Development office certifies RCDA status

The executive director of the Randolph County Development Authority is celebrating a new milestone.

Robbie Morris was recently notified that the RCDA received its Certified Development Community Recertification from the West Virginia Development Office. That means the agency can continue operating as a state-certified economic development office for another three-year period.

J. Keith Burdette, executive director of the WVDO, sent a Jan. 23 letter to Morris congratulating him on the positive economic impact the RCDA has had on Randolph County.

“After reviewing the application (for CDC recertification), which includes your long range strategic plan, long range funding plan, community profile and economic development evaluation, I am pleased to approve your application and to continue your status as Certified Development Community for another three-year period,” Burdette wrote.

Morris said Monday that the recertification “represents that we (the RCDA) have all of the tools necessary to recruit and retain businesses in Randolph County.”

“The process of applying for recertification is rather extensive,” Morris added. “We send in everything from the annual snowfall to the capacities of the public service districts to labor information. It (earning recertification) means we have the processes and the procedures and the funding in place – as well as the strategies and strategic planning – to do what we need to do to create jobs in Randolph County.”

So, in which sectors are jobs being created locally?

“Tourism has been growing, and the wood products industry has been making a comeback,” Morris said. “Health care is growing. Those are the most significant at this point.

“Other areas are business services in the technology sector, and we’re starting to see a little bit of growth in the energy sector between coal mine production and wind mills. We’re also starting to have some more natural gas involvement.”

The RCDA’s next recertification application is due Dec. 15, 2015. It was first certified in 1996, Morris said.

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