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Charleston, W.Va. - An ongoing survey conducted by the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) finds that West Virginia manufacturers are in the process of hiring more than 1,000 positions, the majority of which are new jobs. The survey further indicates a high demand for workers in specific areas, such as machining, CNC machining, and welding.

“We were pleased to uncover that our West Virginia manufacturers are hiring – with some companies reporting the need for up to 40 to 50 available new positions,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI Director and CEO. 

Without a doubt, West Virginia is one of the most important energy producing states in the country. From our world class reserves of coal to our growing output of oil and natural gas, our state has tremendous potential to help our country become energy independent and put West Virginians back to work in family-supporting jobs.

It was not that long ago that pressure from Washington, D.C., attempted to strangle all aspects of energy production and transmission in our state. Trying to keep West Virginia’s energy resources in the ground — for purely political reasons — would have helped to put West Virginians out of work, helped create an unstable state budget and made our state unfriendly to businesses that need reliable, affordable energy.

Manufacturing is essential to West Virginia’s economy, providing tens of thousands of jobs and more than $4 billion a year in exports. But there’s an import that threatens these West Virginia companies: Class action lawsuits.

This profit-driven litigation frequently sprawls across state lines to ensnare local businesses with claims that are expensive to defend and typically designed to be settled by paying plaintiff attorneys multimillion-dollar fees to go away. They impose unnecessary costs and management distraction on manufacturers without providing much of anything to class members, the supposed clients.

That’s why I support the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act, a bill now pending in Congress that would provide meaningful reforms to an out-of-control system. First of all, FICALA would stamp out “no-injury” lawsuits where lawyers assemble a class of plaintiffs without showing, up front, that they’ve suffered any tangible injuries.

Below are statements and media coverage on China Energy’s announcement and signed Memorandum of Understanding for $83.7 billion dollar investment in West Virginia. It has been reported that the investment will cover a 15-20 year period and include two natural gas fired power plants (tentatively in Brooke and Harrison counties), a methanol facility, and an ethylene glycol/PGA plant.

Plans also include a two-phase investment in the Appalachian Storage Hub. The first phase is reported to be $4 billion and one of the earliest investments planned, the second phase is said to include an additional $20 billion investment in the hub.

This commitment represents what could become the largest investment ever by a Chinese Company outside of China. Job reports vary, but thousands of constructions jobs and potentially more than 1,000 permanent jobs top early estimates. Additional downstream jobs are expected to number in the thousands.

The WVMA congratulates the administration, our congressional delegation, and industry leaders who have worked and will continue to move this vision forward.