Itwon't be surprising if the state closes its European Office in Munich, Germany, and opts instead for a so-called "flexible workspace" arrangement.
West Virginia was the first state to have a fully staffed trade office in Munich when the late Gov. Cecil Underwood opened that outpost in 1999.
The office has always been in the Amerika Haus in Bavaria's capital. But as previously reported, the state and other tenants must move because the building will be renovated. Also, the office's two employees, Sven Gerzer and Holly McGinnis, have taken other jobs.
State Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette, who traveled to Munich earlier this month to size up the situation, came back excited that "flexible workspace" might be just what the state needs. Burdette mentioned that Regus is one company that provides such space.
According to the company's website, Regus has 1,200 centers in 550 cities and 95 countries.
Regus advertises that it offers "a big business image, without the cost," by offering office space and related services on an as-needed basis. The company says, "A Regus Virtual Office gives you a great business address to use as your own plus someone to manage your business calls and mail."
Regus customers can use the company's locations anytime. If more than a desk, phone, and Internet connection is needed on a particular day, a conference room is available for an additional fee.
Burdette likes the concept for lots of reasons:
■ The state currently spends about $312,000 for the German office. He thinks a flexible workspace arrangement could cost less.