"Facilities are closed that are government-related. At Global Science and Technology, we are very fortunate. We have two major programs with the state of West Virginia.
Global Science and Technology also works for NOAH, helping collect a "gigantic library of climate data from satellites circling the earth. This is still running and will last for a few months," Dahlia said.
"We also have a lot of people working in Charleston. Our work is stable for the time being, but we are very concerned," he said. "We are hopeful [the government shutdown] will be resolved very soon."
The NASA Independent Verification and Validation Facility, which tests software for space missions, already has completely closed.
"There are 200 people who usually work in their building," Dahlia said. "Some are considering vacations. Others are waiting for Congress to get its act together.
"We anticipate a huge impact on our region. After the first couple of days, no one really feels it yet. But if it moves into two or three weeks, then you will see a big impact on the local economy and the state's economy.
Dahlia said he worries that the shutdown could impact the Christmas shopping season.
The FBI fingerprint facility in Bridgeport remains open.
"Its work is considered critical," Dahlia said, "but the longer this takes, those programs could be in jeopardy, too."
Estep said, "Each business is different. After about a week, you really start feeling the pain. In a week and a half, you are in a crisis. In two weeks, you could begin sustaining irreversible economic damage."
The I-79 Technology Park, Estep said, is playing an increasingly important role in research, combined with the National Energy Lab in Morgantown and NASA operations in Fairmont.
"The synergy of this grows each day, but when they close down government, it is very counterproductive.
"We have almost 400 acres of the I-79 Technology Park, a tool to help us recruit more businesses. And we have some of the best telecommunications and power facilities in the world and free land," Estep said. "In the last 20 years, we have come a long way. We have to keep it up. We have this land to give away because of efforts by Senator Robert S. Byrd and Congressman Alan Mollohan [both D-W.Va.].
Byrd died in 2010. Mollohan was unseated in that year's Democratic primary.
"Without them, our ability to get federal money has diminished substantially," Estep said, "but we have to keep this going to the best of our ability."
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.