The Appalachian Hatchery: Incubating West Virginia Business Growth

The Appalachian Hatchery is a project of the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Established in 2017 with support from ARC via the POWER Initiative, the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, RCBI is a centralized support center for manufacturing, entrepreneurship, and business development serving West Virginia’s southern most 20 counties. In addition to offering technical assistance, workforce training, and other services to assist local business diversification, the Hatchery also dedicated to creating better linkages between small and large advanced manufacturers. Through its various programs, the Hatchery has touched over 300 businesses.

One of the Hatchery’s strategies is to create new opportunities for West Virginia’s business . For example, in 2019, The Hatchery project was an organizing partner for the West Virginia Automotive Supply Chain Expo. Including over 85 local manufacturers, suppliers, and other businesses related to the automotive supply chain, the Expo’s objective was to facilitate business-to-business networking to help meet local demand. As a result of the Expo, Sogefi, a world leader in auto parts manufacturing, added three new West Virginia companies to its supply chain.