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  • June 25 - Construction and Maintenance- Can the Design/Build construction method reduce project cost and shorten schedule leading to shorter service outage.

    June 25, 2019 Can the Design/Build construction method reduce project costs and shorten schedules, leading to shorter service outages? Chad Earle, director of business development at ORDERS Construction Company, will provide an overview of the design/build process. He will examine the pros and cons of the design/build process and discuss what pitfalls to avoid.  Earle will demonstrate and discuss how design/build can expedite the construction process and ultimately reduce the costs associated with shutdown down time and save owners money related to actual construction costs and expenses.
  • July 17 - New Markets Tax Credit Financing

    July 17 The federal new markets tax credit program provides up to 25% of any short-fall in financing (which generally must be at least $4 million) for (a) the purchase, expansion, and/or renovation of manufacturing facilities; (b) the purchase of equipment; and/or (c) other operational needs.  This subsidy is in the form of a 7-year forgivable which only requires approximately 1.5% interest-only payments during 7 years.  Facilities and operations must be located in a rural community or low-income census tract.
  • August 12 - Using Public Relations to Advance Public Policy

    August 12 Have you ever wondered what why certain pieces of legislation are passed and others are forgotten? What communication tools are best to effectively send your messages to the correct audience? Join us as TSG Consulting goes over how public relations interacts with public policy and the tools to use to get the results you desire.   Tom Susman has a decade of experience providing lobbying, public relations and strategic planning services to his clients. He is president of TSG Consulting, LLC. 
  • September 16 - WVMAEF Explore the New Manufacturing Program: Building Tomorrow’s Workforce Today

    The WVMA Educational Fund’s (WVMAEF) mission is  to link industry and education through its Explore the New Manufacturing Program which  consists of presentations, academies, and video contests.  The goal of these programs, targeting middle school students across West Virginia, is to create awareness and interest in manufacturing careers, as well as the subsequent educational and training pathways through manufacturer-student engagement. The WVMAEF is continually building networks and seeking collaborative opportunities with organizations to more effectively and efficiently create a workforce and provide avenues for our young folks to stay in their home state.
  • October 10 - Apprenticeships: A Customized Approach to Workforce Problems

    October 10 Apprenticeship Works at the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) offers an affordable option for customizing apprenticeship programs in 20 occupations. This grant-supported initiative has partnered with 26 manufacturers, including 12 in West Virginia. These employers recognize the primary benefits to apprenticeship: improved recruitment, standardized training and reduced turnover. Learn how Apprenticeship Works can help your company develop an apprenticeship program targeting your specific needs.
  • November 6 - iOS in Business: Applications that Work for You

    Mobile applications and processes that support your business while giving you the freedom to make the entire world your office Jamie Summers-Brown is the founder and president of Bricks Without Straw, a web-development and design firm in South Charleston, W.Va. Since 2004, his company has served a diverse clientele with offices in both West Virginia and Tokyo, Japan.

Kevin DiGregorio
Executive Director
Chemical Alliance Zone   
(304) 437-4295

DiGregorio-Headshot“If someone wanted to make investments in the Marcellus shale region, how would they get involved?”
That was the question posed by a member of a Canadian-based private equity firm at InformEx 2014 — a chemical industry event that includes a tradeshow, conference, and networking receptions.  The gentleman was attending a talk by Tom Gellrich of TopLine Analytics entitled, “Is Your Organization Mobilized for the Shale Gas Decade?”

Fortunately, Matt Ballard of the Charleston Area Alliance and I were in the audience along with Angela Mascia, Moses Zegeer, and Joshua Jarrell of the West Virginia Development Office.  Matt had set the scene earlier when he asked a question that made everyone aware that West Virginia is not only in the thick of the Marcellus area but also in the heart of the Marcellus wet gas region.  
That area, located in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, contains not only vast quantities of methane — the main constituent of natural gas that is used for home heating and electricity generation — but also large amounts of “wet gas,” including ethane.

Importantly, ethane is a key raw material for chemical manufacturing and the starting point for all the doodads that society needs (clothing, cars, and houses) and wants (golf clubs, Keurig coffeemakers, and iPads).  Ethane is converted to ethylene in a “cracker.”  Ethylene is then made into a host of chemicals and plastics which are formulated into all those doodads.  

The audience at InformEx knew all of that, although Gellrich explained it nicely.  What they maybe didn’t know, and Gellrich didn’t note until Matt Ballard brought it up, was that West Virginia is in the midst of the shale revolution and the resulting revitalization of chemical and polymer manufacturing.

By: Karen Facemyer
Polymer Alliance Zone
1 Polymer Way 
Davisville, WV 26142
(304) 428-1622

kfaceWest Virginia’s plastics and chemical industries are becoming a major beneficiary of the shale gas boom taking place in West Virginia and the region.  This topic will be underscored at the upcoming Marcellus to Manufacturing Conference (M2M Conference), taking place in Charleston on March 26-27 at the Civic Center.  

Derivatives of natural gas – ethane and propane – are used to make plastics and comprise a major piece of the industry’s cost puzzle.  As feedstock prices decline due to abundant gas supplies, our plastics and chemical industries become more competitive.  

One need look no further than the announcement of a potential ethane cracking and chemical processing facility to recognize the benefits our gas fields – as well as our proximity to market and skilled workforce – offer West Virginia.  In fact, I view this as a transformative event that will shape our state for decades to come.  

Michael Taylor, Senior Director for International Affairs and Trade at the Society of the Plastics Industry, will discuss the issues shaping the global plastics market and highlight the role low cost gas is playing in the industries resurgence when he presents at the upcoming M2M Conference.

By Fred D. ClarkClark-Fred-Photo

For the third year in a row, the Ethane Development Conference 2014 sponsored by the West Virginia Manufacturers Association (“WVMA”), will provide a unique forum to highlight the incredible growth and economic benefits provided by the Marcellus Shale for the great State of West Virginia.

This year the WVMA has chosen the conference theme “Building Blocks for Downstream Manufacturing” and once again a diverse group of business leaders will come together for a common goal – creating new infrastructure, facilities and job opportunities in our region.  With the group’s diverse professional expertise, combined with legal experience and political savvy, great things are in store for West Virginia and future generations.  

In June of 2011, an initial group of 28 individuals first met to form the WVMA Marcellus to Manufacturing (M2MTM) Committee (“WVMA M2MTM Committee”).  The WVMA in 2012, decided to organize a diverse group of businesses, chemical industry leaders, and individuals interested in the development of the Marcellus and Utica Shale and to hold its First Ethane Development Conference that spring.  As Karen Price, former President of the WVMA stated at the time, “The goal was to combine a diverse group of individuals who would bring fresh ideas and be the best spokespeople for their specific industry to assist in this Committee.”  

Last year Steve Hedrick, President and CEO of Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center, Inc. (MATRIC), best summarized the vision and goal for the WVMA M2MTM Committee: “Marcellus to Manufacturing is about taking full advantage locally of the opportunities and value presented by the shale-gas ethane in the area.  The next step, once a cracker is built in the area, is to attract other manufacturers to produce value-added intermediate chemicals from the ethylene and then still others to use these value-added materials in further manufacturing of consumer products.”

West Virginia lost a great manufacturer and entrepreneur with the passing of Mike Puskar.  He was a co-founder of Mylan Pharmaceuticals, and built a first class manufacturing facility in Morgantown. Additionally, he was involved in his community and his state through support of various programs and projects.  

Milan “Mike” Puskar