It has been an exciting and busy year for NRGRDA, and we enter 2020 with a strategic sense of purpose. To recap our work in 2019, we (in partnership with our business acceleration arm, WV Hive) have worked to deploy capital that created 34 new jobs across Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Summers counties as well as retaining 46 employees for our companies. Additionally, NRGRDA should also end the year having worked to deploy over half a million dollars in loan capital that led to the retention of 107 jobs and the creation of almost 60 new positions!
In October we rolled out our strategic plan which, in line with NRGRDA’s mission, emphasizes attraction, business retention, and entrepreneurship. The process of getting to the plan allowed us to truly take stock of what the New River Gorge region has in terms of assets and challenges. This work will guide us for the next five years as we act upon those.
Thanks to partners AEP and our New River Gorge counties – who helped lead our region in attaining AEROready™ Certification for Raleigh County Memorial Airport – NRGRDA is prepared to lead new and exciting aerospace initiatives. NRGRDA has mapped out a plan for pursuing necessary funding for infrastructure upgrades to our airport and promotion of aerospace specific curriculums to attract our displaced workers, as well as high school and college students looking for promising careers in the aerospace industry.
NRGRDA has also convened regional stakeholders in an Outdoor Economy initiative. This true grass roots approach consisting of business owners, trail builders, and those just interested in the outdoors is designed not only to find and attract outdoor gear entrepreneurs but also to promote New River Gorge as a premier outdoor recreation destination. Stay tuned!
These things are just the tip of the iceberg for NRGRDA and rest assured you will be hearing more as we advance through the New Year! Our office is always open to suggestions so please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
So, let me conclude by wishing you a warm, safe and happy 2020!
Joseph Brouse, Executive Director