UPDATE: Our crew on the scene says that the House passed the 1st reading of the bills presented.

They will be back Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. for a second reading. The jobs are expected to pay $80,000.

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The West Virginia Legislature is in a special session ahead of its regular session Wednesday, Jan. 12. Officials say this session is to lay out some framework for a big economic development announcement West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has been hinting at since last week’s COVID-19 briefing.

According to West Virginia Speaker of the House of Delegates Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay), this development is of an industrial nature and would be “one of the biggest in recent state history.” He also adds that the development will create 800 new full-time jobs and 1000 construction jobs, Hanshaw could not say the name of the company involved in the development due to a non-disclosure agreement.

Hanshaw says the next few days are crucial to making this happen and will include discussions such as tax incentives and how they can move around some money for the framework of the development. The company could potentially come to two locations in the Mountain State, one in the northern panhandle and the other on more than a little more than 1300 acres in Mason County.

The governor is expected to make the announcement Wednesday evening during his State of the State address. For the legislation surrounding the development, the State Senate suspended the legislative process and passed the bill immediately. The legislature is now waiting on the House of Delegates’ decision. 

According to testimony in the House finance committee today the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research report shows that the project has a nearly $25 billion economic impact in the state over the next 10 years. It also says the report shows $439 million of increased tax revenue over the next 10 years.

While legislators have not confirmed the company, there is a company that has been looking at West Virginia as a possibility for a new location. In September 2021, a steel company out of North Carolina called Nucor Corporation announced approval for construction for a new, state-of-the-art, three-million-ton sheet mill. At that time, the company said it was looking at locations in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio as its potential new site. When constructed, that sheet mill is expected to cost around $2.7 billion and will have the capacity to produce three million tons of steel each year.

The governor‘s Chief of Staff Brian Abraham also testified before the finance committee. He says there is another economic development announcement coming regarding a medical device and supply company that will be in Morgantown. Some of the tax incentive money would be earmarked for that.