It’s a useful tool for economic development.

WVU students presented an economic outlook and forecast for Hancock and Brooke Counties Wednesday afternoon.

Multiple businesses, city and county officials, the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, the BDC and more were there to hear the data.

Three students, Mackenzie Hill, Ben Sbei, and Isabelle Dallaire, from the WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics shared what they found to be the reason the state and the region made it through the COVID recession.

“We have some good news to share but we also have some challenges to share as well, but it will be a broad base discussion around where we have been where we think we’re going in our economy and also a discussion of economic development challenges that’s we need to overcome and also economic development opportunities that we need to capitalize on.”

John Deskins – Director WVU Bureau of Business & Economic Research

Marvin Six from the Business Development Corporation says the information from the students means they can plan ways to support growth in the area.

“They provide basic data for us that we can add on to what we’re talking about, the prospect of talking to, and project what type of growth is going to be happening. We don’t want to overestimate or underestimate anything going on in the two counties.”

Marvin Six – Executive Director BDC

Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce President Brenda Mull says the last few years were a struggle. Businesses did whatever they could to survive the pandemic.

“Doing an economic outlook for people to see a real vision of what other people see for our area is really important to them and I think it will be something that’ll inspire as well.”

Brenda Mull – President Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce

Mull says the information gathered from the economic outlook will help guide business and local officials as they plan for the future.

If you’d like to read the report the students shared for yourself, you can click here.