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Business deals, growth led to changes in W.Va.’s top employers

 

Charleston Gazette photo Walmart topped the list of the state’s largest private employers.
Charleston Gazette photo
Walmart topped the list of the state’s largest private employers.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Murray American Energy, Mylan Pharmaceuticals and URS Energy & Construction shook up the annual rankings of West Virginia’s largest private employers, while Walmart remained at the top of the list.

With the purchase of five Consol Energy northern West Virginia coal mines in December, Murray Energy ranked as the state’s sixth-largest private employer. Consol Energy ranked as the state’s fifth-largest employer since 2011 but did not make the top 100 this year, according to WorkForce West Virginia data.

Ohio-based Murray Energy and its subsidiaries employ about 7,400 workers overall and 3,800 in West Virginia, according to a company spokesman.

Before purchasing the Consol mines, Murray Energy’s subsidiaries, Anchor Longwall and Rebuild Inc., employed approximately 25 workers in West Virginia.

“Murray Energy Corporation is dedicated to providing long-term, well-paid and well-benefited jobs to West Virginia’s citizens,” Murray spokesmen Gary Broadbent wrote in an email. “We are proud to now be one of the largest employers in the state.”

Based on the available records provided by WorkForce West Virginia, Walmart has been the state’s top private sector employer since at least 1999.

There were few changes in terms of the top five private employers in the state, according to the list.

Walmart is followed by West Virginia United Health System, Charleston Area Medical Center Inc., the supermarket chain Kroger and Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. Mylan broke into the top five for the first time this year.

In 1999, Mylan ranked as the state’s 51st largest private employer and has climbed in rank most years since then.

The company maintains a large operation in Morgantown after relocating its corporate headquarters from Morgantown to a Pittsburgh suburb in 1976. In July, the company announced it would acquire a portion of Abbot Laboratories’ generic business expanding the company’s portfolio outside of the United States. The move would also reincorporate Mylan in the Netherlands, effectively lowering its corporate tax rate in a controversial but popular move known as inversion.

URS Energy & Construction broke into the top 100 this year as the state’s 30th-largest private employer. The company has five locations in West Virginia, including two in Morgantown…

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