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Gov. Justice joins Niterra North America Inc. to kick off major plant expansion in Sissonville

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SISSONVILLE, WV – Gov. Jim Justice and Niterra North America Inc., formerly known as NGK Spark Plugs U.S.A. Inc., held an event today to announce the commencement of construction at Niterra’s Sissonville, West Virginia campus, marking a significant milestone in their expansion efforts. This investment enhances their operations and reinforces their dedication to the state of West Virginia.

“Niterra’s continued investment in our state is an incredible testament to the West Virginia community we’ve built together,” Gov. Justice said. “West Virginia is now regarded around the world as the best place to start a business, expand a business, and to live, work, and raise a family. This expansion will create new job opportunities and contribute to the economic growth and prosperity in Sissonville in a major way, so we thank Niterra from the bottom of our hearts for their commitment to West Virginia.”

The Sissonville campus, established in 1994, is home to the NGK Spark Plug and NTK oxygen sensor assembly plants. What began with 90 permanent jobs has now grown to over 500 full-time and 70 temporary positions. The campus expansion will add 75,000 square feet of space and approximately 30 new job opportunities, further solidifying Niterra’s regional presence.

“Niterra remains committed to contributing to the economic growth of Sissonville and West Virginia,” Niterra’s Regional President and CEO Michael Schwab said. “We are dedicated to investing in our employees and the communities in which we operate and are excited about this expansion in our operations.” 

Despite the challenges posed by economic downturns and the COVID-19 pandemic, Niterra prioritized its workforce, ensuring no layoffs or furloughs occurred. In fact, they encouraged their employees to actively participate in community volunteering and even provided compensation for their time. Niterra remains dedicated to fostering economic growth and prosperity in Sissonville and throughout West Virginia.

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“We are thrilled to be here today and to celebrate the expansion of such a staple in our community,” Secretary of the WV Department of Economic Development Mitch Carmichael said. “We have seen much growth throughout the years and can’t wait to watch Niterra continue to help with providing jobs and stability to our hard-working citizens.”

In addition to the groundbreaking ceremony, Niterra partnered with One Tree Planted and planted a commemorative tree on the expanded campus, after announcing their donation of 1,000 trees to the community.

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Secretary of State launches WVBAT to combat human trafficking in the Mountain State

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From WVSOS

On October 10th, the WV Secretary of State’s Office officially launched West Virginia Businesses Against Trafficking (WVBAT). WVBAT is a statewide coalition of businesses and business owners who will use their storefronts and facilities to raise awareness of the state’s “You Can” campaign against human trafficking.

To understand the role WVBAT plays in West Virginia’s campaign to end this evil requires shedding light on a deplorable side of modern society that we would rather not have to address.

But, let me be clear, human trafficking does occur in West Virginia. Sex trafficking and labor trafficking are both crimes that can be hidden in plain sight. Victims can be of any age, gender, nationality, or race. A trafficker can even be a family member or guardian trafficking a child in exchange for money, drugs, and other valuables. In some cases, a victim may not even be aware that they are being trafficked or know how to ask for help.

The “You Can” campaign prioritizes public awareness because knowledge is our greatest asset in fighting human trafficking. Businesses can support victims by providing access to potentially lifesaving information available in public areas they frequent. Information on what qualifies as human trafficking and how to seek or send signals for help may make all the difference to a victim who does not have access to, or is unable to use, a cellphone or computer.

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Customers and employees of businesses who may be witnesses to human trafficking also play a role in combatting the problem. Being educated on the signs of trafficking could lead to a report of actionable intelligence to local law enforcement. Information provided to WVBAT business partners for display in their stores provides valuable insight on common indicators and how to submit a tip.

My petition to business owners considering a partnership with WVBAT is simple: if your participation can assist in rescuing even one victim in your community, is this not a cause worth championing? Imagine the incredible impact of every truck stop, hospital, grocery store, gas station, department store and hotel within the state becoming a force multiplier for identifying traffickers and victims. West Virginia has an opportunity to become a national leader in this effort and inspire others.

Membership in the WVBAT program is free and open to any business that is operating in West Virginia and shares a commitment to promote awareness of human trafficking. Upon signing up as a member, the business will be provided with a certificate of membership to be displayed; a packet of educational materials and display items for businesses to educate the public about available resources; and continuing training and educational opportunities to assist in the education and empowerment of those in our communities.

Please join us in fighting this evil. Learn the indications of trafficking, learn the signs of “help” by those being trafficked, and help spread the word that there are people and agencies willing to help.

Read the entire story here: WVBAT: West Virginia businesses can help fight human trafficking in the state

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Coalfield Development Selects Jacob Hannah as New CEO

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Last week, Coalfield Development Corporation’s Board of Directors unanimously approved Jacob Hannah, current Chief Conservation Officer, to be the next Chief Executive Officer of the West Virginia-based nonprofit. Hannah will assume the position effective January 1, 2024.

The October 17th vote occurred after a month’s long search process involving more than 40 applicants for the position.

“I am incredibly honored and excited for this opportunity to continue to serve Appalachia in this dynamic and transformative role. And through the innovative succession model that Brandon Dennison has thoughtfully established for this role transition, I heartily believe that our organization is stepping into a new phase that will empower the momentum for a truly just transition,” Hannah said.

Hannah replaces Coalfield’s founder and current CEO, Brandon Dennison, who was named Vice President of Economic Development at Marshall University in July of this year. Dennison will continue supporting Coalfield Development as Executive President. In this new role, Dennison will help shape strategy, partnerships, and fundraising. Coalfield’s new leadership model resembles the CEO/Executive Chair model more prominent in for-profits.

“This is an important milestone for Coalfield Development. I am genuinely excited for the organization, and I have complete confidence in Jacob as the new CEO. He is going to lead this organization to achieve greater impact than ever before, but he’ll do it with integrity, compassion, and creativity,” Dennison said.

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Dennison added, “Jacob is the right leader at the right time for our region. He has lived the mission of Coalfield Development, growing up in a coal mining family. Since joining us in 2018 Jacob has served multiple leadership roles within the organization, standing up entirely new programs and supervising more than 25 employees. And Jacob has been instrumental in the ACT Now Coalition, which recently brought $100 million of new investment to southern West Virginia.”

Coalfield Development Board of Directors President Kenzie New Walker applauded the diligent efforts of the board’s search committee.

“I want to commend our search committee for shepherding such a strong hiring process. This committee was diligent and persistent in running a thorough search which connected our organization with high caliber candidates. Jacob rose to the top of this competitive group, and we’re we appreciate all the applicants who applied,” she said.  

Hannah has been an employee of Coalfield Development for five years. He previously held the role of Chief Conservation Officer.

“I come from three generations of coal mining in my family, and I am a 5th generation West Virginian. My leadership style is to integrate an empathetic and grounded approach to the strategy of triple-bottom line sustainability; balancing People, Planet, and Prosperity in harmony with each other with a lens towards a fair and just transition.

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Hannah’s work intersects the throughline of environmental considerations with social wellbeing and economic development.

“This is truly an exciting time to be at Coalfield Development and the work we are doing to better the lives of our Appalachian communities,” he said.

About Coalfield Development: Coalfield Development is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization headquartered in Huntington, West Virginia focusing on rebuilding the Appalachian economy through social enterprise creation, job training, and community-based real-estate development.

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Congresswoman Miller Leads Efforts in Introducing “Unfair Tax Prevention Act”

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In a bid to protect American businesses and level the playing field, Congresswoman Carol Miller has spearheaded the introduction of the Unfair Tax Prevention Act. This groundbreaking bill aims to curb unfair taxation practices and foster a more competitive business environment.

The bill seeks to address a pressing concern for many entrepreneurs and businesses across the nation. Unfair taxation has long been a challenge, with some companies facing burdensome taxes that hinder growth and innovation. The Unfair Tax Prevention Act comes as a beacon of hope, promising much-needed relief for these struggling businesses.

The core focus of the bill is to promote fairness and transparency in the tax system. One of the key provisions aims to put an end to convoluted tax loopholes that have allowed certain corporations to exploit the system, leading to an uneven playing field for their competitors. By closing these loopholes, Congresswoman Miller and her colleagues are taking a vital step towards a more equitable business landscape.

Additionally, the Unfair Tax Prevention Act introduces measures to simplify the tax code, making it more accessible and manageable for small businesses. This streamlined approach is expected to reduce compliance costs and bureaucratic red tape, allowing companies to direct their resources toward productive ventures rather than getting tangled in complex tax regulations. By providing tax credits for research and development investments, the bill encourages companies to explore new technologies and create cutting-edge products, bolstering economic growth and job opportunities.

The Congresswoman, known for her bipartisan approach, has garnered support from across the aisle for the Unfair Tax Prevention Act. Both Democrats and Republicans recognize the significance of this legislation in bolstering the nation’s economy and promoting job creation.

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In a statement regarding the bill, Congresswoman Miller expressed her optimism, saying, “The Unfair Tax Prevention Act is a crucial step towards empowering American businesses and ensuring their success in a competitive global marketplace. By leveling the playing field and encouraging innovation, we can set our economy on a path of sustained growth and prosperity.”

As the bill progresses through the legislative process, Congresswoman Carol Miller remains determined to support businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, is a testament to her dedication to the economic well-being of the nation.

The Unfair Tax Prevention Act, championed by Congresswoman Carol Miller, represents a significant milestone in the pursuit of fair taxation and economic growth. With its focus on closing loopholes, simplifying the tax code, and incentivizing innovation, the bill has the potential to transform the business landscape, benefiting companies, workers, and consumers alike.

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