FAIRMONT, MARION COUNTY, W. Va. (WOWK) — This may be a relatively low-tech way of showing, that high-tech could be about to boom in West Virginia like never before. Crews are building a new road into the I-79 High Tech Park in Fairmont, and officials there are looking at blue prints to greatly expand their 400-acre tech complex.
“We are a player. The it knowledge-based economy, is happening every day at the high-technology park. We eat it, we breathe it, we live it, it’s our passion. we’re going to expand it,” said Rod Rogers, VP, WV High Tech Foundation.
The high-tech park is already home to NASA facilities, satellite tracking operations, the National Weather Service, and numerous other federal agencies and private tech ventures. The concept also involves merging aviation, aerospace and tech business in a new aero-tech center at the North Central West Virginia Airport in Bridgeport.
“It’s never been easier to get to North Central West Virginia than it is right now. We’re having some of the best months in the history of our airport. It continues to grow,” said Airport Director Richard Rock, North Central WV Airport.
With schools opening across the state over the next few weeks, another goal is to inspire young students to pursue the STEM fields, of science, technology, engineering and math. That could create more, higher-paying jobs in the Mountain State.
“For the children to know, that if they grow up, and they love high-tech, and they love space and they love airplanes. they can get all of the training they need, starting in the K-12 school system, all the way up to our universities,” said Tracy Miller, President Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex
Right now, one-thousand people work in tech jobs in the park. Leaders hope the expansion here, and at the airport, means the sky is the limit.
“And for any federal agency that wants to move into this tech park, there is an added incentive. Land for federal operations, is available here free of charge, at the I-79 Tech Park in Fairmont,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.