#WVWorkz

Mineral County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

The global security company Northrop Grumman is expanding its West Virginia plant located in Mineral County. The move is expected to create hundreds of new jobs at the site.

Sen. Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, speaking during a Senate floor session.
Will Price / WV Legislative Photography

A bill that would provide tuition assistance to attend community and technical colleges in West Virginia has passed the Senate.

Senate Bill 1 passed the Legislature’s upper chamber with a unanimous 34-0 vote Wednesday.

The latest monthly survey results are in from the National Foundation of Independent Business. Data indicate the small business climate in West Virginia would be great, except that no one can find qualified applicants to fill vacancies.


American Graduate: Building West Virginia's Workforce is now available to watch online.

As the Mountain State's skilled workforce ages and manufacturing evolves to use technology, there are job opportunities in West Virginia that require some training or certification, but not a 4-year degree.

Jessica Leake / Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

West Virginia Public Broadcasting held a community outreach event Tuesday night at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg to discuss the future of jobs in the Eastern Panhandle.

One of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s organizational goals is to help facilitate an ongoing statewide conversation about job opportunities in West Virginia – what jobs are out there and what are the barriers to getting them?

Apprenticeships are a great way to enter a number of well-paying occupations in the manufacturing, construction, health care, and transportation industries.

An apprentice gains hands-on work experience in an occupation, while also taking classroom instruction. Apprenticeship programs are sponsored by employers, labor unions and associations. Programs can last between one and six years and provide wage increases as you gain work experience. Minimum qualifications must be met to apply.

Like most other American high school students, Garret Morgan had it drummed into him constantly: Go to college. Get a bachelor's degree.

"All through my life it was, 'if you don't go to college you're going to end up on the streets,' " Morgan said. "Everybody's so gung-ho about going to college."

So he tried it for a while. Then he quit and started training as an ironworker, which is what he is doing on a weekday morning in a nondescript high-ceilinged building with a concrete floor in an industrial park near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Middle-skills jobs, those requiring more than high school but less than a four year degree, make up one-third of all jobs in the United States, have an average annual salary of more than $45,000, and are projected to remain in demand in the future.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting has been awarded a grant from American Graduate and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to investigate opportunities for careers outside of a four-year degree. 

American Graduate: Getting to Work

Public Media Initiative to Advance Education and Career Readiness