Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-2020


Regional Research Institute


Potomac Highlands Regional Industry Cluster Analysis


Industry clusters are defined as “a form of network that occurs within a geographical location, in which the proximity of firms and institutions ensures certain forms of commonality and increases the frequency and impact of interactions.”1 In this report we identify existing industrial clusters for the Potomac Highlands region in West Virginia and examine potential industries or clusters for economic development. The primary objective of this study is to use a variety of tools to analyze the industry cluster structure for Potomac Highlands and evaluate the strengths and gaps of existing industry clusters. Our cluster analysis comprises three parts: (1) location quotient analysis, (2) shift-share analysis, and (3) input-output analysis. Results of both the location quotient and shift-share analyses are used for industry targeting, whereas input-output analysis measures existing cluster strengths and bottlenecks for potential cluster diversification strategies.