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Wyoming County, W.Va., officials to work with Department of Commerce on economic development group

By Mary Catherine Brooks, Wyoming County Bureau Chief

Register-Herald of Beckley

PINEVILLE, W.Va. — One size doesn’t fit all – at least when it comes to economic development.

Ed Gaunch W.Va. Secretary of Commerce

Ed Gaunch, West Virginia Department of Commerce secretary, toured both industrial parks in Wyoming County Tuesday morning, then met with several officials as part of his third “listening tour” in the seven months he’s had the position.

Gaunch grew up in Boone County and holds a “passion in my heart to do some special things south of the Kanawha River,” he told the small group.

He believes the answer is “regional strategies” to expand economic development. What will work in the northern panhandle or the eastern panhandle will not work in southern West Virginia, he said.

Gaunch and his staff will help to form a group that will include the county commissioners, the three mayors and other town officials, Economic Development Authority members, “and anybody else who can add value to the plan,” he said.

Among the questions the group will address are workforce development, infrastructure needs such as roads, water, sewer as well as broadband needs.

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