November 01, 2011

Rockefeller, Manchin Tout State’s Biometrics Industry at Conference

Senators Say Industry is Crucial to State’s Economic Future

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin today said West Virginia is a world leader in the biometric industry and has the workforce, infrastructure and research facilities in place to get even stronger. 

“More and more, biometric companies from around the nation – and from all around the globe – are coming to West Virginia to do business,” Rockefeller said. “West Virginia is a place where innovation and ingenuity, combined with a workforce that’s second-to-none, are fueling economic growth.” 

“We’re one of the best-kept secrets in the industry, but our little state is well-prepared and positioned as a national hub and a leader in the biometrics sector. The word is definitely getting out – West Virginia is open for business, and it’s a great place to do business,” Senator Manchin said. “I am certain that the biometrics industry will continue to look to our state as a partner in future ventures.” 

The senators spoke Tuesday at a conference in Washington, D.C. designed to highlight and expand West Virginia’s biometrics industry and encourage further investments. The event was specifically designed for out-of-state security and biometrics industry executives to explore business partnerships and opportunities in the state. 

Sponsors for the event include: the Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation; the I-79 Development Council; the West Virginia Biometrics Initiative; and, the West Virginia Development Office, with West Virginia University and Marshall University also playing significant roles.  A number of biometrics companies that have already made investments in West Virginia were also in attendance to share their experiences on working in the state.

Rockefeller and Manchin highlighted the reasons West Virginia is an advantageous place to do business in biometrics – such as the state’s proximity to the nation’s capital and a number of key federal agencies, and the top-notch biometrics and forensics programs offered at WVU and Marshall. 

A number of biometrics, identity management and security-related companies already have a presence in the state, including Azimuth, Inc., Lockheed Martin, ManTech Security Technologies, and Northrop Grumman.