By September 3, 2018 Read More →

Lawmakers, business leaders say West Virginia needs a permanent commerce secretary

By STEVEN ALLEN ADAMS

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Attendees of the West Virginia’s Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting and Business Summit at the Greenbrier Resort listen to political prognosticator Larry Sabato.
(News and Sentinel photo by Steven Allen Adams)

WHITE SULPHER SPRINGS, W.Va.  — At the 82nd West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Business Summit, held at Gov. Jim Justice’s Greenbrier Resort every year, one would expect the leader of the state government’s economic arm — even the interim leader — to be in attendance.

But no one had seen Clayton Burch, the acting secretary of the West Virginia Department of Commerce. In fact, many of the attendees polled Thursday morning had never had a phone conversation with Burch, let alone had met the man.

Only Steve Roberts, the longtime president of the chamber, had met with Burch. The two had a meeting shortly after Burch was named the acting secretary for a department that had just seen two scandals and saw its senior leadership jump ship.

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