Co-Chair Gayle Manchin Tours Raleigh County Projects Funded By Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
Gayle Manchin, the co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission returned to her hometown of Beckley, on Wednesday to tour four projects in Raleigh County supported in large part by ARC grants.
Manchin stopped by the WV Hive Office and Business Hub, a future Fruits of Labor restaurant, Beckley’s Historic Black Knight and the Raleigh County Memorial Airport. All four projects intend to help foster growth in Raleigh County.
The WV Hive is a partner in a program focused on training and hiring people in recovery. It’s modeled after the culinary program and business called Fruits of Labor.
Communities of Healing recovery-to-work program is also meant to address the stigma that surrounds hiring people in recovery.
There are several partners and collaborators for all four projects, which, Manchin says, is a key part of ARC projects.
“We were never intended to come in and tell a community what to do or how to do it,” Manchin said. “You tell us what needs to be done and how you intend to do it and we will help you support it.”
The WV Hive is the entrepreneurship program of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority.
The Raleigh County Memorial Airport, located just outside of Beckley, was awarded funds to make some critical upgrades. The work is expected to create more than 600 jobs. The ARC awarded $1.75 million as part of West Virginia's regular allocation of annual funds after a recommendation from Gov. Jim Justice.
The project will level land, construct an access road, and install water and sewer infrastructure to create prime development opportunities for commercial properties.