BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WOAY) – Bluefield officials are teaming up with Intuit to help grow the local economy.
“Aspiring entrepreneurs need customers and those customers need to have a little bit of money,” said Intuit representative Eileen Fagan. “The goal [is to] bring some jobs, teach some entrepreneurs, bring innovation, build skills and then stay to help incubate in the Innovation Lab.”
Intuit plans to bring hundreds of jobs to the area through a customer success center. Then, they plan to open an innovation lab to focus on training the community in various areas.
Officials say this initiative will not only help current community members, but will be a helpful asset to future members of the workforce as well.
“Our number one export for a long time was not coal, gas or timber,” said community and economic development director Jim Spencer. “It was children, and I have a problem with that. It’s time that we put our hand on the plow and try to create jobs here, so if our children leave, it’s because they want to, not because they have to.”
The Innovation Lab will work with educators to teach kids a variety of skills they might need to reach their career goals.
“If we start young, we can put people on a faster path…to whatever career it is they want,” said Fagan. “We’re trying to help them find where their passion lies, and if that’s entrepreneurship, we can help them there. Otherwise, we just want to help see them to the next level.”
Though officials have not set an open date for the new facilities, officials were excited to make the first steps in fostering a thriving community. Fagan said the next step in the project would likely be finding the perfect location in the city for the new facilities.