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Economic Strength in Charleston, West Virginia

Updated on October 17, 2015
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish is an award-winning Employment & Training pro with regional records and tens of thousands placed into gainful employment.

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Best Places for Jobs

On the Top 30 List of Cities for Finding a Job in the US, Charleston was recognized by the job search engine as the Number Thirteen (13) place in the nation for jobs.

Certain Metropolitan Areas in the country that appear on the newest Top 30 List have also appeared on previous years' Top 25 Lists of such companies as US News and World Reports,, and Money Magazine. Some of these metro areas have been reviewed in Hub Pages and include the following:

Arranged by Ranking on the Top 30 List:

  1. Bismarck ND
  2. Casper WY
  3. Logan Utah
  4. Sioux Falls SD
  5. Morgantown W Va
  6. Ames, Iowa
  7. Fargo ND

A markerCharleston WVa -
Charleston, WV, USA
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Charleston W Va

Economy of Charleston Looking Up

At the Capital of West Virgina, Charleston was first established as a settlement around 1774. Fort Lee was built as a military installation early on. The town grew up around the first settlement by 1794 and built an economy based on first salt in 1806 and then coal and natural gas later. In fact, natural gas was discovered accidentlaly in 1815 when someone drilled for a new salt well.

In the 21st century, the local economy of Charleston and Kanawha County is founded primarily on Government, Education, Healthcare, and Trade & Tourism. Charleston population is over 51,000 individuals, with a cost of living about 24% lower than that of the average of the USA. Future job growth is projects at more than 22% overall up to the year 2016 - TWICE that of America as a whole.


New devlopment reconstruction began in the urban disrtrict of Charleston in 2004 with the Riverfront Development Project. In addtiion, the East End Main Street project is an ongoing reconstruction of Charleston's Historic District that creates jobs and attracts new businesses as well as to boost tourism and retail trade. This second project includes several services, i.e.: the East End Urban Street Fair, a new grocery store, a newsletter, a local garden showcase and tour, free public Wi-Fi internet access, renovation assistance funding, and an annual Eco Day.

Sustainability and Alternative Energy in Charleston:

Center For Economic Options - Sustainability; "going green" in the Healthcare Industry is a primary target. This is a non-profit corporation that helps local businesses achieve environmental sustainability in daily operations and long-term goals.

WVa Studies Ireland’s Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Practices

Charleston Downtown Area

A markerCharleston W Va -
Charleston, WV, USA
get directions

Focus on Health in Charleston

Charleston W Va is a Top 30 City for Jobs in America, in part because of its progressive stance on improving healthcare.

The state legislature and the city government have adopted Top 10 Healthcare Improvements list for its citizens in late fall, 2008. All of these improvements are felt by the legislature and city council to be fully possible and desirable. These important improvements include:

  1. Healthcare Insurance reform - additional coverage, for more people.
  2. Electonic Medical Records - consistently correct, with efficient access.
  3. Preventing costs shifted from state to private sector locally.
  4. Personal healthcare responsibility - Public Health initiatives for wellness and prevention.
  5. Upgrade in health and medical education opportunities.
  6. The establishment of long-term "medical homes" where individuals receive a history of consistent healthcare over the life span.
  7. Community care clinics - Expansion and upgrade.
  8. Dental and oral health initiatives - Dental health affects overalll health.
  9. Workplace Wellness initiative - Prevention at work.
  10. End-of-Life Care - The last six months of healthcare have proven to be the most expensive (too expensive). Planning and better long-term life span care and prevention are needed to increase quality of life and reduce costs during the last six months.

Largest Employers in Charleston

The first five organizations in this list are also among the Top 100 Largest State Employers in West Virginia.

  1. Charleston Area Medical Center - includes three separate divisions.
  2. McJunkin Redman Corporation - Industrial machinery and parts; pipes, valves, etc.
  3. Thomas Memorial Hospital
  4. Verizon - wireless communications.
  5. State Department of Motor Vehicles - Government.
  6. West Virginia University Hospitals/ United Hospitals
  7. Kanawha County Board of Education and Kroger Company (groceries), tied.
  8. US Postal Service - Government.
  9. City of Charleston WVa - Government.
  10. WVa Department of Health and Human Resources - Government/ E & T.

Top 10 Healthy Industries in Kanawha County

  1. Office & Administrative Support - especially in Healthcare, Education, and Government; clerical, data entry, and several others.
  2. Wholesale and Retail Sales - includes supervisors and related positions like sales representatives.
  3. Transportation/Freight & Material Moving
  4. Food/Beverage Preparation and Service - front an dback of house operations.
  5. Production and Maufacturing
  6. Construction/Extraction Trades and helpers
  7. Healthcare/Medical Techs and Support
  8. Management - all levels in various industries.
  9. Education and Training (E & T)
  10. Installation, Maintenance & Repair

Registered Nurse (RN) - Job Description

Top 10 Fast Growing Jobs in Charleston to 2016

From 2006 to 2016, Charleston and Kanahwa County project the addition of approximately 4,000 open jobs because a combination of 1) jobs growth and 2) replacements attributed to retirement, death, and termination. The top 10 Jobs in this metro area include:

  1. Office & Admin Support staff
  2. Transportation/Freight and Material Moving
  3. Adult and Continuing Education & Training Instructors and Assistants
  4. Healthcare Practitioners (MDs, Nurse Practitioners, etc.) and Registered Nurses
  5. Salespersons and Sales Representatives
  6. Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations
  7. Food and Beverage Preparation workers - back of house, plus managers, bartenders, busboys, etc.
  8. Food and Beverage Servers - waiters and waitresses.
  9. School Teachers - Elementary, Secondary (High School), and Special Education for all grades.
  10. Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Staff

Forensic Accounting - Insurance Fraud

Higher Education in Charleston

Sports and Recreation

  • West Virginia Power - Minor league baseball.
  • West Virginia Wild - Basketball.
  • Kanahwa State Park - Outdoor sports and recreation.
  • FestivALL Charleston - Arts and music festival each June.
  • Capitol Market
  • Mountain Stage NPR radio broadcasts.
  • Urban Deer Hunt - Bow hunting within the city limits from October through December.

© 2009 Patty Inglish


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Hi Netters! It's pretty there, isn't it? They also have a lot of good things going on.

    • Netters profile image

      Netters 9 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

      Oooh! I think I like this area. Thank you Patty!