BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – In an announcement on Thursday, June 4th, Governor Jim Justice announced Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funding has been awarded to Raleigh County Memorial Airport.
In Raleigh County, $1.7 Million dollars was awarded to Raleigh County Memorial Airport, in partnership with the Raleigh County Commission, Region 1 Planning & Development Council, and New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA), to benefit the Raleigh County Memorial Airport Industrial Park Site Preparation Project.
These funds, part of a total $8.4 Million dollar project, will be utilized to expand necessary infrastructure and further site readiness efforts of the West side of the industrial park for the development of 105 additional acres intended for new business attraction. Of that acreage, 72 acres of the runway-adjacent property is dedicated to attracting the emerging aerospace industry to the New River Gorge Region.
“Securing this funding is a huge step towards changing the narrative of new business attraction in the State of WV,” said Jina Belcher, NRGRDA Deputy Director. “We appreciate the support and recognition from the State and the Appalachian Regional Commission for much-needed site development and look forward to moving the needle for future site readiness efforts.”
In 2019, Raleigh County Memorial Airport and the surrounding 7-county region (Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, Summers, Wyoming, Mercer & McDowell) were officially certified as AEROready(tm). The AEROready(tm) certification validates that a community / region is ready for the aerospace industry; that there is an ample supply of labor and quality sites; opportunities to customize training of labor; and that utility and transportation infrastructure is in place.
“This is a 20-year vision that is finally coming to fruition. The investment from the State and the Appalachian Regional Commission will allow the attraction and growth of the aerospace industry right here in Raleigh County. We’re thrilled to finally be able move this project forward.” said Tom Cochran, Raleigh County Memorial Airport Manager.