West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin recognized two recent graduates of West Virginia University’s Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at his annual State of the State Address in January.

In an effort to lure companies to the Mountain State, Tomblin led a 13-day investment mission to Europe in October 2013 that included stops in Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. A highlight of his trip was a visit to Pietro Fiorentini, a global leader in designing and construction of components and systems for natural gas control, metering and treatment, in Italy.

“During my visit, I met with Robert Morehead of Bridgeport and Michael Powell of Parkersburg, both recent WVU engineering grads hired by the company to help run its West Virginia operations,” Tomblin said.

“They were in Italy as a part of their four-month training program. These two young men are living examples of why we made our trip and why we make job opportunities our highest priority. Robert and Michael are two young West Virginians who have worked hard, earned degrees in engineering and are now using their education to create good paying jobs here in the Mountain State.

“My thanks goes out to the Italian company for placing its trust in West Virginia and West Virginians like Robert and Michael, who are with us here in the chamber this evening,” Tomblin continued. “Robert and Michael, you are our future. Gentleman, please stand so we may thank you for showing the world that West Virginians can compete.”

WVU President E. Gordon Gee said, “We were delighted that two of our students were recognized by the governor for carrying the message and possibilities of West Virginia University throughout the world.”

While Pietro Fiorentini has 11 international production units, its Wheeling, W.Va., operation is its first in the United States. Morehead, who earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from WVU in May 2013, and Powell, who earned his degree in mechanical engineering that same year, are working as production engineers at that location.

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CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4086, Mary.Dillon@mail.wvu.edu

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