Officials from Marshall and Concord universities earlier this month joined U.S.
Rep. Nick Rahall and deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Economic Development
Administration (EDA) Matt Erskine, in announcing federal funding of $500,000
over five years to establish the West Virginia EDA University Center.
A partnership among Marshall, Concord and the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI), the center will provide direct business and technical assistance to entrepreneurs, small businesses and manufacturers, and will primarily serve the southernmost 17 counties in West Virginia.
The announcement took place on the Concord campus in Athens, W.Va.
Te goal of the EDA University Center will be to help increase business productivity, spur innovation and entrepreneurship, and improve long-term regional competitiveness and economic diversification of industries across the state. Outreach and marketing activities to engage entrepreneurs and small businesses will be developed, and the center will host events to bring entrepreneurs together with regional industry leaders for networking and exchanging ideas.
Marshall’s Center for Business and Economic Research will collect and analyze data about talent pools, workforce readiness and entrepreneurial pathways. These data will be used to help identify regional talent pools, industrial clusters and areas of economic opportunity. RCBI will help provide customized visualization, prototyping and advanced machining training and services for small businesses.
President Stephen J. Kopp applauded the announcement, saying, “Marshall University is pleased to partner with Concord University and the Robert C. Byrd Institute in this exciting initiative to connect small businesses and entrepreneurs in southern West Virginia with the resources that can help new and existing business enterprises flourish. We acknowledge with gratitude the EDA funding that will allow us to launch this new center, and we salute Congressman Rahall for his unwavering support for this project.”
Following the funding announcement, Rahall convened a roundtable discussion with regional businesses to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the current economy. Participants in the roundtable included representatives from Blue Smoke Salsa, Concord’s Hospitality Sector Program, Custom Manufacturing, the Development Authority of Mercer County, Eigenweg USA Inc., Frontier Communications, Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, Hughes Supply, ManTech Inc., M-Rock Inc., New River Community and Technical College, Princeton-Mercer County Chamber Of Commerce, Region I Planning and Development Council, Smith Services Inc. and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
|Return to newsletter front page.|
The Office of University Communications publishes the e-newsletter, "We Are...Marshall" for the university community.
To suggest a story idea, please contact the editor, Pat Dickson, on the South Charleston campus. The current issue contains the deadline date for the next issue.
To read the newsletter online for issues prior to May 6, 2010, you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader.