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Mineral County contains two advanced-technology high schools and boasts a drop-out rate of only 1%. Mineral County Schools were granted full accreditation by the State Board of Education and students' test scores are among the best in the State, consistently outperforming national norms on the CTBS Potomac State College, affiliated with West Virginia University, is located in Keyser along with the Vocational-Technical Training Center. In the County, 10.4% of the population are college graduates and 73% are high school graduates.
Education is tied closely to the business community. Potomac State College is a residential junior college branch of West Virginia University. Aside from the traditional college preparatory programs, Potomac State offers a number of two-year vocational-technical programs that help prepare individuals for the local job market.
The Mineral County Vocational Technical Center works closely with the business community. The Center can train both youth and adults for specific needs, including industrial and office skills.
The Mineral County school system offers an excellent school-to-work program that prepares students for careers in the area.
The region 8 Revolving Loan Fund is a program through which financing assistance is being made available to qualified businesses located in Mineral County. Up to $50,000 is available at low interest rates. To qualify, projects must meet these standards:
West Virginia Economic Development Authority WVEDA provides low interest loans from a revolving fund for land, building, and equipment. WVEDA may participate in up to 50% of project cost with a general lending guideline limit of $500,000 per project. West Virginia also has available other loan guarantee programs for industry locating or expanding in the state.
With a labor force of 105,097 that covers a wide area, Mineral County offers a diversified industrial output. A northern West Virginia county that borders Maryland, near Cumberland, Mineral County's major manufacturers include propulsion units, glass, lumber, kitchen equipment, packaging, mineral fabrication and limestone.
Mineral County's commercial center, Keyser, is the hub of this rural county. Mineral County has 75,000 acres of land under cultivation by 300 farms each averaging 252 acres. Although agriculture contributes over $3.5 million to the local economy, the majority of these are farmed part-time as their owners also work in the local industry. This work ethic is the backbone of Mineral County's progressive nature.
Mineral County is an active member of the Eastern Gateway Panhandle Software Chapter of Software Valley, a cooperative effort of leaders in West Virginia's academic, business, industry, and government sectors to foster economic revitalization statewide through research and development of the software industry.
Potomac Highlands Support Services (PHSS) is a local government entity established in 1972 as the human services division of the Region VIII Planning and Development Council (PHSS). It receives federal and state funding to operate a variety of community service programs. PHSS currently operates programs in Berkeley, Barbour, Doddridge, Grant, Hardy, Harrison, Hampshire, Jefferson, Lewis, Mineral, Morgan, Pendleton, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker, and Upshur Counties.
PHSS is a member of the Work Force Transition Committee in Mineral County. This committee has representation from Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) service providers, Welfare to Work (WtW) service providers, Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Potomac State College, Vocational Rehabilitation, Chamber of Commerce, Potomac Valley Transit, private sector employment, Bureau of Employment Programs (BEP), Adult Education and the Vocational Education system. Its purpose is to analyze public assistance client needs within the county and to work jointly to provide services to meet those needs.
West Virginia realizes the importance of technology development to stay at the edge of world wide economic competition. With state of the art telecommunications and a variety of public and private technology initiatives, West Virginia is positioned to meet this challenge.
For additional information on advanced technology applications in West Virginia, please contact:
John R. Snider
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