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Economic Development Results

Twenty-two years of progress…and counting!

Launching and building HADCO was a pioneer effort. With the area's unemployment rate hovering around 10% in the early 1990's, the need to create an organization to market the area and attract new jobs was established. Because never before had a local public/private partnership been developed for job creation and economic development, HADCO's task was not an easy one.

Moreover, two weeks prior to its official launch, HADCO's initial challenge developed when Huntington's largest employer, the Owens-Illinois Glass Plant, closed. This closure resulted in the loss of 600 jobs. HADCO immediately took the lead role in redevelopment of this site, spearheading its transformation into a multi-tenant industrial park, creating more than 400 jobs.

Thanks to HADCO's leadership, as well as efforts by the City of Huntington, this successful project was selected from among 10 Regional Federal EPA Brownfield projects as National Winner of the Phoenix Award. This award recognizes those who have worked to solve critical environmental problems of transforming abandoned industrial areas into productive new uses. In 1997, HADCO assumed management and marketing responsibility for the site until it was filled with tenants in 2002.

Site and building development, and their role in job creation, continue to play an important part in HADCO's strategic economic initiatives. In recent years, HADCO has constructed four shell buildings that have been leased or sold to national and international manufacturers from Spain, Italy and Japan. Shell Building V, our largest at 100,000 square feet, is in the HADCO Business Park and is ready for occupancy. Shell Building VI, to be located at the Tri-State Airport, is under development and will be available for aviation-related business.

Since completing the Prichard Industrial Park in Wayne County, HADCO developed the HADCO Business Park on a 72-acre site on Route 2 in Cabell County, and recently purchased 55 adjacent acres for Phase II.  Situated in the Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone, this location offers appealing business incentives. HADCO partnered with a developer to create Commerce Park, which allowed GC Services to add another location to their Huntington workforce. Flex Building II, a 20,000 sq ft expandable multi-use facility, is now available in Commerce Park.

In an effort to promote the bio-tech assets at Marshall University, HADCO created the Biotech Alliance, offering assistance with business planning and investor involvement to help launch commercialization projects. Key to commercialization efforts is the ability to capture and keep the spin-off companies in the area. HADCO obtained $1 million in federal funds to develop a biotech lab and is again partnering with Marshall University's Forensic Science Center on the $5 million building that will serve in part as the location for HADCO's Biotechnology Incubator. 

In 2006, HADCO was recognized as the top economic development organization in the South by the Southern Economic Development Council. In 2011, HADCO was once again recognized as one of 29 national economic development organizations accredited by IEDC as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO), and is the only economic development group in the State of West Virginia to hold this accreditation status.

HADCO took the area's economic helm in 1992, and continues to lead the way today as it successfully competes with national and international development organizations for business prospects looking to relocate or expand.