MONONGALIA COUNTY, WV – Gov. Jim Justice spoke at an event in Monongalia County on Wednesday, at the site of the new WestRidge Business + Retail Park, just west of Morgantown, commending county and business leaders on their announcement that several new businesses moving into the park will create hundreds of jobs for West Virginia.
“It’s incredible if you just think about it, a thousand-acre project, right off the interstate, WestRidge has been in its infancy and now it’s getting ready to explode,” Gov. Justice said. “The people in the outside world are just awakening to the fact that West Virginia, now, instead of being the state that was maybe backward…we’re the state that they somehow missed in a lot of ways.”
The event was held at the construction site of a new campus being built for Morgantown technology company Leidos. The frequent hirer of West Virginia University students is expanding its operations and moving into a new 33,000-square-foot ultramodern office space at WestRidge.
Development leaders also announced that Menards, the nation’s third-largest home improvement chain, will be building a brand new 173,000-square-foot store at WestRidge, with a goal of opening by spring 2021.
Law firm Steptoe & Johnson and MVB Bank also plan to occupy offices at WestRidge.
Combined, all of the businesses moving into WestRidge will bring hundreds of jobs to this area of north central West Virginia.
“West Virginia, in general, is becoming the diamond in the rough that people missed, it’s becoming the opportunity place,” Gov. Justice said. “All of a sudden people want to come. You’re going to have a hard time beating them away. Not only do you have the compounding of everything you have here that’s good, but you now have a state that’s really on the move too.”
Revenue collections for the month of May in West Virginia came in at $46.4 million above estimates. Over the past two months combined, revenue collections have been $100 million above estimates.
West Virginia’s job numbers are the best they have been in more than a decade, as a report for the month of April showed that unemployment rates improved to 4.2 percent, the best such rate since 2008.