Seven counties in southern West Virginia deemed AEROready

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BEAVER, WV (WVNS) — Seven counties around the Raleigh County Memorial Regional Airport are now certified as AEROready communities.

Fayette, Raleigh, Summers, Nicholas, Wyoming, Mercer, and McDowell Counties were all analyzed to ensure they were ready to support the Aerospace industry.

With this advancement, Airport Manager, Tom Cochran, said they will be clearing land around the airport and upgrading the area with broadband.

“The development of this project covers a very large gambent of opportunities,” Cochran said.

The project will create roughly 3,000 jobs in the region, from mechanics to engineers and those in the Aerospace industry.

“We’re gonna develop the property adjacent to the runway. That’s what we call Oceanfront, so to speak,” Cochran said. “So that they have access to the runway. So that’s an industry-wide interest.”

Having this many new jobs will require training and education. New River Community and Technical College President, Bonny Copenhaver, said they are partnering with the airport to ensure people have the proper certifications.

“We were able to sit at the table, to ask questions, to be part of that conversation to get us to this point and to be able to continue to sit at that table going forward,” Copenhaver said.

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