The Charleston area of West Virginia, once called America's Chemical Valley, can revive itself by focusing on incubating small businesses and on making low-volume products with higher returns on investment, such as specialty chemicals, said Kevin DiGregorio, executive director of the Chemical Alliance Zone. "The industry has changed," DiGregorio said. "It has downsized by some extent, but it has also shifted, and not just in West Virginia. What you have now, and what we'll have in the future, is more niche players and more specialty chemicals."

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