West Virginia Executive Spring 2017 - Page 61

JAVIER REYES, PH.D. The Supply Chain Advantage There is no question that West Virginia should have a sense of urgency in diversifying its economy. There is also no question that the state is well acquainted with the indus- tries that can help achieve that diversifica- tion. Among those industries is manufactur- ing and, in turn, supply chain management. Decades ago, the state was well known for its manufacturing capabilities, from chemicals and wood products to glass, iron and aluminum. Now, as West Virginia looks to expand its capabilities beyond extractive industries, manufacturing and supply chain opportunities have presented themselves in the form of major compa- nies locating within the state, as well as the development of advanced technology and knowledge. Technology has helped make supply chain an essential component of ef- ficiently transporting goods and services to By embracing supply chain management within West Virginia’s manufacturing industry, the state will not only benefit from industry and revenue growth but will be better able to accomplish the economic diversification it so strongly needs. where there is demand for them as quickly as possible. All of these elements combined can spark a major manufacturing renais- sance in the state. Mountain State Advantages According to Dr. John Deskins, director of the West Virginia University (WVU) Bureau of Business and Economic Research, it is critical to create investment and policy that make West Virginia attractive to the man- ufacturing industry. “Manufacturing and supply chain represent opportunities to bring money into the state’s economy and provide good jobs that entice residents to stay in West Virginia and encourage others to move here,” he says. What benefits does West Virginia offer? Human capital. Geographic location. Knowl- edge. Natural gas abundance. These are all advantages with which the manufacturing and supply chain industries can flourish. West Virginia’s workforce has a reputa- tion for its work ethic. A willing and avail- able workforce is a major strength in the manufacturing an 䁍ɥ)ͥ䁕ɵȁѥ)ѡɅѥٔɥ́ѡɽ՝ɕݕ)ѡͥʹ䁕ɅɕɅ)Ʌ䁥́ݼمх́])Yɝͥ́ݥѡéɥٔݼѡɑ)ѡTLձѥɕ́ѽݼ)ѡɝЁ́́͡ѡݽɱ-ݰ)ѥ͔ɽչՙȴ)䁍ɕɅѡ)䁍́ɔɕ䁅م)ɽͽɍ́Ս́ȁՍѥ)ѥѥ̰ѡ]ЁYɝ5ՙɕ)ͽѥՙɕ́ݡٔ)]ЁYɝ)]]\]Ya UQ%Y =4$)L@H$8Ȁ(