Labor Business Overview
State of West Virginia
The State of West Virginia is dedicated to its work force and believes that the quality of West Virginia employees is unmatched. Whatever the employer's need, West Virginia has the people and the resources to provide efficient and productive employees.
With a labor force of over 813,000, West Virginia can provide quality-oriented "ready to work" labor in a wide range of fields. The majority of workers are concentrated within the prime working age range of 20 to 44, and the future West Virginia labor force will continue to expand as it draws on a large pool of younger citizens. With assets like these, West Virginia will be able to supply labor to business and industry for many years to come.
Not only does the State have an adequate supply of labor, but West Virginia's long tradition of manufacturing and basic industry specialization has guaranteed a highly skilled work force. Over 79,000 workers are employed in our manufacturing sector, specializing in everything from chemical production to steel making. Recently, a large number of information-based service sector businesses have discovered the advantages of a West Virginia work force for "back office operations", sales and service centers, telemarketing groups and data processing facilities. The growth of the service sector has been remarkable and now totals over 228,000 employees.
Wetzel County & Metro Wheeling
The people of the area are proud of their communities, their families, themselves and their jobs. A strong regional work ethic exists because of the types of industry that evolved in the area. The coal and steel industries produced a "hard working people" who toiled under less than reasonable conditions for long hours, while the area's craftsmen took pride in the works they created from wood, glass and metal. A further tribute to the area's people is the fact that the area continues to be one of the safest regions in the United States.
Previous residents seem to return when new positions open in the community. As the local economy has diversified over the past several years, workers have managed to become extremely resourceful and have utilized their strengths and productivity in new areas.
A major study by Bell Atlantic Business Research, "West Virginia: The Location for Your Office of the Future,” dated August, 1991, examined several labor related factors and found that the loyal, stable work force of the area is highly rated for productivity, ease in training, low turnover, low absenteeism and dependability.
The area's diversification from heavy industry to state of the art manufacturing, information-service based operations and advanced technology research operations has opened up new opportunities for the area's steady stream of high school, business and technical school, community college and four-year college graduates. Wage rates in this area are well below those of the northeast United States and less than the nearby metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Columbus and Cleveland.
Download the Fact Book Here
Fact Book (372 KB)