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U.S. Senator Capito highlights economic development, congressionally directed spending during Mercer County visits

WV Press Release Sharing

MERCER COUNTY, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va, traveled to Mercer County, where she visited Bluefield’s “Prosperity Hub,” celebrated the John Nash Blvd. natural gas infrastructure expansion, and saw the impact of Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) projects she secured at Concord University.

First, Senator Capito toured the “Prosperity Hub” in Bluefield, W.Va., which houses Intuit and Alorica. The center is located downtown and has plans for further expansion. Bluefield was chosen by Intuit to be a prosperity hub location in 2019.

“Bluefield is a town of opportunity in our state, and proves to be a location poised for economic development. I’m glad to have the chance to visit their Prosperity Hub and learn more about their plans to expand and fuel the economy here in Mercer County,” Senator Capito said. “Revitalization efforts rely on dynamic leadership and innovative ideas, and both of those aspects are at work here in Bluefield.”

“It is a privilege to once again host Senator Capito and her staff in Bluefield. With the help and support of Senator Capito and staff, many good things have been happening in Bluefield and the region for the last several years. We look forward to continued success and appreciate the help and support from Senator Capito,” Jim Spencer, Executive Director for the Bluefield WV EDA, said.

Next, Senator Capito traveled to the Bluefield Area Transit along John Nash Blvd. to participate in a groundbreaking event for a natural gas infrastructure extension project. In 2021, Senator Capito secured $2,959,000 in FY22 CDS awards to extend natural gas infrastructure four miles from Bluefield to John Nash Blvd. at Exit 1 on I-77, which includes the Cumberland Industrial Park.

“West Virginia is blessed with many natural resources, and utilizing natural gas in our state is essential to further local growth, spark economic development, and create American energy independence. I was proud to secure the funding necessary to help make this project a reality and look forward to seeing the impact it will make in Mercer County,” Senator Capito said.

“This natural gas extension project has been on the drawing board for many years, until Senator Capito secured $3,000,000 of Congressional Directed Spending to jumpstart the project. This project is an important piece of the economic development strategy for Exit One in Mercer County. It will service dozens of homes and businesses, while supporting hundreds of new and existing jobs. The total cost of the project is $6,000,000. The Governor’s office contributed $2,000,000, and the Mercer County Commission added $1,000,000 to complete the funding package. We appreciate Senator Capito, Governor Justice, and our Mercer County Commissioners for their support of this vital economic development project for our region,” John O’Neal, Executive Director of the Development Authority of Mercer County, said.

At the end of the day, Senator Capito visited Concord University where she toured the campus and received an update on the progress of projects supported by two CDS awards she secured for the institution. In FY22, Senator Capito secured $1,600,000 to support the renovation of existing facilities at Concord’s main campus to provide a permanent home for their new school of professional nursing. In FY23, Senator Capito secured $1,050,000 to establish a new physician assistant degree program.

“Concord University is an educational leader in southern West Virginia, and I was proud to support them by working hard to secure funding that assists their nursing and physician assistant programs, which are providing valuable opportunities for our students. The administrators, staff, and students here in Athens are diligent and dedicated, and it was great to see the progress they are making firsthand during my visit,” Senator Capito said.

“Concord University is able to better serve the needs of our students, the region, and beyond because of Senator Capito’s commitment to higher education in the Mountain State. Concord initiated its new Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and will launch the area’s only physician assistant program with Senator Capito’s continuous support through congressionally directed funding. We are grateful for the opportunity to thank her in person and to show her how this financial assistance is being put to use for the citizens of West Virginia,” Dan Fitzpatrick, Vice President of Operations at Concord University, said.

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