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Turning Innovation Into Enterprise


Congressman Rahall Discusses Third District Accelerator Programs

3rd Accelerator NJRCongressman Nick J. Rahall co-hosted a special community meeting on March 18 as part of the new Third District Accelerator program.  Held at Concord University, the event brought together leaders to hear about this unique opportunity to accelerate business development across southern West Virginia.

More than 50 small businesses, elected officials, civic and community organizations, educators, and entrepreneurs learned about the Third District Accelerator’s programs to advance business growth, particularly among companies involved in the region’s burgeoning tourism and manufacturing industries.  They also heard from panel of development experts who highlighted special opportunities afforded by the program.

“Creating jobs in tough economic times demands the wisest use of scare resources, and that’s the genius behind leveraging funding from the new federal partnership,” said Rahall.  “Combining existing federal and local assets to leverage jobs means we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but we do need to connect some critical dots, our assets, technical assistance and training capabilities with our local entrepreneurs.”

Rahall encouraged the community leaders in attendance to identify and contact individuals who are considering starting or expanding a small business to learn how the Jobs Accelerator can assist with their business efforts.   “Just like the old TV ad jingle suggested, we just need to ‘reach out and touch someone’ who can put this opportunity to work so we can put West Virginians to work,” Rahall added.

Partners in the Third District Accelerator include Marshall University, TechConnect West Virginia, the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing, Concord University, and the Natural Capital Investment Fund.  Through a collaboration of these organizations, the Third District Accelerator will provide integrated business support efforts and technical assistance, including grantsmanship workshops, training and workforce development, e-business marketing and entrepreneurial support, and advanced manufacturing tools/capabilities.

The program’s assistance and learning services are open to businesses in ten southern West Virginia counties:  Fayette, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, Summers, Logan, Mingo, Wayne, and Wyoming. To find out more click on this link or send an email to