Why The Northern Panhandle

Access to industry, labor, and communities makes our area a tremendous asset to business.

Diversified economy–Energy, chemicals, value-added metals, transportation logistics, and health care:

The industry clusters of energy/shale, value-added metals, chemicals, warehouse/distribution/transportation logistics, and health care have grown organically and attracted new investments. Highlights include:

  • Energy/Shale: Ergon, Eagle/Justrite Safety Group Manufacturing, Marsh Bellofram, Bidell, Pietro Fiorentini, Form Energy, Empire Diversified Energy
  • Value-added Metals: Wheeling-Nippon, Precoat Metals, Cleveland Cliffs, Jupiter Aluminum, Colonial Slitting International, Bulldog Rack, Crown Cork & Seal, NEO Industries, Chrome Deposit Corporation, Maple Manufacturing Company, Fanti USA
  • Transportation Logistics: Rue21, Starvaggi Port, American Muscle Docks, Campbell Transportation, Feroleto Steel, Empire Diversified Energy
  • Healthcare: Weirton Medical Center
  • Chemicals/Ceramics: FSTI, Metsch Refractories, Fiesta Tableware Company, Sal Chemical 

Strong record of private investments: $700 million of private investment, since 2010.

Transportation 650 Jobs
Chemicals/Ceramics 920 Jobs
Metals 1725 Jobs
Energy 1845 Jobs
Healthcare 1300 Jobs

Regional Economic Development

Park Place Development Construction officially underway

Construction of a mixed-use development project within the 3 Springs Business Park of Weirton, WV is officially underway. The first phase of construction involves a 24,000 square foot first floor mixed retail space for new businesses in the region as well as 32 “executive style” apartments on the second floor of the building. The project is being completed through a public-private partnership with Park Drive Development LLC, Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle, and City of Weirton. Completion of the first phase is expected in late 2024 with lease space opportunities immediately following. 


FORM ENERGY SELECTS WEIRTON, WV as location for iron air battery production facility

Form Energy, Inc., an American technology company development and commercializing a new class of cost-effective, multi-day energy storage systems has announced their selection of Weirton, WV to construct their first mass production facility on a 55-acre site that previously houses iron and steelmaking operations of Weirton Steel Corporation. The project will culminate the construction of an 840,000 square foot production facility with employment of 750 by the end of 2028. Construction of the facility and hiring is currently underway. 

FANTI USA Completed Ribbon Cutting of $40M Metal Packaging facility in Weirton, WV

On October 13th, 2023 Fanti USA celebrated the ribbon cutting of its first US manufacturing facility in Weirton, WV at the Half Moon Industrial Park. The facility is expected to bring 40-plus jobs within the next three years. Weirton was selected as the finalist in site selection for the strong support of the community and State of WV as well as the strategic location according to CEO Nicola De Santis. Fanti USA will produce U.S. made metal cons for chemical products utilizing state-of-the-art production equipment. 


In June of 2023 Pure Watercraft held the ribbon cutting for its first large scale commercial manufacturing operations at the Beech Bottom Industrial Park. The company will produce fully integrated electric pontoon boats utilizing a General Motors automotive battery pack. Pure Watercraft has taken occupancy of approximately 112,000 square feet of renovated space within the Industrial Park and anticipates creating over 100 jobs within the next three years. Production start-up and hiring is currently underway. 


Building the Wellsburg Bridge

In 2016, Flatiron was awarded the project to build the Wellsburg Bridge. The $131 million bridge is planned to connect WV Route 2 to Route 7 in Brilliant, OH. The bridge is being built offsite and will be delivered by barge before being installed. The bridge was commissioned and opened to the public September 20th, 2023.



National (US)
Unemployment Rates 
  • 2010 – 3.9% 
  • 2019 – 3.7% 
  • Jan 2024 – 3.7% 
West Virginia 
Unemployment Rates 
  • 2010 – 8.6%
  • 2019 – 4.4%
  • Jan 2024 – 4.3% 
Hancock County
Unemployment Rates 
  • 2010 – 13.7% 
  • 2019 – 5.4% 
  • Jan 2024 – 5.3%
Brooke County 
Unemployment Rates 
  • 2010 – 13.3% 
  • 2019 – 5.1% 
  • Jan 2024 – 5.1%


  • $434 million in private investment since 2010.
  • In 2018, Brooke and Hancock County realized 29% growth in construction jobs.
  • In 2017, Brooke and Hancock County percentage increase was among the top 5% of the country and the highest among the MSAs in WV, PA, and OH.


  • Over $50 billion of construction projects coming to our region from large multi-national energy companies.
  • Construction jobs will remain tremendous opportunities for trades.
  • Longer-term employment options will be present.


Construction jobs:

29% increase in 2018

  • Weirton-Steubenville ranks 1st in construction growth: Consecutive years tri-county area ranks highest in nation in increase in constructions jobs. See more at: https://www.agc.org/news/2018/05/02/construction-employment-increases-245-metro-areas-between-march-2017-2018-trade
  • The Associated General Contractors report found a gain of 26 percent – 500 jobs (1,900 to 2,400 construction jobs) – between November 2017 and November 2018 in the Weirton-Steubenville Metropolitan Area.
  • The Weirton-Steubenville Metropolitan Area consists of Brooke and Hancock counties in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia and Jefferson County in Ohio.

12% increase in 2017

  • The percentage increase is among the top 5% in the country and the highest percentage increase among the MSAs in WV, PA, and OH.
  • The Associated General Contractors report found a gain of 12 percent – 200 jobs (1,700-1,900 construction jobs) – between Nov 2016 and Nov 2017 in the Weirton-Steubenville Metropolitan Area.

16% increase in 2016

  • Weirton-Steubenville 3rd in nation in construction growth: Consecutive years tri-county area ranks among highest in nation in increase in construction jobs. See more at: http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/news/2016/12/27/local-construction-jobs-jumped-in-nearby-metro.html
  • The Associated General Contractors report found a gain of 16 percent — 300 jobs — between November 2015 and November 2016 in the Weirton-Steubenville Metropolitan Area. The percentage increase from 1.900 to 2,200 employed was less than only three other markets, all in the West: Boise City, Idaho; El Centro, Calif.; and Albany, Ore.
  • The Weirton-Steubenville Metropolitan Area consists of Brooke and Hancock counties in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia and Jefferson County in Ohio.

50% increase in 2015


West Virginia Development Office
The West Virginia Development Office is committed to opening our doors for business by providing the assistance, services, and information you need to live and work in West Virginia.

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation
The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation has served West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania since it was established in 1944 by Michael and Sarah Benedum. Grants are made to support specific initiatives in the areas of Education, Economic Development, Health and Human Services, and Community Development.

The Northern West Virginia Brownfield Assistance Center
The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers were created in 2005 by the West Virginia Legislature to empower communities to plan and implement brownfield redevelopment projects.  The two Centers promote economic development and environmental and public health protection through the innovative redevelopment of brownfield sites.  The Centers also promote and coordinate the development of brownfield property by providing training and technical assistance, facilitating site preparation efforts, engaging community involvement, as well as by helping communities with grant writing, and leveraging project funding.

Doing Business In West Virginia
A listing of loan, incentive, training, and infrastructure programs to help you do business in West Virginia.

Cost of doing business in West Virginia
Cost of living, labor cost, and utility cost comparisons by state.

Cost of living comparison calculator