As we wrap up Q4 and prepare to say goodbye to 2022, our team at the Wyoming County Economic Development Authority is looking back at the goals we set at the beginning of the year. We are happy to share some of the accomplishments, BIG wins, and exciting announcements that have occurred over the last 12 months for our organization and the county we serve.
One of the lofty goals that we set was for our lending program to hit the $11.5 million mark. We not only reached that goal, but we surpassed it! As of now, the Wyoming County EDA has provided 441 loans totaling $11,516,250 across the state.
Read more about our loan programs here.
The Wyoming County EDA was awarded a $3.9 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration over the summer. The funding will be used to construct new buildings at the Barkers Creek Industrial Park, where AmeriCarbon Enterprises will build the United States’ first coal-to-carbon processing plant. The buildings will house its new manufacturing facility, coal prep facility and a lab/office space. This will bring 30-70 new jobs with significant salaries and benefits to Wyoming County.
Additionally, work is underway for a new bridge and upgrades to the park’s power grid.
The roofing project at John D. Rockefeller Industrial Park that began earlier this year is on track to be completed by early 2023. This project is one facet of renovations to ensure that all commercial buildings in the business park are updated and in good condition.
This project at the industrial park will save 24 full-time jobs and two part-time positions, with payroll exceeding $1 million in wages annually. This funding will be invaluable to our county as we optimize the park’s role in our community.
For a second year, we partnered with Advantage Valley to support its entrepreneurship program, FASTER WV (Fostering Advantages for Start Ups & Entrepreneurial Resurgence in WV). We have approved to loan $31,000 to businesses in Putnam County and $50,000 to businesses in Cabell County.
We were also selected again as a loan fund collaborator for the West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust’s West Virginia Capital Access Program, an initiative of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to assist businesses “that are creditworthy but may not fit traditional lending models.’ The Wyoming County EDA has been approved to distribute $102,500 in loans to businesses in Fayette County and $62,500 in loans to businesses in Cabell County.
Additionally, we approved $487,000 in our other loan funds across the state of West Virginia throughout the year.
To date, we have helped secure 66 loans in 22 counties, totaling $1,413,000, to businesses through the Appalachian Regional Commission COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund effort. A limited amount of funding is still available for businesses impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Apply for a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan here.
This year’s community Bingo event, which was on hiatus for the last two years due to COVID-19, was the most successful it has ever been. Over $7,000 was raised for the Wyoming County Community Fund and Scholarship.
Brenda Reed, Wyoming County EDA’s administrative assistant for accounting and finance, celebrated her one year employment anniversary on December 1. Both Executive Director Christy Laxton and Laura Roberts-Lambert, administrative assistant for loans and operations, celebrated 21 years of employment this year.
The annual Wyoming County Writers Contest will start accepting submissions in January through the end of March. Prizes will be awarded in categories (Elementary, Middle School, High School and Adult). Applicants must be Wyoming County residents and be in grades 1-12 or 18+ years of age to qualify, and each submitted original work must be centered around Wyoming County’s history and culture.
Prizes will be distributed to winners of each category. This contest is sponsored by award-winning poet and Wyoming County resident, Lonnie Bailey, who created Wyoming County’s Literature Fund at the Beckley Area Foundation. More information will be available soon.
Read our blog announcing the 2022 winners.
For over a decade, the annual WCCF scholarship has provided funds to students as they pursue their technical and university/college studies after graduation. Funds from the scholarship are designed to assist students in paying for various college or technical career expenses, such as tuition, laptop, course equipment, textbooks, and more.
More information will be available soon. In the meantime, meet Makenzie Justice, our 2022 scholarship recipient.