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New WV Defense Industry Alliance Website Launches

August 28, 2017

NEWS RELEASE

August 24, 2017

Contact:  Anne Barth, (304) 444-2918

CHARLESTON, W.VA. – The West Virginia Defense Industry Alliance, developed with the goal of facilitating job and economic growth for state vendors involved in the defense industry, has launched its online platform at www.wvdia.org.

The website showcases information about the historical and current roles that West Virginians have played in supporting our nation’s warfighters and will work to bring together state vendors and contractors to build defense industry growth opportunities.

The WV Defense Industry Alliance, an initiative led by West Virginia University and supported by TechConnect West Virginia, was formed as part of a comprehensive project studying the defense industry supply chain in the state.

“The WV Defense Industry Alliance is comprised of leading defense contractors in the state, who are working with us to grow the sector,” said David Satterfield, director of asset development for WVU and principal investigator for the project.

“There is a very diverse mix of defense contractors and activity in West Virginia, and we’re working to identify as much of that supply chain as possible,” he added, noting that while the role of defense spending in West Virginia is not as obvious as in other places, it is significant.

Defense spending in West Virginia in FY2015, the last year for which full numbers are available, was $527 million according to the DOD Office of Economic Adjustment.

“Ultimately, we want to help the defense sector develop resiliency and grow so that it contributes even more to the state’s overall economic vitality,” Satterfield said.

“From the Harpers Ferry rifle factory that was the target of John Brown’s historic 1859 raid, to the birth of the petrochemical industry in the Kanawha Valley spawned by World War I, West Virginia workers have played an important role in arming America’s military,” said Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnect West Virginia.

“This proud tradition continues today, with West Virginia manufacturers providing our military forces the kind of sophisticated weaponry and technology they urgently need in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere,” she added.

The Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment funded the work to study the impact on the state of reduced defense spending nationally, with a goal of mitigating effects that any downturn in spending will have on the state’s economy.

To learn more, visit www.wvdia.org. or contact Anne Barth at (304) 444-2918.