The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


June 26, 2014

W.Va. exports

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when someone says “West Virginia exports”?

If it’s coal, you wouldn’t be alone in your thoughts.

To be sure, coal is the No. 1 commodity exported by the state — minerals and ores accounted for $4.6 billion of West Virginia’s total merchandise exports in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

But if West Virginia is to keep afloat economically, there must be diversification.

And it appears that is just what is happening.

According to the Department of Commerce, 1,119 companies exported from West Virginia locations in 2012. Of those, 76.9 percent were small- and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees. West Virginia’s export shipments of merchandise in 2013 totaled $8.6 billion.

Looking beyond those numbers, more than 100 commendations issued by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin this week to 37 top West Virginia business exporters show even more diversity.

West Virginia’s exports to 72 different countries represent a wide range of products including consumer goods such as barrel saunas and rope sandals; technology such as computer software; biomedical such as large-scale DNA sequence production; automotive such as truck parts; and manufacturing such as fabricated steel products and industrial ceramics.

A large part of that diversification is represented in southern West Virginia.

Fayetteville’s Robbins Co. exports conveyor systems to Chile, Norway and the Republic of Georgia.

Barrel saunas made by Almost Heaven Saunas in Renick found their way to Finland, Mexico, Norway, Qatar, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

Ezebreal LLC’s Frankford operation sent micro-blaster products to South America.

Three Raleigh County firms sent products overseas — Cogar Manufacturing, mining machinery; Mining Controls Inc., power distribution equipment; and Quality Environmental Containers of Beaver, laboratory sample containers.

Other products include science education kits for schools and universities, china, industrial ceramics, custom cabinetry, pipeline corrosion test kits, used industrial equipment, underground utility locators, fabricated steel products, computer software, rope sandals, bioanalytics, Internet advertising, marbles and more.

Who knew?

We think this is quite an accomplishment.

While we hope that coal will continue to reign as king for years to come, we’re glad that so many have seen — and acted upon — the need to diversify.

For a long time, coal is what everyone depended on to keep West Virginians working.

These awards are proof that there are other directions — successful directions — in which the state can move in order to keep people on the job.

Text Only
  • The play’s the thing

    TWV twins reveal local riches that can’t be found anywhere else

    July 27, 2014

  • Primary care

    DHHR program weans folks away from the ER

    July 24, 2014

  • Rain? What Rain?

    Community still enjoys auto fair despite uncooperative weather

    July 23, 2014

  • Do tell

    It’s hard to keep a secret in today’s here-a-camera, there-a-camera, everywhere-a-camera world. Whatever one does that is embarrassing is immediately posted on YouTube, Facebook or other social media of choice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Juvenile justice

    West Virginia nearly doubled the rate it sent youths to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, in contrast to declining rates of youthful incarceration elsewhere in the United States.

    July 20, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, July 19, 2014

    July 19, 2014

  • Do something

     Johnstown police have charged three men in the brutal murder early Sunday of a city academy student.

    July 18, 2014

  • Showcase

    For White Sulphur Springs, there’s hardly enough time to catch a breath.

    July 17, 2014

  • Bon appetit

    Agriculture and farm products can help diversify state economy

    July 16, 2014

  • Generous

    Outsiders can say what they will about West Virginians — but they can’t say we’re stingy.
    Time after time after time, we band together to help our neighbors out of a jam, aid someone down on their luck or otherwise in a bad way.

    July 15, 2014