Gilmer Free Press
Fight to Protect Jobs at NASA IV&V, FBI Center & Paves Way for New Federal Prison
Senator Jay Rockefeller today announced that he will continue to fight for jobs in West Virginia, and most recently, he worked to protect and create jobs at multiple federal facilities in the state by preventing funding cuts and securing new funding that will allow a new federal prison in Preston County to be fully staffed and operational next year.
“We must make sure that funding is available to protect jobs in our communities, and I pledge to continue that fight,” said Rockefeller. “As Congress is taking serious steps to reduce the deficit – including passing more than $2 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years – we need to make sure those cuts are targeted so they don’t hurt good jobs. It is great news that so many facilities in West Virginia should continue to receive funding – including the critical work that our researchers do at the NASA IV&V Center in Fairmont, and the efforts of those at the FBI Center in Clarksburg to make sure each of us is safe. And this funding should also help build a new prison in Hazelton which will create hundreds of jobs in the area. I will continue to fight for these jobs and programs as the appropriations process continues.”
Throughout the FY 2013 appropriations process, Rockefeller is continuing to contact appropriators, cabinet secretaries, federal officials, and others to protect jobs and facilities in West Virginia from cuts and to identify opportunities for expansion.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recently marked up the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill for the Fiscal Year 2013. In this bill, Rockefeller worked to protect and secure funding for the following projects:
• NASA Independent Verification and Validation Center – Fairmont
Led the effort to restore funding for NASA IV&V activities in West Virginia and protect 40 contractor jobs at the 280-employee facility which were in danger of severe cuts. As Chairman of the Commerce Committee, Rockefeller has taken a number of steps to promote the innovation capacity of the facility and its importance to national competitiveness. NASA IV&V checks and double-checks all software used in NASA space missions.
• FBI Criminal Justice Information Systems Division – Clarksburg
Safeguarded the budget that supports the operations and more than 2,500 employees of the CJIS. CJIS is responsible for several major FBI programs with the mission of reducing terrorist and criminal activities through programs including Fingerprint Identification, the National Crime Information Center, Uniform Crime Reporting, and the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
• New Federal Prison – Hazelton
Secured $27 million in federal funding to start a new Federal Correction Institution in Hazelton, which will create about 300 new jobs. As the third prison in Hazelton, it is expected to be completed this fall. The appropriated funds will allow the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to fully equip, staff, and begin operations of the facility next year.
• Seven Existing Federal Prisons - Beckley, Gilmer, Welch, Hazelton (2), Morgantown, Alderson
Protected funding for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons which will maintain operations and funding at all of West Virginia’s federal prisons and prevent job losses at the facilities. Each prison supports about 300 - 350 employees.
• Green Bank Observatory – Green Bank
Protected funding and 130 jobs at the observatory which faced funding cuts. The facility has the largest steerable radio telescope in the world and often collaborates with West Virginia University on research efforts.