"I'm not willing to hang the rest of the state out," he said.
Division of Labor Commissioner David Mullins told the committee the division provides licensing exams for more than 17,000 contractors, nearly 2,000 crane operators, and about 7,800 plumbers at locations in Martinsburg, Morgantown and Wheeling, in addition to Charleston.
He said the division contracts with a testing service, and said the cost under the contract is $42 per exam.
Also Wednesday, representatives with the state Jobs Investment Trust touted the success of the West Virginia Capital Access Program. The program parlayed $13.2 million of federal stimulus funds to leverage $57 million in private capital to invest in 11 businesses around the state.
Those businesses, located around the state and in enterprises as diverse as science education program design, an auto dealership, and a bowling alley, created more than 550 full-time jobs, JIT officials said.
"It has success that has outpaced 48 of the other 50 states," said Matt Wender, WVCAP marketing liaison. "It will be up to us to maintain the program in West Virginia."
He noted the stimulus funding was one-time money, and it is unlikely there will be additional federal funding for small-business investment for the foreseeable future.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.