The world is hearing our story

Pat Ford knows how to tell the story of the Upper Ohio Valley. He has been doing so for about a decade now, taking it not only to other parts of West Virginia, or even various corners of the country, but also around the world.

The executive director of the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle recently returned from his ninth international mission trip. In the past, he has been invited to travel with state officials to Japan, Canada, Italy and more, all with the goal of attracting investment from international companies to our state.

This time, he accompanied representatives of West Liberty University, receiving an opportunity to visit China, where he saw first-hand aspects of that nation’s transforming economy and hear from those looking to locate business operations in the United States.

The world’s economy is ever-increasingly interconnected, with commerce not limited to one country. International business dealings are the norm, with companies often having multiple operations around the globe.

As Ford has pointed out, West Virginia is located within a day’s travel of a large percentage of America’s population, making it an attractive area to establish a foothold for those looking to establish themselves in our country.

Weirton has benefited from those ideas in recent years, with Italy’s Pietro Fiorentini and Canada’s Bidell Gas Compression setting up shop in the city. We are sure that is just the beginning.


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