Economy

Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley ReSource

Regional iron and steel industry leaders say they are disappointed by the Trump administration’s delay on a decision about which countries will face new import tariffs. President Trump has postponed until June a decision on which countries will be subject to new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The decision had been due May 1.

Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley ReSource

With sunglasses perched atop his camouflage cap, Brady Carwile filled out an application at a job fair in a community center in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Carwile works at a local auto parts maker but he’s hoping for a maintenance position at Century Aluminum’s Hawesville Smelter.

“It’s one of the best jobs you can find around there,” Carwile said

courtesy Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education

Our region has challenges, from the economic decline of the coal industry, to the opioid epidemic, there’s work to do in our communities. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from several people who are trying to reinvigorate our region with opportunities for change. We’ll also hear from some younger voices in Appalachian, North Carolina about growing up in the mountains.

 


Youtube/Princeton University, "Insights with Robert Wuthnow"

Robert Wuthnow tells the Daily Yonder it’s important to look beyond simplistic characterizations to understand how rural America might influence the nation’s political future.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from detainees and soldiers who were held or worked in Guantanamo Bay Detention Center; the latest on new tariffs for steel and aluminum imports; and we hear how a new study found a link between drug overdose deaths in the U.S. to an increase in organ donors.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

Several federally funded job-training programs have emerged in recent years designed to help revitalize coal country. In 2017 alone, the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal-state partnership focused on economic development since the mid-1960s, approved more than $150 million in projects for the region. But how successful are these programs, and what are the challenges?

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a group facilitating the completion of a rail-trail connecting Pittsburgh to Parkersburg says the project has the potential to boost tourism.

Washington, D.C.-based Rails-to-Trails Conservancy released a feasibility study this week. It shows filling gaps in Harrison, Marion and Wood counties in West Virginia would complete the 238-mile trail, referred by proponents as "P2P." Jesse Wright spoke with two people from the conservancy about the study and what’s next for the project.

Courtesy

President Donald Trump appointed a new federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission or ARC. Tim Thomas spent the past three years serving on the state staff of Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky. Thomas also has experience as the director of external and regulatory affairs for Swift & Staley, a Kentucky-based maintenance, operations and environmental services company. Its clients have included federal and state agencies, such as the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture.

EpiPen, Mylan
Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

A pharmaceuticals company has laid off 15 percent of its workforce at a West Virginia manufacturing facility.

Mylan Pharmaceuticals released a statement Friday saying the "right-sizing" is consistent with discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to continue operations. Mylan spokeswoman Christine Waller tells The Dominion Post that around 500 positions have been cut, leaving the West Virginia workforce at around 3,000.

Roxy Todd/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s been a year since we started following six Appalachians as they grappled with whether to stay in their home state or leave for better opportunities. On this week’s episode, we’ll revisit those we profiled in our Struggle to Stay series– and reflect on what we learned as we helped them tell their stories.


A surface mine in Letcher County, Kentucky. The reclaimed part of the mine is seeded with grass.
Reid R. Frazier / The Allegheny Front

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation is accepting applications for a portion of $25 million in grant funding for economic development projects.

Applicants have until June 15 to apply.

Amtrak, Train
Daniel Holth / Wikimedia Commons

A meeting is set with Amtrak officials to work toward keeping the New River Train service going in southern West Virginia this fall.

Congressman Evan Jenkins and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin say they've arranged the meeting on Tuesday. Media outlets report it will be held at Amtrak's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Perry Bennett / Legislative Photography

A city has finalized its decision to purchase the Black Knight Country Club from the company that West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice owns.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Hundreds of West Virginians travel from the Eastern Panhandle to Maryland or Washington D.C. every weekday for work. These commuters catch the Maryland-based MARC train, or Maryland Area Regional Commuter.

But during this year’s West Virginia Legislative session, lawmakers debated the future of the MARC train in the state.

Maryland threatened to discontinue MARC service to West Virginia unless certain provisions were met.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcast

This week on Inside Appalachia, we'll learn more about how our reliance on coal and other extractive industries have affected our region’s economy.

Courtesy Bureau of Prisons

The Bureau of Prisons has issued a record of decision signaling that it is moving ahead with plans to build a federal prison on the site of a former strip mine in the hills of Letcher County, Kentucky. But local opponents of the prison say they’re not giving up and are considering a legal challenge to prevent the construction of a new prison.

Jessica Lilly

A student at Concord University worked through trauma by finding ways to express herself with art. She’s hoping a degree in art will help her teach others how to find the same freedom. But without the help of a new program at Concord, she may have quit school.

Canabis Oil Medical Marijuana
Adobe Stock

West Virginia’s state treasurer says he’s seeking guidance from the U.S. Treasury secretary as he seeks solutions for collecting funds from the state’s medical marijuana program.

Kara Lofton

During the teacher strike a couple weeks ago, West Virginia educators were asking for two main things: a pay raise and for legislators to “fix PEIA.” While the prorgam’s finance board ultimately agreed to freeze proposed changes to the plan that would have increased costs, truly fixing PEIA on the long term might not be that simple.

Courtesy CWA

A union representative said a tentative contract agreement has been reached with Frontier Communications to end a three-week strike by about 1,400 workers in West Virginia and parts of Virginia.

The Communications Workers of America’s District 2-13 said on its Facebook page that the agreement was reached Sunday.

courtesy Mike Costello

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll travel to the sugar shacks of Appalachian maple producers, and we’ll learn how to use syrup in everything from glazed greens to buttermilk ice cream – and even roasted rabbit. 

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Federal funds have been awarded to four West Virginia organizations focused on economic development.

Those four agencies include the Region 7 Planning and Development Council, the Planning and Development Councils in both the Eastern Panhandle and the Mid-Ohio Valley, and the Marshall University Research Corporation. The groups will split an award of $310,000.

Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley ReSource

Bottles of bourbon make their way through the assembly line at Maker’s Mark, one of ten distilleries on the Kentucky bourbon trail. They’re cleaned, filled, capped and then dipped in the company’s signature red wax, a tradition that started with the wife of the distillery’s founder, Bill Samuels.

Courtesy WVHEPC

More than 150 employers, including Facebook, are looking for workers in West Virginia. College students, graduates and area residents who are interested in work opportunities in West Virginia are encouraged to attend a job fair in Raleigh County.

Courtesy CWA

A Georgia man has been accused of pulling a pistol and telling a striking Frontier Communications worker in West Virginia "don't mess with me."

About 1,400 union members at Frontier Communications have gone on strike in West Virginia and parts of Virginia after a contract extension expired.

The Communications Workers of America says its members in District 2-13 went on strike early Sunday, March 4. Negotiations between the union and company have been ongoing since last May and a contract extension expired Saturday.

Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission reports supporting 55 projects in West Virginia with nearly $19 million in the 2017 fiscal year.

Chuck Roberts

Administrators in higher education across southern West Virginia are joining forces to invest in economic development in the region. The initiative began at Marshal University and quickly spread to schools like Concord University in Mercer County.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we have the latest from the Capitol on the ongoing teacher walk-out and protest at in Charleston. With the continued approach of county school officials remaining in question, the potential of legal action to be decided by the state board of education and legislative deadlines looming, educators and school workers yet again plan to head to the Capitol in Charleston to rally lawmakers for better pay and health care benefits.

Adobe Stock

Every October, Gilbert  -- population 475 -- swells with visitors as 5,000 people come for TrailFest, which markets itself as one the premier ATV events on the East Coast. The tourism surrounding the Hatfield-McCoy Trail has helped make the Mingo County town one of the fastest-growing in the area.

Having reliable Internet access here is critical to building the local economy, said Gilbert Mayor Vivian Livingood, who said described the service as "snail-paced."

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