WVU manufacturing partnership awarded federal funds

West Virginia University’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership is set to receive more than $418,000 in federal funding.

The program works with small- to medium-sized businesses across the state to make them more efficient and create jobs while serving as an adviser to local businesses. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has long advocated for this program and spearheaded the establishment of a network of federal, state and industry advisers focused on improving the productivity and success of American manufacturers. His efforts also helped secure $141 million for the program through an appropriations bill last year.

“West Virginia’s small businesses and manufacturers are critical to growing West Virginia’s economy and driving job creation,” Rockefeller said. “The Manufacturing Extension Partnership has become an important resource in our efforts to make sure they can thrive in our communities and remain competitive. With this additional funding for the MEP, our small business community will continue to have this critical ally in place that is focused on their overall success and longevity.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said it is important to invest in manufacturing and to create high-paying jobs in West Virginia.

“It is important to help our local manufacturers make the critical improvements necessary to help them stay competitive and successful, and I am pleased that this funding offers public-private partnerships that will help sustain job growth, create new products and expand into new markets right here at home,” he said.

MEP is housed in WVU’s Benjamin Statler College and Engineering and Mineral Resources. For information visit http://www.wvmep.com/index.html

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A new app could soon allow users to help endangered children.

WVHelp is designed to locate children in need and contact local resources throughout the state that help abuse victims. The app works on Android and iOS devices. Members of law enforcement, Child Protective Service workers, teachers, hospitals, prosecutors and judges can use the app to find phone numbers, physical addresses, medical facilities, domestic violence and sexual assault programs, child advocacy centers and behavioral health centers in each county. The app also provides similar contacts at the federal level.

“We are very excited about this app,” said Andrea Darr, West Virginia Children’s Justice program manager. “It’s so simple and helpful. It instantly provides the user with phone numbers they would need while working a case of crime, violence or abuse.”

In addition, the app allows users to get instant updates directly to their phones, create a “favorites list” of frequently used contacts and directly dial a resource.

The app can be downloaded at http://go.wv.gov/wvhelp.

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The U.S. Senate has introduced companion legislation to a bill Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., introduced last year.

Rahall’s Invest in American Jobs Act aims to expand “Buy America” requirements to ensure federal investments in transportation and infrastructure projects benefit the U.S. economy and create jobs. All future highway, bridge, public transit, passenger rail and airport projects would be stamped “Made in America” and built by U.S. workers.

Rahall has successfully pushed “Buy America” requirements for highway, water and wastewater treatment infrastructure projects.

Rahall said he is pleased to see Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduce similar legislation because it means the issue is gaining momentum in Congress.

“It’s a matter of national security and economic security that we see more ‘Made in America,’” Rahall said. “Taxpayer-financed projects must benefit our workers, and they must boost the American economy — not that of our competitor nations.”

Compiled by Whitney Burdette

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