President's Report

2/25/2019

President’s Report – February 25, 2019

Following my appointment as president of the West Virginia Roundtable and the selection of the Appalachian Storage Hub initiative as the Roundtable’s current economic development focus, I have held more than 25 meetings with Roundtable members and industry experts regarding the Hub initiative. Some people I have visited have a great deal of knowledge about the proposed Hub, others less, but all have expressed support and are pleased to have the Roundtable involved.

The magnitude of the opportunity for West Virginia is hard to overstate. Experts have estimated that more than 100,000 new jobs could be created in the Appalachian Basin region, and West Virginia is well positioned to win a significant share of those jobs. Of course, much work needs to be done, and in later reports I will identify some of the steps that need to be taken. The catalyst for all of this, however, is the Hub – a critical piece of the infrastructure necessary to create the downstream manufacturing jobs.

What can you do as a Roundtable member? First, I would urge you to become informed about the opportunity. The DOE report is available on this website. Soon, a report from Imagine West Virginia will be added. This report looks at the opportunity more specifically from a West Virginia perspective. Secondly, I would ask you to appreciate the degree of urgency which is involved. Right now we have the full support of both a federal administration and Governor Justice. However, we all understand how quickly the landscape can change. We need to act while the time is right.

You can help tell the story and express support within your organization and community. Together we can make a difference.

As always, if you wish to speak with me or have questions you may reach me by email at simpsonr@marshall.edu or by cell at (304) 989-1942.

Bob