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Op-Ed: West Virginia Business Summit Focusing on Growth


Charleston, W.Va. When the 87th Annual Meeting and Business Summit of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce convenes next week, business, education, healthcare, finance, political and community leaders from throughout our state will gather to discuss our recent successes and seek solutions for pressing West Virginia needs.

The roots of this annual gathering are deep and strong. Each year since 1936, state leaders have come together with the Chamber to learn, connect and seek solutions to improve the economy and well-being for West Virginia’s wonderful people.

Focusing on this year’s theme of Creating Connections Building the Future, topics at this meeting include the business climate, creating opportunity for all, building infrastructure including roads, bridges, airports and broadband. This year, beginning on August 30th at the historic Greenbrier Hotel, leaders of our state’s businesses will combine with leaders of our universities, hospitals and government to examine best practices for promoting good health, life-long learning and job-creation.

Last year’s Chamber of Commerce meeting saw numerous announcements of new jobs for West Virginia’s working families. This year will see new jobs announcements, a focus on higher education led by Marshall University President Brad Smith, and remarks from the leading candidates to be our state’s next governor.

Energy, including the importance of natural gas, coal, renewable energy sources and the promise of nuclear power will receive unique attention. The commitment of business leaders to a more inclusive workplace with opportunity for all to succeed will receive special emphasis.

In 1998, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce created one of our nation’s first programs to analyze and understand the impact of court decisions on job growth and the business climate. This year, lawyers from our state’s most prominent and accomplished law firms will present their analysis of twenty-nine cases and the impact of the court decisions on business in West Virginia. Known as “CourtWatch” this program is nationally recognized as among the most important case-study analyses in the United States of state and local courts.

Highlights of this year’s meeting will include presentations by United States Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin and Governor Justice. This year’s naming host is Marshall University, led by President Brad Smith. Leaders from higher education institutions will share their exciting vision for lifelong learning. Rex Repass, President of Research America Inc. will share results of the ever popular, “West Virginia Poll.” Key leaders in the healthcare industries will focus on improving the health and well-being of state citizens.

Public participation is available through a live-streaming option by simply going to The Business Summit will also be livestreamed on the Chamber’s social media pages.

Additionally, Gubernatorial candidates will gather for the first time on stage together and share their vision for West Virginia during a forum that will be broadcast live on Thursday, August 31st beginning at 11 a.m. EST on WSAZ Channel 3.

The opportunity to learn, connect and grow has attracted over a thousand Chamber members for this year’s annual meeting. Energy, ideas and action will be the result. For more information, please visit the West Virginia Chamber’s social media pages or website at to learn more.


Members of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce are your small business neighbors. Chamber members employ over half of our state’s workforce and are found across our state. More information on the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce can be found at

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