The Randolph County Development Authority's executive director, Robbie Morris, told RCDA members Wednesday that Randolph is in a relatively stronger economic position than other counties.
Morris attended the West Virginia University Economic Outlook 2014 Conference Oct. 1 in Charleston, and provided the RCDA Wednesday with graphs including comparisons of industry sectors within and outside the state.
"There's also great data in there about what the workforce trends have been over the last 10 years and what they project over the next five years," said Morris. "For the most part, Randolph County is either in a neutral category or we're on the better side compared to others in our region."
The conference informed attendees that this year - and in the coming years -the state economy will be fairly stagnant with little growth.
"State revenues are not looking pretty," Morris said. "Coal severence tax is down and natural gas prices are low."
He said state grant money will start dwindling and communities need to adjust. Luckily, said Morris, "Randolph County relies more on wood than the coal industry, but the overall state economy will effect everyone."
Morris also attended the West Virginia Economic Development Council's annual conference Sept. 22-24 at Chief Logan Lodge in Logan County.
"It was a great time to network with my colleagues around the state," said Morris. "The same things we hear in Randolph County - good and bad - about the state of the economy were the same things I was hearing from my colleagues. So it's nice to know there are good things happening elsewhere in the state, and that we're not alone in some of the negative aspects of it as well."
Morris said the conference also provided a lot of ideas he hopes to use in the RCDA's future workforce development planning session.
Closer to home, Morris mentioned last week's industry appreciation reception co-hosted by the RCDA, Huntington Bank and FirstEnergy at Halliehurst Mansion.
"I've heard a lot of positive comments from people who attended," Morris said, adding the event went so well that many wish it were held more frequently.
Morris said he will attend the Southern Economic Development Council retreat Oct. 10-11 in Greenville, S.C., and the Young Professionals Meet the Consultants Event on Oct. 30 in Chicago.
Authority board members will also be attending the 2013 Wood Summit to be hosted by the West Virginia Hardwood Alliance Zone on Oct. 16 at the Canaan Valley Institute in Davis.
Morris announced to the board members that he soon expects a draft copy of a 3-5 minute marketing video that was filmed for the RCDA recently.
"It will be another part of our strategic plan," said Morris.
Later in the meeting, it was reported that as of Sept. 30, the RCDA had $529,000 total in cash. Last year there was a capital budget of $72,000. All of the items in the $72,000 were fulfilled, not including the recent cost of the video production.
Morris pointed out there are two major sources of funding that have not yet been received, including the Local Economic Development Grant that is not applied for until April. The other source is a $45,000 allocation from the Randolph County Commission.