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Projects aspire to increase rural jobs

Oct. 24, 2012 @ 07:05 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Federal, state and local officials came together Tuesday to talk about parlaying federal grants into new jobs for West Virginia in the local food, tourism and advanced manufacturing industries.

The gathering, which took place at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing, marked a celebration of two West Virginia initiatives being among the 13 winners nationally in the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge.

The two projects involve a variety of agencies and organizations providing a range of assistance to businesses or would-be entrepreneurs in the targeted industries.

The two winning initiatives are Southern West Virginia Rural Jobs Accelerator, a project receiving $717,985 in federal funds and aimed at boosting the tourism and manufacturing industries; and West Virginia Value Chain Cluster Initiative, which has been awarded $815,000 to assist farmers and others in the food industry.

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