NRGRDA & WVU business school host economic summit in Beckley
BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - The New River George Regional Dev. Auth. and the WVU College of Business and Economics hosted their annual economic development summit in Beckley on Thursday.
The event returned after a year on hiatus due to COVID-19. At the Historic Black Knight, several leaders in economic development, including Exec. Dir. Jina Belcher, spoke on the state’s future.
Speakers also included WVU economist, Dr. John Deskins, who spoke on West Virginia’s recovery from the Pandemic. He said the state has shown remarkable progress in its recovery, bouncing back from 16 percent unemployment last April to just five percent.
Still, he said the state’s workforce participation rates continues to concern him and is limiting the state’s growth.
“This is one of our most significant economic challenges. We’re not going to achieve economic prosperity until we can get more people in the workforce,” said Dr. Deskins.
Dr. Deskins said coal production in the Mountain State is continuing on a steady decline. On the upside; however, he said the state’s natural gas production continued on an upward trajectory despite economic challenges suffered during the Pandemic.
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