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Secretary Gaunch tells FBLA students West Virginia’s future depends on talented workforce of the future

One of the most important factors in a state's economic growth is having a talented workforce, and West Virginia's future looks bright thanks to the hard work of student organizations like the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). By giving students in grades 6-12 an outlet to pursue their interest in business, the West Virginia chapter of FBLA helps prepare kids for college and future careers.

"We need youth who are inspired to do great things if our state is to continue on a path of growth, opportunity and prosperity," said West Virginia Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch at a recent WVFBLA meeting in Charleston. "If we're going to attract businesses to West Virginia, we need a talented workforce and that's where groups like FBLA come in to play. You are that future workforce."

From the small family-owned operation passing the torch to the next generation to the multi-national corporation looking for a second headquarters, West Virginia is a great place to do business.

Secretary Gaunch pointed to the influx of businesses opening locations in the Mountain State as proof that West Virginia is laying a foundation for the next generation to build on for years to come.

"Our state's economy continues to diversify on innovation as industry-leading companies choose to locate in West Virginia and invest in our future," Secretary Gaunch said. Notable business activity in recent weeks includes a $111 million expansion of Toyota's manufacturing plant in Buffalo, which will bring 123 new jobs; Infor, a global technology company, opening a location in Charleston and creating hundreds of jobs; Intuit, a business and software company, opening a "prosperity hub" in Bluefield with plans to create up to 500 jobs. West Virginia also has seen progress in wood products, energy production and manufacturing in recent years, resulting in the state's economy growing more than any other state.

"West Virginia, our home, can provide the resources and opportunity you need to succeed in the industry or business of your choice, or in the type of business you start as an entrepreneur," Secretary Gaunch said. "In West Virginia, you can pursue your dreams and achieve the things you set your mind to do."