CHARLESTON -- Gov. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the West Virginia Development Office will be hosting a special trip Thursday to New York City to highlight West Virginia's economic progress and growth.

The trip is a project of the Chamber's Economic Development Committee, chaired by Russ Lorince with the West Virginia University Research Corporation.

Manchin and the delegation will host a special breakfast briefing at the New York Palace Hotel, Reid Salon in midtown Manhattan. Business officials with a West Virginia connection, local West Virginia graduates and other friends of the Mountain State in the New York area have been invited to the breakfast briefing. In addition, representatives from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York Inc. are scheduled to attend the breakfast.

This trip is being touted as a "relationship marketing event" and is the first the state Chamber's Economic Development Committee has arranged, Chamber President Steve Roberts said in a press release.

Roberts said the Economic Development Committee has been working to gather contact information and build databases from West Virginia colleges and universities regarding people in major business centers who have relationships with the state, such as a business executives or donors or graduates of a West Virginia college or university.

"We believe these trips will help to build closer relationships with these individuals and foster possible business opportunities," he said.

Future trips are anticipated in Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Baltimore/Washington, and possibly Los Angeles or Silicon Valley.

During Thursday's breakfast session, Manchin will highlight the progress that has been made to improve the state's business climate and enhance fiscal management.

"We want to share with our friends in New York the news of the important steps and progress that has been made to improve West Virginia's business climate," Roberts said. "We also want to remind them of West Virginia's many assets -– including affordable, reliable energy sources, terrific quality of life, low crime rate and dedicated work force."

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