The coal industry built historic Fairmont, West Virginia, and the city is working very hard to combine that history with a new vibrancy that will leave this city in great shape for many years to come. The community is home to Fairmont State University, which offers more than 90 baccalaureate degrees along with master’s degrees in business, teaching, architecture, and criminal justice. This city of more than 18,000 residents is also the home to Piepoint Community and Technical School. The headquarters for this college is located here, and students find many programs, including underground mining certification, traditional associate’s degrees, and workforce specific skills training.
Fairmont’s historic downtown has been named as a “Main Streets in 3D” community by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, along with receiving several other awards. Visitors to the downtown area nestled on the banks of the Monongahela River find a variety of small businesses. Some of the businesses located in this area include Aspire Uniqueness, offering contemporary women’s and men’s clothing; the law firms of Riffle and Hodges and Whiteman and Burdette; The Fashion Scene, offering women’s clothes; numerous restaurants; and Weber’s Flowers, offering fresh flowers. The town’s newspaper, Times West Virginia; several government agencies; and the library are also located in the historic downtown area.