BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Development Authority’s new Executive Director Jennifer Bostian offered insight on the operations of the UCDA and the Innovation Center on Main Street Monday morning.
Bostian and her husband recently relocated to Upshur County in August so she could take on the new role. Raised in El Paso, Texas, Bostian attended The University of Texas at El Paso where she earned a bachelor’s degree. She previously worked for the City of Maricopa in Arizona as well, where Bostian maintained the role as Deputy Director in the city’s economic development department. Before that, she worked for CSX Railroad and covered the 10-state Northeast Region.
“After we’d been in the desert for a couple of years, my husband and I figured out that we really wanted to come back, where we could be closer to home and family,” said Bostian.
As she begins to settle into her new role with UCDA, Bostian said she plans to focus on developing a new strategic plan that will include exploring how the Innovation Center might extend its use to a broader clientele.
Another topic she plans to pursue is broadband internet accessibility. Bostian also plans for Region 7 & Developmental Council, led by Executive Director Shane Whitehair, to play a large role in helping to tackle these needs. Region 7 focuses on infrastructure development, broadband deployment, and extending/improving utilities in the Mountain State region, according to Bostian.
“The objective that is the highest priority to the board and me, is to develop a new strategic plan for the UCDA. We should have a one-to-five-year strategic plan that gets updates,” Bostian explained. “Previous Director Rob Hinton left us in a good place to start the transition as smoothly as possible.”
A few of the new hire’s roles will include trying to bring in new businesses to Upshur County, reaching out to existing businesses, possibly helping with workforce development, and executing entrepreneurial ideas.
Discussing the UCDA’s Innovation Center, Bostian emphasized that when an asset is built, a revenue must be created. The building is proving to be a worthwhile investment so far and currently houses two home health organizations on the third floor, Boost Mobile on the first floor, and Klie Law will soon be moving in as well. Region 7 is located on the second floor and all the offices on the second floor are reportedly leased out to various businesses. Any uninhabited space is available for membership with the Innovation Center. Businesses or individuals can buy these memberships to use for meetings or for 24/7 access to the Innovation Center.
The pricing for memberships is as follows:
Shared – shared workspace or common table is available for $150 a month (includes 2 hours conference room time per month).
Dedicated – dedicated workstation in a private, shared office is available for $275 a month (includes 3 hours of conference room time per month).
Private – closed and secured office space, used only by your company is available for $550 a month (includes 5 hours of conference room time per month).
As the new Executive Director, Bostian plans to get started with projects related to broadband and building towers in the area very soon. With the transition, she says everything has been moving along very well. Anyone interested in utilizing the UCDA can contact Jennifer Bostian by email at [email protected] or via phone at (304)-613-1757 ext. 1.
“If anybody wants to learn more about UCDA, I’m more than happy to come out and talk to groups to explain what we do and what our purpose is,” Bostian invited.