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West Virginia Forward Information
A Blueprint to Help Engineer West Virginia's Economic Future.
West Virginia Forward began as a collaboration among West Virginia University, the West Virginia Department of Commerce and Marshall university. Now a larger, statewide movement — all funded through private donations — West Virginia Forward is teaming up with stakeholders and experts, taking action to drive growth and development.
Through a data-driven, nonpartisan assessment of opportunities mapped by independent management company McKinsey & Company, this blueprint aims to advance West Virginia’s:
- Business Climate
- Educational Opportunities
- Community Development
- Manufacturing and Energy Sectors
West Virginia Forward is elevating valuable resources and aligning statewide efforts to spring ideas to action.
- Build on Existing A
- Grow and Diversify Into New Sectors
- Improve performance of major economic enablers
- Consider our Regional Impact
- Find Quick Wins
Growth and diversification require a business-friendly climate.
- Maintain West Virginia as one of the top states for the cost of doing business.
- Improve West Virginia’s workforce participation.
Strengthen our talent pipeline.
- Keep West Virginia's industrial electricity rates competitive.
- Add value to West Virginia’s raw materials by creating manufacturing and downstream opportunities across the state.
A diverse economy and talent pipeline rely on a strong educational system and vocational training.
- Invest in P-20 education to prepare today's students to be tomorrow's talent.
- Continue to amplify efforts in STEM education and the arts.
- Offer customized technical training and enhance research at all educational levels.
- Maximize the economic development potential in West Virginia's cybersecurity, coding and IT services sectors.
Investing in our people and innovative solutions can help solve regional challenges.
- Showcase the best of West Virginia and our people.
- Support tourism promotion by targeting new visitors, adventure tourism and promoting second-home ownership.
- Enhance the state's innovation ecosystem to support business creation and growth, and catalyst investment.
- Work together to fight statewide substance abuse and the opioid epidemic through a holistic approach.