History

IOF-WV grew out of a collaboration between West Virginia University, the West Virginia Division of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Energy Industries of the Future Program (now the Industrial Technologies Program).  IOF-WV began when Denise Swink, then Deputy Director for Industrial Technologies visited West Virginia and suggested to Carl Irwin and Jeff Herholdt that West Virginia initiate the first-ever state IOF program because the State is home to all of the original industry sectors (Aluminum, Steel, Glass, Chemicals/Polymers, Wood/Forest Products, Metal Casting, and Mining).  IOF-WV began in 1997, and over 30 states followed with their own version of the program.  West Virginia’s program is one of only a handful still in existence.

IOF-WV has conducted projects in all of the original IOF sectors and many crosscutting technology and assessment projects with the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, industry, industry associations such as the International Lead Zinc Research Organization, and other agencies and organizations.  Results of IOF-WV projects range from immediate industrial energy assessments (free to small and medium-size manufacturing companies) to potentially long-term benefits associated with the development of promising new technologies and innovations.

Why was and is West Virginia such a good fit with the IOF program?

West Virginia is home to many of the industries that were prominent in the national IOF program as it was original conceived: 74% of the State’s manufacturing GSP and 66% of the State’s manufacturing employment is in the core manufacturing industries that are part of the IOF program.

Employment Gross State Product

1997

2012

1997

2011

Total Manufacturing

81559

49039

6702

4952

Wood Product Manufacturing

10012

4577

350

446

Nonmetallic Mineral product manufacturing

6236

2959

363

215

Primary metal manufacturing

11863

4543

997

347

Fabricated metal product manufacturing

6193

5908

649

386

Chemical manufacturing

15072

9548

2907

1742

Plastics and rubber products manufacturing

2497

3310

179

265

Total IOF employment

51873

30845

5445

3401

IOF employment as a percentage of total manufacturing employment

64%

63%

81%

69%

IOF-WV continues to grow and develop as industry and the needs of industry change.  Therefore, we have developed eight new focus areas that combine our historical focus on traditional manufacturing industries with new and emerging technologies.  See the About page for a description of these new technologies.