Kanawha Scales & Systems was pleased to host WV Commerce Secretary, Ed Gaunch, and his team during his Listening Tour last month. While the weather was near blizzard status, the Department of Commerce team still met with several Putnam County businesses to, in part, show appreciation for thriving WV business’ contributions to the State’s economic and employment growth, but also to discuss ways to further improve doing business in the Mountain State.

“Our company’s leadership was honored to meet with Secretary Gaunch and his team to discuss challenges facing West Virginia businesses. We had the opportunity to provide our insights on how state government might help ease these pain points, and to learn about the State’s initiatives to facilitate business growth. The Department of Commerce and the Development Office offer great incentives to bring businesses and growth to the state.” says KSS Chief Operating officer, Jim Freeman.

Freeman was joined by KSS leadership team members, Duane Bennett, System Sales Engineer; Yu wen Yao, CEO of Asian Operations; Rob Foy, CFO, and Larry Wigal, Global Loadout Sales Director. Stakeholders from the State included Morganne Tenney, Business Retention & Expansion Manager for the Department of Commerce; Mike Graney, WV Development Office Executive Director; and Samantha Smith, the Department of Commerce’s Director of Marketing & Communications.

The continually rising cost of healthcare was not to be ignored, as this is one of the biggest expenses associated with doing business today. Gaunch assured us that he is engaged on the matter. Issues such as the challenge to find and hire qualified technical talent like engineers and welders were met with assurance that WV is offering programs to ease this pain. Learn & Earn co-op, offered through West Virginia’s Community & Technical College Systems, helps fund students on the job training while in school.

Freeman stated, “We also learned a bit more about the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing’s Apprenticeship Works program in partnership with the US Department of labor, in its fourth year of operation in the state.”

Secretary Gaunch has been promoting elimination of the state’s tax on manufacturing machinery, equipment, and inventory as incentive to bring businesses to the Mountain State. This would certainly benefit companies like KSS, as a leading manufacturer of Scale Test Equipment Trucks and machinery. While the initiative is an uphill battle, West Virginia companies like KSS are grateful to Gaunch for his commitment to the fight.