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Mineral County Economy

While coal and the railroad may have provided impetus to Mineral County's early economic growth, the County has since diversified in its industrial output. Although it sits in the Maryland side of the Potomac River, Mead-Westvaco's Fine Papers Division depends heavily on Mineral County for its labor (approximately 570 West Virginians work for Westvaco) and raw materials. Within Mineral County's borders, a wide range of industries exist that provide employment to Mineral County residents and products for a nation market.

Higher Education

Potomac State College makes an important economic contribution to the region.  The College employs 122 persons on a full-time basis, with a payroll of about $3 million annually.  capital investment by the College has averaged about a half-million dollars annually in the past five years. In addition to the direct impact of the College's 4.6 million dollars in annual expenditures, the effect of the many retirees from the College faculty and classified employees who remain, add further economic benefits.

Agriculture

The earlier settlers were attracted to this area of mountains and ridges because of its rich, fertile soil. Mineral County has 75,000 acres of land under cultivation by 300 farms each averaging 252 acres.  The majority of these are farmed by part-time as their owners also work in local industry. Mineral County agriculture is very diverse and contributes over $3.5 million to the local economy.

Potential

Close proximity to the population centers of the East provides great potential for all markets.  Mineral County Development Authority provides marketing and financial information for new and existing businesses and industry. The labor force of Mineral County consists mainly of native-born workers; however, new residents are contributing to the growing work force.  There have been no serious labor difficulties in the area in the last 30 years.

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 state-wide through research and development of the software industry.