“To be among the very highest-approved governors in America is a true honor. With all the historic successes we’ve seen in West Virginia, especially in the past year, people are prouder than ever to be from this state. They’re walking around with their heads held high, and that’s exactly what this poll proves,” Gov. Justice said. “West Virginians can truly sense that the rocket ship ride that I promised is real and it’s happening. We’re setting record after record. We’re changing our image to the outside world. We’re proving that we’re the diamond in the rough that everyone missed. As someone who loves this amazing state beyond good sense, I could not be more proud of what we’ve accomplished, and now we’ve just got to keep the ball rolling.”
Under Gov. Justice’s leadership, West Virginia continues to enjoy an unprecedented era of success and prosperity.
After inheriting a $500 million budget deficit, Gov. Justice has led the state to record-setting budget surpluses by using his lifelong experience as a businessman to make West Virginia a more business-friendly state and by standing behind the energy industry. During the historic Fiscal Year 2022, West Virginia’s cumulative revenue collections finished at $1.308 billion over estimate – shattering the all-time record for biggest single-year revenue surplus in state history.
At the same time, West Virginia has achieved record-low unemployment rates. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3.5% for May 2022, breaking the all-time record for the lowest unemployment rate recorded in West Virginia history for the 8th consecutive month.
West Virginia is finally competing on the world stage and recruiting world-class companies to our state as shown in several major economic development announcements this year. Nucor Corporation announced that they selected Mason County as the location for a state-of-the-art sheet steel mill. This record investment will exceed $2.7 billion, making it the largest in West Virginia history, as well as the largest single investment Nucor has ever made. GreenPower Motor Company announced an agreement with the state to manufacture zero-emission, all-electric school buses in South Charleston, bringing hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars in economic impact to West Virginia. Owens & Minor, a Fortune 500 company that provides medical supplies, is going to expand on a deal they previously had with WVU Medicine and create over 125 jobs at a healthcare products preparedness and supply center in Morgantown. Omnis Building Technologies will build a $40 million, 150,000-square-foot facility in Bluefield to manufacture housing materials that will revolutionize the future of residential construction, creating 150-300 jobs in the process. Klöckner Pentaplast has announced a multimillion-dollar expansion of their West Virginia facility. PepsiCo is building a pair of new distribution facilities this year, representing a combined $32.5 million investment, while providing 185 jobs in West Virginia. Veloxint, a manufacturer of nanocrystalline metal alloys, is moving to Touchstone Research Laboratory Ltd. in Triadelphia and is expected to create another 200-300 new jobs over the next four years.
Gov. Justice also announced that West Virginia reached the 2nd-highest export growth rate of any state in the nation for 2021.
Meanwhile, the Governor’s Roads To Prosperity program is the state’s largest-ever investment in road maintenance and improvement; after 50 years of neglecting its roads, the state has committed more than $2 billion dollars to fixing them. Teachers and state employees have received their two largest pay raises ever. Thanks to Gov. Justice, Veterans now live in West Virginia tax-free and senior citizens do not face state taxes on social security. The Governor has also led West Virginia through a once-in-a-century pandemic, protecting the state’s most vulnerable citizens.
People are more excited than ever to be in West Virginia. From April 2010 to July 2019, more than 43,000 people moved out of the state. However, from 2020 through 2021, net migration is up in West Virginia for the first time in decades, with over 2,000 people moving into the state, making West Virginia one of the top states in the entire nation that people are moving into on a percentage basis.
Increased investments in the state’s tourism efforts have visitation and intrigue in West Virginia through the roof. West Virginia was recently named a top-10 travel region in the world to visit by Lonely Planet; the only state to earn this prestigious distinction and the state was also recently selected as one of the Best Places to Go by Condé Nast Traveler. West Virginia was also recently named as one of CBS’s top destinations for family vacations in 2022.