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Our Story

Community and Economic 
Development

East River Mountain Overlook

Bluefield's History

Bluefield's history began in the 18th century, after two families, the Davidsons and Baileys, settled in the rugged hills of southern West Virginia. After building a small community, the families sold a portion of their land for the development of the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1882, thus initiating the development of the City of Bluefield through coal extraction.

As part of the Pocahontas Coal Fields, growth in Bluefield flourished with the development of the coal industry. In search of industrial work, Bluefield began attracting immigrant European works and migrant African Americans from the farther south to the mountainous region. In the late 19th century, the Norfolk and Western Company selected Bluefield as the site for its headquarters and repair center, continuing to stimulate the growth of the local economy and population. Booming overnight, the City of Bluefield was officially incorporated in 1889 and continued to grow faster than the infrastructure around it. It was nicknamed "Little New York" during this boom and became one of the first cities in the nation with a distinct skyline. Coal was fueling the Industrial Revolution, and Bluefield was the gateway to up to 40% of that fuel. As time continued, and the development of the country's interstate system, Bluefield's dependency on the railroad system diminished and thus changed the needs of the local industry.

In 2015, the City of Bluefield created a Community and Economic Development Department (CED). Since then, the CED has evolved into the Bluefield WV Economic Development Authority (BEDA) and has taken a three-prong approach to economic growth in the City and region to help create a new Bluefield: 

  1.  Support existing businesses and industry to help them diversify and grow

  2.  Cultivate entrepreneurship and innovation

  3.  Attract new industry, especially in the Technology, Energy, and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) sectors

Intuit choosing Bluefield for a prosperity hub was proof of all the hard work to revitalize our city. This is only the beginning.

- Jim Spencer, BEDA Executive Director

March 29, 2019, was a historic day for the City of Bluefield and the region. Brad Smith, the former CEO and current Executive Chairman of the Board for Intuit arrived in Bluefield with his leadership team to announce the next location for their Prosperity Hub: Bluefield, WV. Bluefield was selected out of over 975 communities for this prosperity hub.

The Prosperity Hub Program is an initiative, created by Intuit, to bring full-time jobs, vocational training, education resources, and spark economic prosperity to communities in need. Intuit has partnered with Alorica to operate the Customer Success Center, which will create 200-500 jobs in our downtown. This Center will be branded by Intuit, but the employees are employed by Alorica. Before COVID-19, Alorica was operating in an 8,000 SF temporary location.

 

Due to COVID-19, Alorica currently has 200+ employees working remotely.