Get Down to Business

WHEELING – From the nurses and doctors who care for patients, to maintenance specialists and accountants, about 2,315 employees work at Wheeling Hospital and its related facilities in Ohio County every day.

The hospital has more employees in than any other entity, public or private, in Ohio County, according to WorkForce West Virginia. These workers are spread among the hospital itself, the Howard Long Wellness Center, the Wheeling Clinic and the Bishop Joseph H. Hodges Continuous Care Center.

“Everyone thinks about nurses and doctors, but we have a lot of employees people don’t notice,” said Gregg Warren, vice president of Public Relations and Marketing at the hospital. “It is kind of like a city unto itself.”

WorkForce statistics show that health care facilities such as Wheeling Hospital are some of the largest employers in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle. Weirton Medical Center leads the way as the largest employer in Brooke County; Ohio Valley Medical Center ranks third in Ohio County; Reynolds Memorial Hospital ranks fifth in Marshall County; and the Wetzel County Hospital ranks third in its county.

Public schools are also significant employers in the Northern Panhandle, as all six county boards of education rank in the top five for their particular counties. In Ohio County, approximately 750 full-time teachers, principals, maintenance workers, bus drivers and other employees earn their livings through the school district that features Wheeling Park High School, allowing the schools to rank as the county’s second-largest employer.

The Wetzel County Board of Education – which operates Magnolia, Valley, Paden City and Hundred high schools – employs more workers than anyone else in the county, according to WorkForce records. The Tyler County Board of Education has the third-most employees in its county that features a single high school in Tyler Consolidated.

Working to renovate John Marshall High School at the same time it is still working through a lawsuit involving construction at the new Cameron High School, the Marshall County Board of Education is the second-largest employer.

Featuring only Brooke High School, the Brooke County Board of Education is also its county’s second-largest employer. The Hancock County Board of Education, operating Weir High School and Oak Glen High School, ranks as the fourth-largest employer in West Virginia’s northernmost county.

Following the two hospitals and the board of education, Cabela’s ranks as Ohio County’s fourth-largest employer. The remainder of the top 10 in Ohio County, from fifth to 10th, is the Wheeling Park Commission, WesBanco Inc., the City of Wheeling, Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack, West Liberty University and Wheeling Jesuit University.

The most recent WorkForce statistics list the McElroy Coal Co. as the largest employer in Marshall County. This mine will be renamed the “Marshall County Coal Co.’s Marshall County Mine,” following its purchase as part of Murray Energy’s $3.5 billion deal with Consol Energy.

The Consolidation Coal Co., which operated the Shoemaker mine as Marshall County’s third-largest employer, will be renamed the “Ohio County Coal Co.’s Ohio County Mine,” according to Murray.

The three leading employers in Brooke County, with the largest being first, include: Weirton Medical Center, the school board and Ball Metal Food Container Corp. Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort leads the way in Hancock County, while Arcelormittal Weirton, once the largest employer in the entire state during its former life as Weirton Steel Corp., is second. The Homer Laughlin China Co. is third.

Following the board of education, the largest employers in Wetzel County are Wal-Mart and Wetzel County Hospital.

In Tyler County, Momentive Performance Materials leads the way, with Mentor Management Inc. and the school board following.