Non-profits collaborate to host WV DOH Vendor Fair

Aug. 1, 2018

The Robert C. Byrd Institute’s (RCBI) Appalachian Hatchery project, in partnership with Advantage Valley, is hosting a West Virginia Division of Highways Vendor Fair designed to link statewide small businesses to the Department of Transportation’s procurement process. The August 23 event will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Valley Park Conference Center in Hurricane.

“Through the sale of bonds, our state is investing $1.6 billion over four years to improve roadways and transportation infrastructure,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI director & CEO. “This is a huge investment, one that has the opportunity to benefit small businesses and contractors. Our goal is to link homegrown businesses to this tremendous opportunity, ensuring that money remains here, supporting West Virginians and creating jobs.”

Terrell Ellis, executive director of Advantage Valley, echoed Weber’s optimism and the need to help as many West Virginia businesses as possible take advantage of this unique opportunity.

“In 2017 companies in the region only supplied about 40 percent of the demand for goods and services within this sector, and that was before the road bonds were issued,” Ellis said. “This is an important step in our goal of assisting businesses to grow and expand.”

West Virginia companies will learn about opportunities in materials, services, supplies and commodities required for the day-to-day operation of the West Virginia Division of Highways. They also will gain an understanding of the buying process for the transportation infrastructure industry, where along the supply chain they most likely are to get stuck, and the existing assistance and information available to help them work through the procurement process, win contracts and create jobs.

Workshop panelists will include representatives from the West Virginia Department of Transportation Division of Highways Contract Administration, the West Virginia State Tax Department, the West Virginia Division of Labor Contractor Licensing Board and the Contractors Association of West Virginia.

This effort is a project of RCBI’s Appalachian Hatchery, which is part of POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization), a multi-agency initiative that delivers federal resources to help communities affected by job losses in coal mining and related industries. Funding is provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission, U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

The West Virginia Department of Highways Vendor Fair is free and open to the public. Register at www.rcbi.org/go/workshop2.