But this spot offers so much more than stunning scenery. Find out why the Advantage Valley of West Virginia may be the perfect spot for your next career step.
Some are entrepreneurs turning an idea into an enterprise. Others are either launching their careers or are established professionals. All of them are finding opportunities for advancement in Advantage Valley’s globally connected economy. Here’s why relocating to West Virginia and the Advantage Valley may make sense for you.
A reliable broadband network, airline connections to major hubs and a network of interstate highways place the region at the top of the list for remote workers looking for a convenient alternative to the congestion of large cities.
Why Move to the Advantage Valley?
The region’s combination of educational and cultural assets, lower cost of living, housing options, year-round outdoor recreation and opportunities for career growth make the Advantage Valley of West Virginia a destination of choice for relocating talent and their spouses.
Others are pursuing careers with companies in Advantage Valley. The region has built vibrant technology-driven sectors in aerospace and aviation, food and beverage production, automotive components, metal fabrication and polymers, and chemicals.
Advantage Valley has developed emerging sectors in biotech and information technology and is home to major research assets such as the West Virginia Regional Technology Park. The facility was originally the Union Carbide Corporation Technology Center, where an estimated 3,000 scientists and engineers developed more than 30,000 patented discoveries valued at about $18 billion.
Above-Average Income in West Virginia
After Union Carbide merged with The Dow Chemical Co. in 2001, the company opened the campus to other tenants. In 2010, Dow Chemical donated the 258-acre park to West Virginia.
Today, the West Virginia Regional Technology Park is a global leader in research and innovation. Tenants range from specialty chemical research and production to next-generation 3D printing and manufacturing.
“The West Virginia Regional Tech Park has grown the number of on-campus jobs from 550 in 2011 to over 1,000 today. The average annual salary at the park is $88,000. The 1,000 people who work on campus come from 17 counties in West Virginia, one in Ohio and one in Virginia,” says Matt Ballard, CEO and executive director of the Tech Park.
Tenants include MATRIC, the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center, an independent, nonprofit research firm.
“Over 25 different businesses are operating at the Tech Park. Some are startups, others are larger operations like MATRIC, which has 100 employees and serves customers on six continents, and global businesses like Dow also call the park home,” he says.
Global Companies Love It Here, Too
Major international companies have found a benefit to being in Advantage Valley. Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia Inc. employs more than 2,000 workers in Buffalo, West Virginia. They manufacture engines and automatic transmissions at the company’s $1.8 billion plant.
Alcon manufactures eye care products and has a major research facility in Advantage Valley. Constellium produces advanced aluminum alloys for the aerospace, automotive and packing industries. Gestamp is an international group dedicated to the design, development and manufacture of metal automotive components.
Office equipment manufacturer Champion Industries has operations in the state, as do Amazon, FedEx and other well-known companies, including Capital Area Services Co. LLC (CASCI), a high-performing, health insurance claims processing and customer service organization.
A number of key state and federal agencies are based in the region. Major higher education institutions and a robust health care sector that numbers eight hospitals as well as medical and pharmacy schools employ more than 26,000 people.
MATRIC put down roots at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park, where it and other innovators enjoy a campus that is ideal for transforming an abstract idea into a completed, market-ready project. New concepts, technologies or systems can be created and refined with conveniently located office space and laboratory space.
By utilizing available scale-up pilot plants, continued research and testing can be conducted on-site, increasing the likelihood of success for startups and established companies. The Tech Park’s ability to provide small-scale manufacturing capabilities allows for both cost- and time-efficient production, Ballard says.
“These unique characteristics have attracted the talent we have at the park now and continue to attract those that want to innovate and commercialize new technologies. The Tech Park is moving West Virginia’s technological leadership forward through innovation, science and technology,” he says.