"When we bring new customers here they're just amazed by it and they wonder why they don't have it," Hedrick said.
Hill added that MATRIC is a company rooted in market-driven innovation, which aligns with the tech park's mission to provide avenues for West Virginians to pursue high-tech training, education and careers.
Since joining MATRIC as CEO, Hedrick and his leadership team sought to refine the companies' goals to move forward.
While the company has not had a lot of new hires since Hedrick joined, they have had a few that he says are indicative of the company's future. Eric King, a Charleston native, is one of those. King went to Ohio State University for his doctoral degree before returning home to work at MATRIC as a chemist.
The company is also developing and enhancing partnerships with area universities. West Virginia University's chemical engineering school works closely with the company. Hedrick says this ensures that students have the best opportunities possible and MATRIC knows students who graduate from there are prepared for work.
"MATRIC represents the future for this region and our state," said Steve Roberts, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce president. "Innovation and technology have long come together in the Kanawha Valley in ways that brought us a worldwide reputation for quality and significant accomplishment. MATRIC is uniting the forces that can redouble our efforts to attract and keep the very best and brightest right here."
Hedrick said the community should expect a great neighbor, economic development and growth from the company in the years to come. Regionally, oil and gas developments present the company with exciting partnership opportunities.
"The Marcellus Shale is, and [new shale gas developments] play as a whole, the most significant domestic energy event in the last 50 years," Hedrick said.
He is still open-minded about a regional cracker plant.
"For me to turn away from that as a CEO would be improper," he said. "I still think it's a significant part of the future of our company and a significant part of our economy."
Regardless of a plant locating in the area, MATRIC will look to benefit from the regional developments in the shale gas industry.
"What we would hope to do is partner with those companies who seek to engage heavily in the opportunity associated with the Marcellus and help them develop and deploy their technologies in such a way as to be the safest that they can be and the most efficient they can be," Hedrick said.
"Market-driven innovation is more than just a tag line, it's the reality of it," he added. "It is our responsibility to understand that it's market driven and go compete."Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.