Davisville, West Virginia – Keith Burdette has been named President and Chief Executive Officer
of the Polymer Alliance Zone, Inc. (PAZ) – a five county, public-private partnership of the plastics industry, education and government that works to create new jobs and investments, and build superior workforce development programs. Burdette joined regional law firm Bowles Rice earlier this year as its Business Development Director and is a former Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Commerce.
Headquartered in Davisville, West Virginia, PAZ has one of the highest concentrations of high-technology, specialty and engineering polymers production in the world. Its five host counties - Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Tyler and Wood – have ample access to highway, rail and river transportation and are part of an environment that has attracted several chemical industry-related businesses to the region. A membership organization with diverse, statewide affiliations, PAZ works to expand the industrial base in its host counties.
“We sit on top of one of the world’s largest concentration of ethane, an essential element of the feedstock that can allow this industry to grow and prosper here,” said Burdette. “We have a workforce with the experience and the skills for companies to be successful here. Through strong leadership and active collaboration, I believe we can assist existing companies and recruit new companies to locate and grow jobs and investments here, and that’s what I hope to bring to the table. It’s clearly an exciting time to be part of this industry’s resurgence in West Virginia.”
In his role at the Department of Commerce, Burdette also served as Executive Director of the West Virginia Development Office, chairman of the West Virginia Development Authority (the state financing arm for development projects) and the Jobs Investment Trust, West Virginia’s venture capital organization. He was a member of Governor Tomblin’s Workforce Development Council and served as a member of the Community and Technical College’s Board of Governors. He led teams that spearheaded projects ranging from major economic development ventures like the recruitment of Proctor and Gamble and GeStamp, and worked with companies like Macy’s, Hino and Toyota as they grew in West Virginia. At Bowles Rice, Keith assists clients and attorneys with business and economic development issues. “This appointment with PAZ is a natural extension of my work at Bowles Rice and fits well with their mission to help West Virginia’s businesses grow and prosper here,” Burdette said. Burdette’s appointment is consented by contract between PAZ and Bowles Rice.