On Monday, the Senate Finance Committee voted to eliminate state funding for the West Virginia Education Research and Technology Park. The committee cut the tech park budget proposed by Governor Tomblin from $3 million to ZERO.
Calling this cut “devastating,” the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce is issuing an urgent call to its members and all who care about the future of West Virginia to contact members of the committee to urge them to restore this critical funding.
The tech park is an incubator for innovation and economic wins in the form of high value jobs, new manufacturing facilities and cutting-edge research for all of West Virginia. There are currently more than 590 people employed at the facility by a variety of private and public organizations including Dow, MATRIC, Bayer and others.
Research underway at the tech park is advancing innovation for West Virginia’s key industries, including the energy and chemical sectors. Projects include those focusing on coal to chemicals processes, coal liquefaction, natural gas and water technologies and biomass and renewable energy.
Most, if not all, of the nation’s non-profit tech parks receive federal and state funding. This $3 million is not only an investment for the South Charleston facility and the more than 590 people who are employed there, but a down payment on the new state revenues that will be generated once the park has the time to create more successes.
Just this month, ALS Environmental announced it will be expanding in the park, creating new jobs and new investment in the 258-acre facility.
One year ago, Dow Chemical Company donated the tech park to the State of West Virginia. At the time of the donation, the tech park employed people from 16 counties throughout West Virginia.
The tech park is a statewide, not local, asset. It is central to diversifying our economy, solving the challenges of our extractive industries through technology and discovering new technologies by which our businesses will prosper.
Don’t let the legislature jeopardize the state’s investment in our future by eliminating its funding for the tech park.This matter can be reconsidered during upcoming finance and budget meetings or when the House and Senate meet during an extended session about the state’s budget.
Speak out to the Senate president and members of the Senate Finance Committee and let them know you want this decision reconsidered.
Here is their contact info:
Senate President Jeff Kessler
Phone: (304) 357-7801 email@example.com
Senator Donna J. Boley
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7905 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator H. Truman Chafin
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7808 email@example.com
Senator Larry J. Edgell
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7827 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Douglas E. Facemire
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7845 email@example.com
Senator Mike Green
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7831 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Mike Hall
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7901 email@example.com
Senator Walt Helmick
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7980 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator William R. Laird IV
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7849 email@example.com
Senator Brooks McCabe
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7990 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Ronald F. Miller
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7959 email@example.com
Senator Robert H. Plymale
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7937 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Roman Prezioso
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7961 email@example.com
Senator Ron Stollings
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7939 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Dave Sypolt
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7914 email@example.com
Senator John R. Unger II
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7933 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Erik Wells
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7841 email@example.com
Senator Jack Yost
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7984 firstname.lastname@example.org
We will keep you updated with further calls to action as the legislative process moves forward.
With your help, we can get the Tech Park’s funding reinstituted and ensure that innovative research and hundreds of jobs are safe in West Virginia.