Jobs initiative taking off in southern West Virginia - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Jobs initiative taking off in southern West Virginia

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    Monday, August 25 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-25 20:00:48 GMT
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    A tractor trailer is blocking part of Route 2. The road is closed until further notice. Drivers heading in both direction are being asked to use the Big Ben Bowen Highway connector by Target to get around.

Five organizations are teaming up with one goal in mind: putting people back to work in southern West Virginia.

According to a press release, the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI), Marshall University Research Corporation, TechConnect West Virginia, the Concord University Research and Development Corporation, and the National Capital Investment Fund are receiving a Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge grant.

The three-year grant totals $717,985, which the five groups will match with $600,000 in in-kind donations. Their application was one of 13 selected out of 62 submitted.

"All of us at RCBI are thrilled to be a key player in this important initiative bolstering the regional economy and creating welcome new jobs for hard-working West Virginians," said Charlotte Weber, RCBI Director and CEO.

The five partners plan to focus their efforts in Fayette, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming counties. With the grant, they will work with businesses and groups to grow the manufacturing and tourism industry in those counties.

"These grants are great news for West Virginia because they will create new opportunities for jobs and trade, plus the building of a better future for our state and citizens," said U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. "I have said before that we must take a collaborative approach toward economic development, and that is exactly what these organizations have done to help secure this funding."