WESTON, W.Va. — Elected officials in Lewis County are expecting some significant economic growth with various entities and industries making a move into the county.
Fountain Quail Energy Services recently announced more than 160 new jobs coming to Lewis County as part of a new field office to open in the Jane Lew Industrial Park.
Lewis County Commissioner Agnes Queen said she is looking forward to seeing the jobs that will be created by the new facility.
“It’s going to spur growth. The pay that it’s going to bring in for the individuals is going to be higher than your normal hourly wages that you normally get for minimum wage, so we’re very excited about that,” Queen said. “It will come with good benefits, which people really, really need around here, so we’re very excited about it.”
While Fountain Quail Energy Services certainly won’t be the first entity to move into the Jane Lew Industrial Park, the new field office will be a great step in helping the complex recover from the business it has lost.
“We have several different entities at the industrial park, one being (West Virginia Pool Construction),” Queen said. “Several of our buildings have become empty because of the downturn in oil and gas industry, so we’re looking to fill those with the rebirth of the oil and gas industry.”
Queen said several other oil and gas companies have been filtering back into Lewis County as the industry picks back up.
“We’re noticing that some of our empty buildings that lie within the county are starting to see new businesses come in, new companies and different names of businesses,” she said. “We also are seeing more contacts from companies wanting help finding employees to go to work, especially with needing CDL drivers, field hands and those kinds of things. We’re seeing a lot more of that.”
Not only does the hiring itself benefit Lewis County economically, the indirect jobs, such as restaurants and local businesses, see tremendous impact from those moving into the area.
Queen said that type of indirect impact will grow exponentially once the Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction begins.
“That’s also going to spur even more with the local grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants,” she said. “A lot of individuals are very excited to see the industry pick up and the possibilities of new growth in our community with all the development starting to happen.”
Oil and gas isn’t the only industry that is set to bring jobs and revenue into Lewis County. The recently passed Roads to Prosperity Bond Referendum will allow for $28 million in road construction and repair projects.
“That’ll bring more people to the area, get the roads fixed and new projects, especially at the Corridor H/I-79 interchange,” Queen said. “We’re very excited about that because that will also open up some land and some development in that area.”
Additonally, with Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital’s recent partnership with MonHealth, Queen expects that to bring economic growth to Lewis County as well.
“They’re going to build a new hospital in our county,” Queen said. “We’re very excited about that and the jobs and development that will bring.”