CITY OF BLUEFIELD, W.Va.(WVVA) Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-W.Va.) says the City of Bluefield is booming. And a new space for inventors and a Silicon Valley-based company setting up shop downtown get part of the credit.
Miller's comments come during a special stop in the city, as she revisits 18 counties in her third congressional district.
Miller is getting a good look at the city's growth, spending four hours checking the pulse of Bluefield's business community. It's strong heading into 2020, thanks to a pair of big moves the city made last year, welcoming Intuit and Alorica to set up a prosperity hub downtown and the opening of a "Maker Space" in Bluefield for inventors and entrepreneurs.
The first stop of the tour, visiting the Commercialization Station to see the "Maker Space" operated by CREA Company.
The space consists of components for electronics and robotics systems, including 3D Printers and Laser Cutters. The company assists inventors with ideas for projects or businesses, with prototypes, design work, and possibly manufacturing the product in the bay.
The owner Travis Lowe says it's an honor for anyone to visit his business, especially Congresswoman Miller.
"To have this company recognized on the statewide level shows Bluefield's commitment to entrepreneurship," said Lowe. "We've already seen people starting businesses from things they've made in this space."
"Innovation is so important for [the community] and you can see all these pieces coming together." Congresswoman Miller
The second stop for Miller, Intuit and Alorica's Customer Success Center, which could bring nearly 500 jobs to the area. So far, the company has employed nearly 70 people and counting.
"We continue to add employees at a slow pace," said John Miller, Site Director for Alorica."We hire employees every month and we'll continue to build and grow. "
Stating the company is helping their employees harness skill sets that expand job opportunities outside of the coal industry.
"It's a completely different skill set from those working in the coal industry and gives them a great opportunity to see something different," said Miller.
Congresswoman Miller gives the businesses growth in Bluefield a thumbs up, pledging to carry a voice of support for Bluefield all the way to Washington, D.C.
"I feel like an ambassador for Southern West Virginia," said Miller. "I see people gainfully employed, enjoying what they are doing, learning as they go and it's where we want [the city] to go."