Experts predict that Wheeling’s economic future depends on natural gas manufacturing and broadband

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Economists predicted West Virginia’s future and warned of what lies ahead

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – What is the future of West Virginia’s economy? That’s what Ohio Valley leaders came to find out Wednesday at a conference held at the Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack.

Economists say West Virginia has lost 94,000 jobs statewide. To keep the context in mind, West Virginia has never lost so many jobs this fast, according to John Deskins, speaking at the Wheeling Economic Outlook Conference.

The pandemic is to blame, but the state has also reclaimed 70,000 of those jobs.

We believe this will take us to the middle of next year before we fully recover from COVID. So it’s kind of the glass half full, the glass half empty. Personally, I think it’s a relatively quick recovery given that we lost 14 percent of our jobs in the 3 months.

John Deskins, Director of the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research

In order to achieve economic prosperity, WVU’s economic expert told the conference of Wheeling executives, lawmakers and business owners, that it starts by tackling low labor participation. of work.
He says lack of education, poor health and drug abuse have caused the number of workers to drop.

Executives say Wheeling is prime West Virginia property.

I can tell you that from a development office perspective, we get more inquiries about this region than any other. The Ohio River Valley is just a first-rate development for what’s going on in America.

Mitch Carmichael, Economic Development Secretary

Carmichael says West Virginia is growing and moving forward with “America’s Worst Connected Internet System.” He says under Governor Jim Justice, the billion dollar broadband expansion will be the thing that will change the number of remote workers in the state.

Deskins says economic progress begins with the fact that natural gas is not only exported but manufactured from start to finish in the state.

He advised executives to fight for the industry like the promised ethane cracker factory.


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