Growing Our Economy

West Virginia University, along with lead partner TechConnect West Virginia, has received an investment of nearly $1 million to study the impact on the state of reduced defense spending nationally with a goal of helping mitigate the effect on the economy and create and strengthen relationships for possible growth.

The investment comes from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment and will enable WVU and TechConnect WV to work with the West Virginia Development Office and myriad other related agencies and organizations to establish a clear understanding of the impact of defense cuts and how the state economy can absorb them and move forward.

“The role of defense spending in West Virginia is not as obvious as in other places, but it is significant,” said David Satterfield, Director of Asset Development for WVU who will serve as principal investigator. “We just don’t know as much as we need to about the defense supply chain and the ripples through our economy caused by reductions. “This will help us figure that out,” he said.

“There is a very diverse mix of defense contractors and activity in West Virginia,” Satterfield noted. As in many economic sectors, the defense industry supply chain has seen reductions in recent years. While we see some examples of reductions in West Virginia, this grant will help to increase the diversification of the supply chain to help WV defense manufacturers.

“WVU is in a position to look at the entire state and understand how dollars flow from the Department of Defense through sub-contractors and all the way to local businesses and communities,” former West Virginia Commerce Secretary J. Keith Burdette said. “Once we understand the extent of the impact, we can begin the important work of helping these businesses transition.”