Regional rivalries in West Virginia deter progress

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram 

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — North Central West Virginia is rapidly evolving into one regional marketplace — from Weston to the Pennsylvania state line.

It’s anchored by Morgantown in the North and Clarksburg/Bridgeport in the South. Fairmont sits in the middle of the market.

 WVU is the region’s primary economic engine, followed closely by health care, high-tech, the FBI CJIS facility and its soon-to-open biometrics center. There is also a growing aerospace industry. In addition, we are in the midst of the Marcellus Shale gas boom.

By most standards, North Central West Virginia is blessed with more economic growth than anywhere else in the state.

Residents are constantly moving throughout the region. Interstate 79 makes commuting from one city to another for work, shopping services and entertainment much easier. It is nothing for average residents to find themselves in Morgantown and Clarksburg (and all points in between) on the same day several times a week.

Each of these cities has its own set of strengths from an economic perspective. They also share duplication of many services.

Sometimes we find ourselves fighting over things such as baseball stadiums and airport runways…

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