Meeting with Business Leaders in the Northern Panhandle

In Weirton this week, I joined with local business leaders to discuss the future of manufacturing in the Ohio River Valley. Driving up and down the Ohio River you see just how hard our area has been hit by the decline of steel and manufacturing. We have a responsibility to protect the jobs we already have and find areas where manufacturers can grow and create jobs.

The roundtable meeting included representatives from local businesses including Coil Slitting International, Ergon, ArcelorMittal, and Wheeling Nisshin, as well as leaders from the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Brooke-Hancock Business Development Corporation.

The discussion covered a wide range of topics including workforce development, infrastructure, burdensome regulations, health care, and taxes. It’s important to listen to the challenges these businesses are facing and find ways to help them.We don’t have all the answers in Washington. We are able to take ideas from meetings like this one and take action.


Training West Virginia's Workforce

Thursday, I had the opportunity to visit active training sites for manufacturers in West Virginia. We toured the West Virginia Laborers Training Facility in Mineral Wells, Sheet Metal Workers training facility, and the Carpenters Training Facility, both in Parkersburg.

Apprentices in the WV Laborer Training Facility undergo 408 hours of classroom and hands-on training in construction skills, safety training, environmental remediation, and more. Prior to setting foot on a job site they must receive 160 hours of classroom and hands-on training.

The WV Carpenter Apprenticeship program is a four year program that teaches the apprentices a “dirt to doorknobs” approach to their trade. They train in everything from site layout, concrete forms, framing, scaffolding, blueprints, welding, interior systems, finish work, and much more. While the Sheetmetal apprenticeships include 160 hours of classroom time and 600 hours of on the job training over 5 years.

All these programs present incredible facilities and carefully train apprentices so they can ensure they have the skills needed for the future of our economy.


West Virginia Receives Grant to Fight Drug Abuse

West Virginia received $1 million grant for the COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program(CAMP), the largest award given this year. The Community Oriented Policing Services(COPS)CAMP grant is a competitive grant program designed to directly fund state law enforcement agencies to investigate criminal activities related to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine

Communities across West Virginia are feeling the impacts of methamphetamine abuse and the criminals who make and sell the drug. Methamphetamine abuse is destroying lives and tearing families apart. This funding will provide law enforcement with much needed resources to counteract this blight on our communities. We need to use all the resources at our disposal to take criminals off our streets and disrupt the flow of drugs.

CAMP funding grants last two years, and can be used for activities such as locating methamphetamine laboratories and investigating traffickers.


National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month(NBCAM), which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. NBCAM is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies that work together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and prove greater access to services.

As the second leading cause of death among women, breast cancer has affected so many of our moms, wives, sisters, and daughters. The disease hits close to home — one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

In Congress, House Republicans will be “thinking pink” and encouraging the women in our communities to get the proper exams to protect themselves and their health. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.

This October, we remember those who have lost their lives to this terrible, tragic disease and cherish the survivors. It is in their honor that we will continue to fight to bring an end to breast cancer once and for all. We must remember to keep looking for a cure.


Wheeling Teacher Named WV Teacher of the Year

Wheeling Park High School English teacher, Gail Adams, was named 2015 West Virginia Teacher of the Year. West Virginia’s Teacher of the Year is the state’s top honor for teachers. Winners are selected for their exceptional dedication, knowledge, and skill as a teacher.  They inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues, play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school, be posed, articulate, and possess the energy to withstand a taxing schedule.

Gail Adams has been a teacher with Ohio County School for 10 years, and has shown dedication to her students during that time. The state Teacher of the Year receives a $15,000 educational technology package, cash awards from Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Horace Mann Insurance and the use of a Toyota car for a year. Congratulations to Gail and to Ohio County Schools, you deserve it.


Constituent Meetings

Throughout October I am traveling around the First District meeting with constituents and visiting local businesses. Next week I will be meeting in Moundsville, Morgantown, Fairmont, and Clarksburg to name a few. Keep an eye out, I may be visiting your town.

If you are ever in the Washington D.C. office please drop in and say hello. If you want an appointment just give my office a call at 202-225-4172, or submit a request on my website at www.mckinley.house.gov.

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Washington, DC
412 Cannon HOB | Washington, DC 20515
Phone:(202)225-4172 | Fax:(202)225-7564
709 Beechurst Ave.
Suite 14B
Morgantown, WV 26505
Phone: 304.284.8506
Horne Building
1100 Main Street, Suite 101
Wheeling, WV 26003
Fax: 304-232-3813
Federal Building
425 Juliana Street
Suite 1004
Parkersburg, WV 26101