Economic Development

Welcome to Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston is optimally located within a day’s drive to large consumer markets. 

Charleston is the capital city of West Virginia and is the business, financial, government and cultural center of the state. With a population of over 219,000 the Charleston area is comprised of three counties, Boone, Clay, and Kanawha. The largest of these counties, Kanawha, is home to Charleston. 

Charleston’s workforce is ready for you. 

West Virginia’s community and technical colleges provide low to no-cost tuitions to allow affordable access to post-secondary education and emphasize training and certificates in industries that fit the needs of the state’s businesses and economy.  Learn more about Charleston’s workforce! 

Charleston is for everyone! 

West Virginia is conducive for all lifestyles. Whether you’re single young professionals, families or aging empty-nesters, Charleston has unique experiences to offer everyone, and the Charleston Area Alliance is committed to creating an inclusive environment where people want to live, work and play. Learn more about life in Charleston, West Virginia! 


Target Sectors

Chemical and Polymer Hub 

Charleston has a long history of chemical production, which has spread throughout the Kanawha County region and West Virginia. Chemical industrial parks provide opportunities for shared services and colocation with existing infrastructure and permitting in place.

Growing Tech Hub 

The Charleston Area is host to a growing tech hub due to low operational costs and a quality workforce. 

Automotive Components 

Charleston has a longstanding relationship with automotive component manufacturers, from Toyota to NGK Sparkplugs to locally owned businesses, the region provides easy access to suppliers of raw materials and a  skilled, reliable workforce.


Transportation

Highways

  • Interstates: I-64, I-77, I-79, West Virginia Turnpike 
  • US Highways: 35, 60, 119 
  • State Routes: 25, 61, 62, 114, 501, 601, 622

Yeager Airport

  • Yeager Aiport offers daily commuter flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Yeager Airport is dedicated to advancing aviation and education in the Charleston, West Virginia area.
  • Learn more about the Marshall University Bill Noe Flight School here

Water

  • Kanawha River

Railways

  • Freight

Transit

Utilities

Electric Power

Natural Gas Supplier

Water Treatment 


Incentives

Please visit the West Virginia Development Office site for a comprehensive list of West Virginia’s business incentives. 

The Charleston Area Alliance is dedicated to meeting your company’s needs and will work with your business or organization to explore West Virginia’s tax credits and financing programs. West Virginia’s development assistance programs can provide cost savings to businesses choosing to operate in the Mountain State. 

  • Corporate Headquarters Credit: Tax credits eligible to companies relocating their corporate headquarters and creating 15 new jobs (including relocated employees) within the first year. 
  • Economic Opportunity Credit: Companies creating 20 new jobs within a specified time limit as a result of their business expansion projects can explore this credit, which can offset up to 80 percent of taxes. 
  • “Five-forTen” Program: Tax incentive for businesses making qualified capital improvements of at least $10 million to an existing base of $20 million or more, assessing the new capital addition at a salvage value of 3 percent for the first 10 years. 
  • Manufacturing Investment Credit: Allows a 60 percent corporate net income tax credit and franchise tax credit based on investment with no new job creation required. 
  • Manufacturing Sales Tax Exemption: Businesses are exempt from the 6 percent state sales and use tax for materials and equipment purchased for direct use in manufacturing. 
  • Strategic R&D Credit: Allows for up to 100 percent tax offset for R&D projects. R&D expenses are exempt from sales tax. 
  • The Freeport Amendment:  Goods in transit to an out-of-state destination are exempt from “ad valorem” property taxes when warehoused in West Virginia

Workforce and Education

Workforce

Charleston is the state’s premier business center due to its industrial diversity and numerous job opportunities. There are more than 8,000 businesses in Kanawha County representing more employment possibilities than any other West Virginia county. A stable and abundant workforce enables companies in the chemical, automotive, healthcare, telecommunications and professional services sector to flourish.

  • The Charleston region has a labor force of over 87,000 people.
  • Of our labor force, nearly 20,000 work in an office or administrative support position.
  • Over 9,000 work as executives, managers or administrators.
  • Over 9,300 businesses operate in the Charleston Area, employing over 123,000 people.
  • Of those businesses, over 2,700 offer professional, scientific or technical services employing over 28,000 people 

Education

West Virginia offers businesses a variety of workforce training programs and educational opportunities that provide industries with a skilled labor force in the Charleston Area. 

  • Five fully accredited colleges and universities serve the Charleston region offering quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 
  • West Virginia Invests Program is a “last-dollar-in” financial aid program designed to cover the cost of basic tuition and fees for certificate or associate degree programs in specific high-demand fields at a participating West Virginia public two- or four-year institution. 
  • West Virginia’s community and technical colleges have created nearly 150 new customer training programs, many in partnership with companies and business investors in our region. 
  • Governor’s Guaranteed Work Force Program provides new or expanding companies training funds and technical assistance to support effective employee training strategies. 
  • Workforce West Virginia acts as the one-stop-shop for workforce resources, including assistance throughout the hiring process, support for employee training, tax incentives and labor market information. 

Available Sites and Buildings

The Charleston Area Alliance is ready to help your business or client find their next location in Charleston, West Virginia. Connect with our economic development team today. 


Connect with our Economic Development Team!

The Charleston Area Alliance won’t just welcome your business, we’ll make it better. We provide services like site location, entrepreneurial and workforce training development, as well as connections to the right people and resources to ensure your success.

Victoria Russo