel, founder of Air Robotics, on Tuesday during a meeting of the Alliance's Board of Directors.

Imel said Charleston was part of his sales territory in the 1990s. "I always said that if I could live anywhere on the planet, it would be West Virginia. And my time came. I do love this state. I feel like I'm at home."

Air Robotics currently has five employees in Muncie, Ind., and will maintain a sales office there. But Imel expects the firm to have 20 employees in Charleston within three years. Air Robotics will build unmanned aircraft, also known as drones, here and will have a sales office here.

"The type of people we will hire have been involved with model aircraft," because building and flying an Air Robotics drone is somewhat similar to building and flying a model plane, Imel said.
Imel said Air Robotics' drone has "a truly hardened airframe. The aircraft has an 8-foot wingspan. The wings are made of a special foam, coated with a fiberglass skin."

A computer numerical control, or CNC, process is used to guide construction of the aircraft.

"They're all wing -- there's no fuselage, no tail," Imel said. "You can shoot it with an assault rifle and it will fly. It can carry a 20-pound payload. It doesn't require a runway."

An Air Robotics drone typically costs $20,000 to $40,000, depending on the cost of the on-board sensors and avionics, Imel said. The drones have agricultural, law enforcement and military applications.

Ballard said it's his understanding that one agriculture application is to outfit a drone so it can communicate with a tractor on the ground. The drone can then signal when more or less fertilizer should be applied, so fertilizer is distributed efficiently.

Additional information about Air Robotics is posted on the company's Web site at

According to an article published Monday in The Wall Street Journal, the use of drones is growing rapidly - especially in the military - because they are smaller than piloted aircraft, have less extensive electronics systems, don't require as much fuel, and don't need big runways or major logistics support. They also don't require as much pilot training.

The Journal noted that military drones have transformed the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The manufacture of drones - also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs - is not new to West Virginia. Aurora Flight Sciences has been making fuselages and tails for Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Global Hawk UAV for eight years, first in Fairmont and currently in Bridgeport.

Ballard said the West Virginia Development Office worked with Air Robotics in making the move to Charleston.

Netranom Communications seeking Website Developer

Netranom Communications Inc. (Netranom) is a West Virginia based technology solutions provider seeking a Website Developer to join a team of technology professionals in it's Hurricane, WV based office.

Candidate should have 1 year of field experience in a similar role. This position will consist of managing existing websites for external customers, developing new websites for customers, maintaining internal company websites as well as some basic database adds/changes.

Candidate must possess working knowledge of Microsoft based web development tools.

Candidate will work with sales staff and clients to continually update and enhance customer websites.

Salary will range depending on skill level and experience.

Netranom offers a challenging and rewarding opportunity for qualified candidates. This position offers an excellent compensation package, benefits including medical, dental, 401(k) and paid vacation.

To be considered for this position, please submit your resume with salary history / requirements to: . This position is available immediately.

Visit our website at for more information about the company.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gateway Greenspace Update

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another great day of weather allowed Order's Construction to begin forming the second stepped wall in the site.

Photos by Mike Aeiker and comments by Susie Salisbury

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Professional Women's Network Luncheon

Professional Women's Network Luncheon

Be there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gateway Greenspace Update

August 18, 2009

This week, the first stepped wall was formed and footers were poured today. The cistern system has been capped and the hole is being filled. These large boulders will soon find their permanent home in the site as forms for the outer boundaries of the stream feature. They will also serve as natural fountains within the stream recirculation system.

Photos by Mike Aeiker and comments by Susie Salisbury

Getting started in a one-year training program today could lead to a $45,000 job.

For more information about the chemical process operator training program, visit or call (304) 766-5113.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Only one more week to take advantage of early registration for the Marshall University Career Services’ Fall Career Expo. Register by Aug. 21st and save $10. Registration is through Marshall University'scareer management system, Marshall JobTrax. If you are not registered into JobTrax, instructions are below. There is no cost for registration or for posting jobs to JobTrax. Cost for the Expo is:

· $140 through August 21st

· $150 from August 21st – Sept. 23rd

· $170 after Sept. 23rd

All registrations include a table and chairs (please provide your own table covering), parking, lunch and refreshments for two recruiters. Extra recruiters are welcome at $15 each.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to recruit at Marshall University. For on-campus interviewing events before or after the Expo or for any additional questions, please contact Debby Stoler at or 304-696-6679.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Food for Thought Luncheon

Managing the Business of Flu

Where: Charleston Area Alliance, 1116 Smith Street

When: Wednesday, August 19

Time: Noon to 1p.m.

Will your business still be able to operate with one-third of your workforce sick?

There are more cases of the H1N1 flu reported every week and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is estimating that it will spread more dramatically this fall. How will the seasonal flu and H1N1 impact you and your business and how can you decrease the chances of employee absenteeism?

Join us on Wednesday, August 19th from noon to 1p.m. as Dr. Rahul Gupta, health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department describes how employers need to prepare, plan and protect their workforce during this upcoming flu season.

Terri McCormick, vice president of human resources for the BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company, will also be joining us to discuss how Brickstreet handled its recent H1N1 outbreak.

Cost to attend is $15 Alliance members, $25 future Alliance-members. To register, please click here.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Here comes the sun!
Gateway Greenspace Update

August 7, 2009

Thank you Mother Nature for providing a beautiful sunny day so Order's Construction could install the cistern system. The cistern is another one of the key sustainable features of the site. Storm water will be captured from the adjacent Byard Building roof and fed into the cistern. This water source will feed the stream feature and provide a source of water for the first year of plant growth.

Comments and photos by Susie Salisbury

Software Support Specialist position available with
University of Charleston / ICE


The Independent College Enterprise is seeking applicants for the position of Software Support Specialist. This position provides general support for Datatel’s “Colleague” administrative information system for higher education and Blackbaud’s “The Raiser’s Edge” alumni/development system..

Primary functions of the position include:

Through existing experience, training and/or hands-on opportunities provide front-line support for Datatel’s “Colleague” product, Blackbaud’s “The Raiser’s Edge”, and related software

* Provide first level of support for all end-users of ICE’s systems
* Maintain support priorities and track issues and projects using ICE’s electronic helpdesk system
* Assist with user administration, security administration, and system administration duties
* Monitor system performance and application usage
* Document policies and procedures as necessary to improve operations
* Ensure data integrity within the Colleague applications
* Assist in reporting needs for users of ICE’s systems
* Facilitate communication across ICE institutions

Characteristics of a successful applicant will include one or more of the following:

* Experience with Datatel’s “Colleague” product, Blackbaud’s “The Raiser’s Edge,” or a comparable higher education/fundraising information system
* Experience in higher education operations, such as admissions, financial aid, student records, accounts receivable, etc.
* Experience in providing technical support or customer support
* Database management, query creation, report generation, or other related functions

ICE is a consortium currently comprised of seven private institutions of higher education in West Virginia, Virginia, and Massachusetts. Located on the campus of the University of Charleston in Charleston, WV, ICE was formed in 2000 to improve the technology available at its institutions through the benefits of collaboration. By providing a centralized shared system and a five-person shared support staff, ICE enables its members to utilize state-of-the-art software while sharing the investment in technology and personnel. The central staff provides support for all aspects of its systems, including training, consulting, troubleshooting, programming, system administration, and project management. In addition, ICE facilitates communication across its institutions to further extend the knowledgebase of the consortium on the whole.

ICE provides a fast-paced, diverse working environment with opportunities for professional growth and enrichment. Ability to work in a team environment and prioritize tasks efficiently is essential. Data querying and problem solving skills are also critical, as is the ability to effectively communicate with a diverse community of users. Competitive salaries and benefit package offered for qualified applicants. To apply, send resume together with three references to:

Independent College Enterprise
c/o University of Charleston
2300 MacCorkle Ave. SE
Charleston, WV 25304


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Mentors, both male and female, are needed for incoming ninth grade high school students at Capitol, Riverside, South Charleston, and Saint Albans. The Walk the Talk mentoring program will identify and work to overcome students’ individual needs that may be obstacles hindering their success. The overall goal is to work with these students to assist them in dealing with obstacles that may prevent them from reaching graduation. More information:

  • Twenty mentors needed all together.
  • Mentoring a student would only require one hour per week
  • School liason is available to students and mentors at each school.
  • Focus on areas such as increased GPAs, self-esteem, decrease absenteeism, etc.
  • Mentoring training provided.

If you're interested in being a mentor, please contact Ralph Miller at or 304 541-4478.

As appearing in the Charleston Gazette on July 30, 2009

Tri-State racetrack looking for hotel manager
By Rusty Marks
Staff writer

NITRO, W.Va. -- Although it will be about a year before it's open, officials at Tri-State Racetrack & Gaming Center are looking for someone to run the hotel being built at the Nitro facility.
"The hotel manager needs to start right away," said Brittany Chaffin, human resources recruiter for the racetrack and casino.

"They're going to have to help us find employees, help oversee the day-to-day construction, help us conduct interviews for employees."

Construction crews broke ground on a 150-room hotel complex at the racetrack in June, part of a $250 million expansion project track owners Hartman & Tyner Inc. promised voters when Kanawha County residents approved the addition of table games at the track in 2007. Under state law, the hotel must be open by August 2010 or Tri-State will face a $2.5 million annual penalty.

But Chaffin said track owners are looking to hire a hotel manager now so they'll be ready when the hotel opens next year. Track owners are hoping to hire someone from West Virginia to fill the position, which will pay between $50,000 and $60,000 a year.

Chaffin said track officials have already had a couple of inquiries about the job. Track owners hope to find someone with a bachelor's degree and five years of experience in the hotel industry.
Track owners will host a mini-recruitment drive from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 5 at the track's first-floor training room, Chaffin said. Those interested in the position are asked to bring applications and resumes to sit down for pre-interviews.

Chaffin also said the track has about 25 other open positions they're looking to fill. "These are just normal, through attrition, turnover positions," she said.

Available positions range from food servers, hosts, cooks and porters to dog handlers and slot supervisors. Salaries range from $4 an hour plus tips to more than $9 an hour.
For a the complete Hotel Manager job description, click here.

For information, call Chaffin at 304-776-1000, ext. 1442.

Reach Rusty Marks at or 304-348-1215.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Gateway Greenspace update!

August 4, 2009

Construction is moving along well considering all the rain we have encountered the past week. This week, workers are installing the forms for the wall along Sentz Alley and they began excavating the area for the cistern system.

Photos by Mike Aeiker. Comments by Susie Salisbury