By WVU Today:
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — In a hopeful, cautious step forward, West Virginia is starting the process of reopening its doors for business after stay-at-home orders were issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic nearly two months ago.
West Virginia University’s John Chambers College of Business and Economics and Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources are helping many employers reopen successfully through a series of webinars.
Virtual sessions, May 6-19, hosted by the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will feature experts from WVU, Google, the Robert C. Byrd Institute, the WV Small Business Development Center and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Mountaineer Country Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.
“West Virginians come together to persevere through challenges and change better than any other state in the nation,” said Javier Reyes, dean of the Chambers College and vice president for Start-up West Virginia. “Businesses who open their doors prepared, adaptable and armed with the right resources to support their employees and customers will successfully navigate this crisis, and as part of our land-grant mission, WVU is offering resources that can help them do just that.”
The Encova Center’s efforts are a continuation of its Small Business Assistance Program that launched in the early weeks of Governor Justice’s stay-at-home orders.
The West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, housed inside the Department of Mining and Industrial Extension also initiated a webinar series with a focus on the unique challenges facing manufacturers today.
“Many of the webinars we’re offering discuss innovations that, along with improving day-to-day production and safety, will add long-term stability through planning,” said Jamie Cope, manager of business development for WVMEP. “We’re finding that our manufacturing clients are as busy if not busier while working from home or working with limited office hours.”
One webinar focuses specifically on infectious disease response and guides clients through the best practices to keep employees safe in the workplace through strategies such as social distancing, as well as keeping employees up to date with factual information pertaining to the virus.
Cope notes the series, May 8-27, also touches on topics such as automation, leadership and operating during a crisis.