The Ohio Valley says goodbye to Pat Ford

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WEIRTON, W.Va. (WTRF)

“The people have made this probably one of the most fulfilling jobs in my entire professional career.”

Pat Ford – BDC Executive Director

Over the past 10 years, Business Development Corporation Director, Pat Ford has had his hand in just about everything you can think of in the Valley.

Some big projects you may remember are Pietro Fiorentini, Bidell, and Jupiter Aluminum to name a few.

He’s also had a hand in smaller projects such as working to grow Weirton Medical Center, and the relocation of Barney’s Bakery.

“It’s really been a wonderful 10 years here, both on what we were able to accomplish from an economic development stand point, but also just being, just an integral part of this community.

Pat Ford – BDC Executive Director

The development and accomplishments in Brooke and Hancock Counties has been substantial!

Officials say more jobs have been created, unemployment rates have been cut in half, and assets have flourished.

“The biggest part is the retention of people, the hiring of different people, so that’s very important. Plus the assets, we had very few assets. A little bit over 300,000 in assets and you know today we are over $1 million in assets. It’s um very big.”

Bill D’Alesio – BDC Chairman

Ford has accepted an offer from Marion County Kentucky doing a job that is quite similar to what he does now.

He says the thing he will miss the most is the people.

“You’re never just an observer here. You’re always a participant. You always feel like you are a part of the parade, you’re part of the celebration, you’re part of the community, and not once have my wife and I ever felt like we were observers. I’m going to miss that.”

Pat Ford – BDC Executive Director

Before he goes he wants everyone to know just how important the BDC is to the Northern Panhandle.

“And so when I reflect back when someone asks me what is the BDC, who are they, you need to fix that. Well make no mistake they might not of known what the BDC was back then, but today everybody knows that the BDC is about J-O-B-S, jobs.”

Pat Ford – BDC Executive Director

County officials say they hope to have his replacement by November.

The Board has hired a consulting firm to look for applicants.

Ford’s official last day at the Business Development Corporation is September 30th.

All of us here at Channel 7 want to wish Pat and his wife Alecia the very best in Kentucky!

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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