MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia Manufacturers Association (WVMA) hosted the 2021 Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference (MMDC) June 7-8 at the Marriott at Waterfront Place in Morgantown and it featured industry vendors and experts.
This year’s conference explored the intersections of energy, the environment and our economy. WVMA President Rebecca McPhail said there were more than 150 registrants, all of whom were happy to be attending the conference in-person, rather than virtually, and learning all that they could.
It’s been a while since we’ve been able to gather to really advance the intersections between manufacturing and downstream natural gas development. So, the energy component, the environmental component, and the economic component are all very important not just to West Virginia, but to our whole region. And so, we are bringing industry leaders, community leaders and political leaders together to have those much-needed conversations to see how current issues and the current climate are impacting our ability to really capitalize on these resources in West Virginia.Rebecca McPhail – President, West Virginia Manufacturers Association
McPhail said in addition to the participants, there were roughly 15 vendors during the conference.
The vendors were service and product providers, for the oil and natural gas industry and also for manufacturers, McPhail said. They were there to offer their services and products to anyone in need and also interact with others in the industry.
There were many takeaways from the conference, but there is one main thing McPhail said she wished everyone would walk away with.
“That even though we’re in an energy transition and maybe even in the economic transition in terms of the use of our natural resources in West Virginia, the oil and natural gas industry and the opportunity for downstream manufacturing development, really, shows a lot of promise for our state and for the region. So, we think that there are a lot of challenges, but, certainly, today has really enlightened us as to the opportunities that are available,” said McPhail.
Thinking about the future but remaining positive was the gist of the conference. But, so, too, was the idea of adapting, or maybe even evolving.
The ability to continue to develop oil and natural gas resources in an effective but environmentally responsible way is “extremely important,” McPhail said.
Conversations about the future of the oil and natural gas industry, as they relate to the environment and economy, will be ongoing for a while, or at least until a solution can be found. It’s through conferences like the MMDC where ideas can be discussed and possible solutions can begin to emerge.
This is why the WVMA President said she was grateful for everyone who came to learn, network and share their expertise.
“It’s really exciting. We’ve got a broad representation of companies from manufacturers to the different stages of natural gas development. And they’re all valuable, important parts of how we develop these resources, so we’re just pleased to have them here,” said McPhail.