BRIDGEPORT, WV – In yet another landmark day of growth for north central West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice announced today that 240 new, high-paying jobs will be brought to North Central West Virginia Airport over the next five months and also awarded over $2.5 million in Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program grants for a dozen projects in cities and towns all across north central West Virginia.
“There are a lot of good things happening in north central West Virginia and truly all over the state,” Gov. Justice said. “I couldn’t be prouder to be with you today to celebrate.”
Click here to view photo album
Gov. Justice began today’s ceremony by announcing that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Aviation Group, the owner of an aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul facility located at the North Central West Virginia airport in Bridgeport, is experiencing an increase in demand for their services.
MHI Aviation Group has already increased their workforce by approximately 200 employees over the past few months alone, growing from 319 in June to 517 today. Now, MHI Aviation Group plans to add temporary hangar space that will facilitate four additional lines of aircraft maintenance at the Bridgeport location.
As a result, Gov. Justice announced today that MHI Aviation Group will be hiring an additional 240 employees between now and March 2021, bringing the total workforce up to approximately 750 employees.
“To me, as a business guy, adding hundreds and hundreds of great jobs for the hardworking West Virginians in this area is the most exciting thing in the world,” Gov. Justice said. “Really it’s great for all of West Virginia and I love it more than you’ll ever know.
“This is on top of so much other goodness that’s already going on at our North Central West Virginia airport,” Gov. Justice continued.
In August 2019, Gov. Justice requested the necessary funding to jump-start a multimillion-dollar project to enhance and develop North Central West Virginia Airport and the entire surrounding area. The project includes the construction of a new terminal, the creation of approximately 50 additional acres of airport space, and the final development of airport property for additional commercial and industrial use – maximizing the developable land between I-279 and Route 50 in Harrison County.
“The Governor has been very involved in our airport,” said Harrison County Commissioner David Hinkle. “Since becoming Governor, he has helped us tremendously, and what we’re announcing today is going to make our airport continue to grow.”
“The growth that we’re seeing here is unbelievable,” Gov. Justice said. “The opportunities for jobs and for a boost to the economy are off the charts.”
Also as a part of today’s ceremony, Gov. Justice awarded 12 Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program grants, worth $2,548,285 in total, for projects in eight counties across north central West Virginia.
West Virginia Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program grants help towns and cities build and improve sidewalks, lighting, and rail trails. The program is administered by the West Virginia Department of Transportation and funded by the Federal Highway Administration.
“We just got these grants in yesterday and I thought, for crying out loud, I’m going to Bridgeport tomorrow, why not get these out the door? Really and truly, let’s go,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ve got millions and millions of more dollars-worth of these same grants that we’ll be awarding all across the state in the next few days.”
The grants announced today are among the most recent wave of TARTP grants to be awarded this year, which includes a total of 47 grants, worth over $8.6 million, for projects in 29 counties.
Earlier this year, Gov. Justice presented another round of 38 TARTP grants, worth over $7.4 million, for additional projects in 27 counties.
“This puts us at a combined total of over $16 million just this year,” Gov. Justice said. “When it boils right down to it, this is a great day and I couldn’t be happier.”
The projects awarded at today’s event include:
City of Glenville
Glenville Sidewalk Rehabilitation Project: Construction of replacement sidewalk and ADA handrails along North Court Street in Glenville.
City of Bridgeport
Bridgeport Community Connectivity Trail Project: Construction of approximately two miles of hiking/biking trail in Bridgeport.
City of Salem
Salem Sidewalk Project: Design and construction of sidewalk replacement in downtown Salem.
City of Pleasant Valley
Pleasant Valley Sidewalk Project Phase 4: Construction of sidewalk, drainage, curb, gutter, and sidewalk south of Landing Lane along Pleasant Valley Road.
City of Pleasant Valley
Pleasant Valley Sidewalk Project Phase 5: Construction of sidewalk, drainage, curb, gutter, and sidewalk on Tulip Lane along pleasant Valley Road.
City of Morgantown
Morgantown Pleasant Street Streetscape Project: Construction of ADA compliant sidewalks and lighting on Pleasant Street in Morgantown.
City of Morgantown
Morgantown Municipal Airport Streetscape Project: Design of new ADA compliant sidewalks on Hart Field Road and ADA compliant sidewalk connection from terminal to administration building.
Town of Bruceton Mills
Bruceton Mills Sidewalk Project: Design of replacement sidewalks along Union Street in the Town of Bruceton Mills.
Town of Harrisville
Harrisville Sidewalk Improvements Project Phase 4: Design of approximately 2,355 linear feet of sidewalk along Main Street in Harrisville.
City of Parsons
Corricks Ford Battlefield Park Development Project: Construction of new hiking and bike trail and access points to the Allegheny Highlands Trail.
City of Thomas
Thomas Riverfront Bridge Project: Construction of pedestrian/biking bridge in Thomas.
City of Buckhannon
Buckhannon Elizabeth J. “Binky” Poundstone Riverwalk Trail #4 Project: Construction of approximately 1,930 feet of ADA accessible asphalt hiking and biking trail.
The Governor has also awarded the following TARTP grants in the area:
Audra State Park
Alum Cave Overlook: Design and construction of boardwalk and overlook on existing hiking trail within Audra State Park.
Monongalia National Forest
Cheat Mountain North Mower Phase 2: Construction of approximately six miles of bike and hiking trail near Cheat Bridge within the Monongahela National Forest.
Blackwater Falls State Park
Blackwater Loop Trail Improvements and Interpretive Signage: Design and construction of trailheads in Davis City Park and Blackwater Falls State Park both along the eight miles of Blackwater Loop Trail.