By Kyle Lovern
WILLIAMSON – The Mingo County Redevelopment Authority (MCRA) heard from Congressman Evan Jenkins and new Southern W.Va. Community and Technical College President Dr. Robert Gunter at its regular monthly meeting this past Friday.
Jenkins updated the MCRA board of directors on some of the things he has worked on during his first term as West Virginia’s 3rd District U.S. Representative. He also brought up some of the topics he hopes to continue if reelected in November’s General Election for another 2-year term.
Jenkins has been adamant about President Obama and his “war on coal.”
“The Mingo County Redevelopment Authority is honored that Congressman Jenkins took the time to meet with us in our office to discuss our comprehensive plans for economic development in Mingo County and southern West Virginia. The Congressman is very intuitive of our needs in this critical period of transition, and we’re encouraged by his commitment to offer federal level support of each and all of our development projects that are intended to facilitate economic diversification,” Leasha Johnson, Executive Director of the MCRA said.
Dr. Gunter told the MCRA about some of the programs he hopes to bring and build on as Southern’s new president. Gunter was just hired a few weeks ago.
He has been visiting each of Southern’s five locations, Williamson, Logan, Pineville, Hamlin and Madison.
He stated that he has also visited most of the high schools in the region and wants everyone in the community to encourage and to help recruit students to attend SWVCTC. He said there had been a drop in enrollment the past couple of years.
Dr. Gunter said there is a lot of scholarship money available, all potential students need to do is ask and apply for those funds after they enroll.
“Dr. Gunter’s innovative approach to preparing our students with educational tools and certifications that are tailored specifically to industry and workforce needs is a critical component to the Authority’s diversification efforts. We’re encouraged by his willingness to forge partnerships with both public and private sector entities, positioning Southern and its graduates to become an integral part of economic growth and job creation,” Johnson stated.
Johnson updated the board on several projects.
- · The Housing site along the King Coal Highway
- · The Harless Industrial Park and a potential client update
- · Refresh Appalachia
- · The Air Transportation Park
- · Recreation – including Twisted Gun Golf Course and the Twin Branch Motor Sports Complex
- · The Belo Industrial Park site and several other miscellaneous items
- · The Manchin Job Fair scheduled for the Logan Convention Center on May 6
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)