Workforce and Education

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 


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. 

Learn More about Workforce

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.