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Tag Archive: Joe Manchin

  1. Korean Drug Maker Pledges to Build Plant in Morgantown

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    MORGANTOWN W.V. – South Korean drug manufacturer UNDBIO has signed a Memorandum of Understanding pledging to manufacture insulin in West Virginia. The letter indicates there are plans to locate the facility at the West Virginia University Research Park in Morgantown.

    Mitch Carmichael, the Secretary of State for Economic Development of West Virginia and Yong Soo Jun, Chairman of UNDBIO, Inc. signed an MOU on May 17, 2022, with the state agreeing to provide fiscal, tax, and other incentives to promote the company’s production of insulin.

    “I am happy to establish our relationship with the State of West Virginia to manufacture affordable insulin and insulin analogues for the diabetic population around the globe,” said UNDBIO’s Chairman Jun. in a press release. “We would welcome other partners and investors into our global insulin project,” he said.

    The announcement comes with the hope that UNDBIO’s plans will come to fruition, resulting in 1,200 new manufacturing jobs in Monongalia County. UNDBIO plans to begin construction on the manufacturing plant during the second half of 2022, complete the plant in 2023 and manufacture clinical drugs for human clinical trials in 2024.

    Company officials met with U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelly Moore Capito who both have expressed support for the project.

    “UNDBIO has showcased their commitment to bringing long-term, good-paying jobs to West Virginia and as UNDBIO, WVU and state officials continue discussions, my staff and I are prepared to support these efforts to bring manufacturing opportunities to the Mountain State,” said Manchin.

    “The news of this agreement between UNDBIO and the State of West Virginia is a positive step forward in UNDBIO’s quest to manufacture insulin right here in West Virginia. While there is still more work to do to finalize this new facility, I stand ready to help to make sure this becomes a reality. I congratulate UNDBIO on this advancement and look forward to supporting them in their investment that could lead to creating more than 1,000 jobs in West Virginia.”


    Original Article by Dave Wilson on, June 8, 2022

    Original Article Here

  2. West Virginia University Takes Ownership of Former Mylan Facility

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    West Virginia University now officially owns the former Mylan pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, according to information released by the university Thursday afternoon.

    WVU paid $1 for the facility from health care company Viatris and plans to use the facility to create “short-, medium- and long-term academic, employment and community opportunities for Morgantown and surrounding areas, as well as tuition scholarships for impacted Mylan employees.”

    WVU and WVU Medicine will work together to oversee future development through a reconfigured WVU Innovation Corporation which will handle the daily operations at the facility.

    “We are pleased that Viatris placed its faith and trust in West Virginia University by engaging with us in this opportunity which combines WVU’s educational, entrepreneurial and research endeavors in new ways to make a real difference in our community,” WVU Vice President forStrategic Initiatives Rob Alsop said.

    Discussions are already underway with potential tenants to lease space within the 1.1 million square foot facility, according to WVU Health System President and CEO Albert Wright.

    “This property holds a lot of potential for Morgantown, the region and the state,” he said.”There is already a tremendous level of pioneering research being done through the University and the WVU Health System.”

    The sprawling facility has room for multiple tenants, Wright said during a press call following Thursday’s announcement.

    “There is significant interest from many parties in that building. We’re going to be working up a lot of different possibilities as to how we use that building over time,” he said. “I think it’s going to look more like a shopping mall over time, with a few anchor tenants and a few smaller, other entities in there versus one bog occupant.”

    There are currently no plans to remodel the facility, but that could change as tenants come on board and outline their specific needs, Wright said. 

    Gov. Jim Justice released a statement Thursday applauding WVU’s announcement. 

    “When you have a pillar of our state as well known and as successful as WVU taking over such an important facility right in their backyard, you know the results are going to be tremendous.” 

    U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. and Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., also released a joint statement Thursday afternoon. 

    “Today’s announcement is great news for the Morgantown community and our entire state. I know my dear friend Mike Puskar is looking down smiling that his beloved Mylan will now be part of the WVU family. I’m pleased WVU is taking this next step at the Viatris facility while also taking action to support former workers impacted by its closure,” Manchin said. “Investments in critical facilities like the Viatris property are essential to addressing our national security and public health, through improving our medical supply chain and increasing domestic manufacturing of medicines. As we move forward, I will continue working with WVU, Viatris and state and local officials to get the facility up and running and employing hardworking West Virginians.” 

    “The announcement that WVU and WVU Health are taking over the Viatris is welcome news for the Morgantown community and the entire state of West Virginia. I am glad to see WVU and WVU Health take this promising next step, and I wish them well in this new endeavor as they seek out new tenants. I know it has been a challenging time following the announcement regarding the facility, and I am glad we have the opportunity to move forward in a way to strengthen our economy and develop jobs in the area,” Capito said. 

    “Thank you to WVU for taking this necessary step to attract private investment and jobs,” McKinley said. “Losing Mylan was a blow to Morgantown and the surrounding area, but I am confident this facility can be put to good use again. We will continue to work with WVU, the state of West Virginia and all other stakeholders to provide more opportunity for West Virginia families.” 

    In December 2020 Viatris announced plans to close the Morgantown Mylan Chestnut Ridge oral solid dose manufacturing facility on July 31, 2021, eliminating the 1,500 jobs. The announcement came about two months after Viatris merged with Mylan Pharmaceuticals. 


    Original article written by Charles Young March 31, 2022, on

    Original Article Here


  3. West Virginia Has Everyone’s Attention. What Does It Really Need?

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    With the right federal response, it could become a model of renewal for other places around the country that prosperity has left behind.

    The wisecrack about West Virginia is that it can now have whatever it wants: fancy new highways, a federal installation or two, maybe a few extra grand per capita in stimulus checks.

    Joe Manchin, the state’s senior senator and a centrist Democrat, has swiftly become one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, a critical swing vote in an evenly divided Senate. By himself, he can shoot down filibuster reform, shape the economic recovery or moderate liberal hopes for the minimum wage. So just give the man what he wants, Democrats laugh uneasily.

    But there is a deeper possibility in this unusual alignment of one senator, one struggling state and one suddenly attentive capital.

    The joke is that we’re going to have a futuristic West Virginia,” said Kelly Allen, the executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. “The honest answer of it, from our perspective, is that West Virginia and Appalachia deserve an outsized piece of any federal recovery policy.

    That’s because the region’s decades-long role in powering the nation through coal, she said, came at enormous cost to the health of local residents, their environment and their economy. A serious federal response to that history could both bolster the state and be a model for other parts of the country that have been left behind.

    West Virginia ranks among the most distressed states in child poverty rates and median incomes, in population loss and in working-age adults out of the labor force. Economists and local community leaders agree that the federal government has done a poor job helping to lift up such places. Maybe West Virginia, with all its newfound leverage, can force Washington to do better.

    The state’s residents have ideas. They dream of broadband, vast brownfield cleanup efforts, greater aid to community lenders who operate where traditional banks won’t, more resources for high-quality housing and health clinics — investment on a scale that would return to the region all the wealth that was taken out of it by resource extraction.

    Coal has been king in West Virginia for more than a century. The Mammoth Coal Processing Plant in London, W.Va.Credit…Ross Mantle for The New York Times

    What we see is a part of the country that has been neglected by the change of an industry, and nothing came behind it,” said Jim King, the president and chief executive of Fahe, a network of more than 50 organizations working to make Appalachia more prosperous. “And it seemed that no one noticed or cared outside of our region.

    Within West Virginia, a number of organizations short of money are already operating with what Brandon Dennison, an eighth-generation resident, described as a “righteous anger” about rebuilding the state.

    On a spiritual level, in my bones, I know this place, it’s good, I know it has a lot to offer,” said Mr. Dennison, who founded Coalfield Development, an organization that provides work force training and jobs in construction, tourism and solar power, across the southern part of the state hurt most by coal’s decline. “And I know it’s not been able to offer all that it can because of various barriers.

    Many of those barriers went up generations ago, said William Hal Gorby, a historian at West Virginia University. In the 1870s, the state established a system for legally separating land ownership from mineral rights. This meant that families who owned land seldom profited from the coal underneath, which was mined by companies based out of state and used to power industrialization elsewhere. The coal industry also amassed political power early in the 20th century faster than anyone could mount a campaign to tax it. So to this day, West Virginia doesn’t have the kind of longstanding permanent fund that enables some other states to return resource wealth to their residents.

    The big theme of West Virginia historically is our wealth and our income is not here, it’s taken somewhere else,” said Sean O’Leary, a senior policy analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. “That leaves us with very little to grow and invest and work on ourselves.

    And, indeed, much of the country prospered as West Virginia remained poor. Changing that picture now may require rethinking what it means for this part of the country to get its fair share from Washington.

    A coal-fired power plant as seen from Poca, W.Va.Credit…George Etheredge for The New York Times

    Many of the dynamics today in West Virginia would be familiar in old industrial towns in the Northeast, or in rural communities across the Midwest. The population is declining as young residents move away. So the tax base and ability to fund services are also shrinking. That makes it hard to support businesses, to prop up the housing market, to reinvent the economy.

    This is a relatively new pattern: that broad parts of the country are falling further behind, as other places grow more prosperous. For much of the 20th century, poorer parts of the country were catching up in wages. That trend ended around 1980, according to economists, when globalization and knowledge work began to reorder the economy, with tremendously unequal consequences depending on where you live.

    Today, however, no one in Washington is responsible for confronting that pattern, said John Lettieri, the president of the Economic Innovation Group, a Washington think tank that has proposed a new cabinet-level office to do that. Economists have only recently paid more attention to what they call spatial inequality, or the widening economic gaps between places. And policymakers are even further behind.

    We’re never going to have equal growth in the country geographically,” Mr. Lettieri said. “But we can’t tolerate a situation where a significant share of the country is actually losing ground as the national economy grows.

    In Washington, the problem isn’t simply that the federal government lacks a comprehensive strategy for the state and others like it; many existing federal programs weren’t designed for these places. To qualify for federal housing aid, families must earn below a given share of the local median income. But entire counties in Appalachia have median incomes below the poverty line, leaving many poor families ineligible.

    Federal grant programs often require local matching dollars — money the poorest communities don’t have. Some health programs devote extra resources to rural communities, but misclassify which ones are “rural.” The federal government incentivizes banks to invest in struggling neighborhoods. But those incentives don’t work well in rural communities with no local bank branches. The government also has an array of tax credit programs to support development. But they work best with large-scale urban projects, not small rural ones.

    Scale is really the enemy of rural development,” said Dave Clark, the executive director of Woodlands Development Group and its partnering community lender, which have helped restore historical properties in small West Virginia downtowns. “Nobody’s getting rich off of these projects. We can structure them in such a way that people won’t lose money. But they’re not going to be making a lot of money off these projects with the current tools we have in place.

    The economics of redevelopment in the state are particularly tricky given that the state government has limited resources, local governments have meager tax revenue, and philanthropic dollars are scarce (those out-of-state coal companies didn’t leave behind a lot of local family foundations).

    Resources — all resources — tend to flow to places of density,” said Jen Giovannitti, president of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the largest donor in West Virginia of any private foundation. “I’m talking about philanthropic density, population density, the institutional density. All of that money tends to cluster there.

    That leaves the federal government as an essential actor, with Senator Manchin in a rare position, he has acknowledged, where “one vote truly changes everything.”

    His predecessor, Robert C. Byrd, joked during his 51-year Senate career that he would be a billion-dollar industry for the state unto himself (and, indeed, he was).

    What is potentially different for Senator Manchin today is that his influence is rising as recognition of spatial inequality is, too — and that this comes as the economy is in the midst of another jolt.

    The pandemic, for all its pain, has hastened a number of trends that could aid West Virginia. It has driven a shift toward telehealth, a vital tool in rural communities. It has pushed more consumers into outdoor recreation, a market West Virginia’s scenic gorges and mountain trails are primed to capture. It has boosted political will in the state to prioritize broadband. And the pandemic has sped up a move toward remote work to parts of the country with a more affordable cost of living.

    Residential development in Morgantown.Credit…Ross Mantle for The New York Times

    This last trend, which is tied to the other three, could have broad consequences for how states think about economic development. If more workers can live anywhere, states don’t have to throw tax breaks at companies to attract them. They can try to attract workers directly.

    Making a place a good place to live becomes much more important now,” said Adam Ozimek, the chief economist at the freelance platform Upwork. “That’s also a much healthier type of competition than who’s going to give the Bass Pro outlet the biggest tax cut.

    That idea reframes the major infrastructure investments Senator Manchin and President Biden have proposed. Broadband, above all, is an essential precondition to remote work. Well-maintained roads, new parks and other public amenities also enhance quality of life. And major investments in environmental cleanup — because the environment is central to West Virginia’s allure — become an economic development strategy, too.

    Until now, many organizations in West Virginia lament that the state has focused too heavily on luring outside employers, rather than building up the state’s own assets.

    If we’re going to think big about this, do we want any job at any price?” said Karen Jacobson, who leads the housing authority in Randolph County. “From any employer who’s going to take the deal now and leave 10 years from now?

    An effort to leverage remote work could also help the state keep more of its college graduates. William Franko, a political scientist at West Virginia University, said many of his students who leave wish they didn’t have to.

    My sense is they would love to stay in the state after they graduate,” he said. “Most West Virginians love the state. But I think they look at the economic landscape, and they say, ‘I don’t see how I can make it work.’

    Mr. Lettieri and Mr. Ozimek have also proposed that the federal government do more to stem population loss and its harms, offering “heartland visas” to skilled immigrants who commit to settling in communities that have been shrinking. That idea is the kind of place-based program that recognizes what’s different about Southern West Virginia than, say, North Carolina’s Research Triangle three hours away.

    All of this, locals said, would have to work alongside investments in residents who are unlikely to have remote jobs, but who could build the infrastructure, or run the tourism businesses, or remediate the land. After coal, many are leery of relying on any one fix-it-all idea, whether that’s tourism or remote work. What they’re asking for is something more comprehensive, something that will take years to grow.

    We have generational problems,” said Mr. Dennison, the head of Coalfield Development. “And they’re not going to be solved in one appropriations cycle, or even two or three.


    Article by: The New York Times