South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said surveys have shown the average age of a worker in the Kanawha Valley is 53. With the average age so high, he said employers soon will face having to replace significant portions of their trained workforce.
"These colleges are absolutely essential in having that happen," Mullens said.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is expected to appoint a new board for the combined community college by July 1.
The board will help develop administrative policies for the combined school, as well as pick a name for the school, which will officially launch Jan. 1, 2014.
Also during Tuesday's Economic Development Authority meeting, Mullens said the city's sanitary board would meet next week to review bids from engineering firms regarding the city's proposed sewer line expansion.
The city has proposed extending the sewer line all the way to the Lincoln County line. The potential expansion, estimated to cost around $20 million, would extend service to about 500 Kanawha County residents as well as 500 Lincoln County residents living in the Alum Creek area.
Mullens said the sewer line expansion is crucial to the city's potential annexation plans.
He said South Charleston is almost completely surrounded by other cities, and that leaves the Corridor G area as the only place for potential growth.
"I have a vision of South Charleston going to the Lincoln County line at some time, but we have to do it in baby steps," Mullens said.
"Having the proper infrastructure is crucial development; we've got to have the sewer line out there if we're going to grow and progress and move forward," he said.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.
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