Updated: Aug 29
Charleston, WV -- The Bluefield West Virginia Economic Development Authority (BEDA) Executive Director and Omnis Building Technology President Jonathan Hodson were panelists on Positively West Virginia's Business Mastermind on March 4 to discuss Omnis's recent announcement of their $40 million investment at the City of Bluefield's Exit 1 site. Check it out below:
Jim Matuga, President of InnerAction Media, kicked off the call by asking Spencer to share his role at BEDA. Spencer is a local West Virginian and Bluefield State Alumnus. Spencer launched the City of Bluefield's Economic Development Department in 2015 and enacted a three-prong approach to Economic Development for the city.
Support existing business and industry to help them diversify and grow
Cultivate entrepreneurship and innovation
Attract new industry, especially in the 'TEAM' sectors: Technology, Energy, and Advanced Manufacturing.
The department quickly transformed into the Bluefield WV Economic Development Authority to spearhead the Intuit/Alorica project. Spencer credits BEDA's three-prong approach for Intuit's presence and recent success in courting Omnis.
Matuga asked Hodson to speak on Omnis's history and asked, "Why West Virginia?" more specifically, "Why Bluefield?". Hodson shared that Omnis is from Santa Barbara, CA has had a focus on the building industry for 10 years. Hodson credits his experience in concrete building to being a third-generation builder and shared his Grandfather and Father also shared interest in the industry. Hodson explains Omnis homes is a concrete composite module and is assembled very similarly to legos. Their focus is on residential construction and their goal is to close the gap between people and families needing homes and the nation's shortage of homes.
To answer specifically why Hodson and Omnis chose West Virginia and specifically Bluefield, Hodson shared, with a smile, they know Appalachia has a lot to offer and it holds gems that folks are not aware of. He shares the region needs high-quality homes. Hodson complimented West Virginia's central location to the eastern seaboard and shared how the location has direct access to 40% of the U.S. population. He credits how Spencer had a great answer to, "Why Bluefield?". He shared BEDA, local assistance, and State officials welcomed Omnis with open arms.
Spencer shared that Economic Development is a team sport and gave credit to Michelle Christian, whom Spencer met previously through other economic development activities and introduced Omnis to BEDA, Governor Jim Justice, Secretary Mitch Carmichael and staff Mike Graney, Todd Hooker, and Markee Schindler.