A recent gift from WesBanco Bank Inc. to Data Driven WV will provide resources that will aid the West Virginia business community and provide educational opportunities for WVU students.
A $150,000 gift awarded to West Virginia University by WesBanco Bank Inc. will help provide mutually beneficial opportunities for students and regional businesses involved with Data Driven West Virginia, an outreach center at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics.
WesBanco, a regional financial services company headquartered in Wheeling, West Virginia, has been a financial supporter of Data Driven West Virginia since its inception in 2020, and will provide these additional funds over a two-year period beginning in 2023.
Data Driven West Virginia developed from an idea that originated with students in the Master of Science in Business Data Analytics program at WVU. They wanted to take the skills they were learning in the classroom and use them to solve real-world problems that help the state of West Virginia.
“Organizations with a technology need connect with Data Driven West Virginia, which then assembles a group of students that act as consultants to solve the problem and help the organization under the guidance of faculty and staff at WVU,” Joshua Meadows, Data Driven West Virginia director, said. “By working with organizations of all sizes, Data Driven West Virginia has helped the state with issues as diverse as healthcare innovation to small business acceleration. The students benefit because they gain real experience with skills they’ve learned in the classroom and new skills. This allows them to build their resume while contributing to the economic development of West Virginia.”
One of the organizations that has engaged in this mutually beneficial opportunity is WesBanco, which has worked with Data Driven West Virginia students on various projects in the past. According to Senior Vice President and Chief Data and Analytics Officer Brennan Comfort, WesBanco has been proud to partner with Data Driven West Virginia and values the opportunity to provide real-world data analytics experience.
“WesBanco understands the importance of data-driven decision-making in today’s business environment, so we can serve our customers more effectively. And we recognize that building a skilled workforce capable of effectively interpreting and applying data is critical to this goal,” said Comfort. “So we are proud to support the Data Driven West Virginia initiative because it provides valuable resources, tools and real-world learning opportunities for developing these skills. Through our support of this initiative, WesBanco is helping build a stronger talent pipeline that benefits regional businesses like ours and helps drive economic growth and innovation in our communities.”
“Through my mentors and these projects, I’ve become a lot stronger and more confident,” Samantha Johnson, a senior from Morgantown majoring in management information systems, said. “From a technical aspect, it allows me to be more confident in my work and branch out in different ways. From a business perspective, it’s allowed me to work with all different kinds of people and play on their strengths and weaknesses along with my strengths and weaknesses.”
WesBanco’s recent gift will help to support the technology infrastructure needed to fuel experiential learning projects, provide paid student opportunities and expand Data Driven West Virginia as it branches into cybersecurity and other emerging technology fields where West Virginia needs support.
“WesBanco is Data Driven West Virginia’s cornerstone partner,” Meadows said. “It has been a contributor since day one and has continuously empowered the vision of Data Driven West Virginia. WesBanco’s commitment goes much beyond this gift. Each year WesBanco provides multiple experiential learning projects that provide students with learning experiences in an environment where they can see that their work has an impact. Further, Brennan Comfort, Nick Gray and many others from the WesBanco team go above and beyond and donate their time weekly to mentor students and provide both technical and career advice.”
WesBanco’s gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.
About WesBanco, Inc.
Founded in 1870, WesBanco, Inc. is a diversified and balanced financial services company that delivers large bank capabilities with a community bank feel. Our distinct long-term growth strategies are built upon unique sustainable advantages permitting us to span six states with meaningful market share. Built upon our ‘Better Banking Pledge’, our customer-centric service culture is focused on growing long-term relationships by pledging to serve all personal and business customer needs efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, our strong financial performance and employee focus has earned us recognition by Forbes as both one of America’s Best Banks and Best Midsize Employers. In addition to a full range of online and mobile banking options and a full-suite of commercial products and services, WesBanco provides trust, wealth management, securities brokerage, and private banking services through our century-old Trust and Investment Services department, with approximately $5 billion of assets under management (as of March 31, 2023). WesBanco's banking subsidiary, WesBanco Bank, Inc., operates 194 financial centers in the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Additionally, WesBanco operates an insurance agency, WesBanco Insurance Services, Inc., and a full service broker/dealer, WesBanco Securities, Inc. Learn more at www.wesbanco.com. Follow @WesBanco on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.