FAIRMONT, WEST VIRGINIA – West Virginia Senate President and Lieutenant Governor Craig P. Blair will address Pierpont Community & Technical College students, faculty, and staff as the May 13 graduation speaker.

“I am honored to have been asked to speak to this year’s graduating class at Pierpont. I am a product of community and technical colleges, and the training and education I received there helped me be successful as both an employee and a small business owner, and later in life, as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and now president of the West Virginia Senate,” Blair said. “I am proud to share a message that anything is possible with a commitment to your vision and a strong work ethic.”

Pierpont’s graduation ceremony, the first in-person ceremony in two years will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 13 at the Robison Grand Performing Arts Center in Clarksburg. Blair’s graduation speech will focus on West Virginia’s economic growth and the role new graduates will play in that success.

“We want you to take your degree, stay here, and make West Virginia your forever home to live, work, and raise a family,” Blair said.

Pierpont Interim President Anthony Hancock said he was honored and thrilled to have Blair as the graduation speaker.

“As we embark on a more normal graduation ceremony, we are extremely pleased that Senate President Blair has agreed to address our students. His own story is inspirational, and he can speak intimately about the importance of community colleges.”

Blair is a lifelong West Virginian and Eastern Panhandle resident. He was raised by his parents, Freddie and Jeanette Blair, on his family’s orchard, which produced and packaged apples and peaches for domestic and export distribution.

He graduated from Hedgesville High School and James Rumsey Technical Institute, where he became a certified water specialist, class V, and a licensed master electrician and master plumber. In 1989, started his own business, Sunset Water Services, which has grown to become the largest water treatment company in the tri-state area.

Blair was first elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 2002, where he served four two-year terms. In 2012, he was elected to the West Virginia Senate and reelected in 2016 and 2020. In the Senate, he has served as the Majority Whip, Chair of the Committee on Government Organization and Chair of the Committee on Finance. In 2021, he was elected by his colleagues as Senate President.
During his legislative service, he has been particularly active in fighting for tax reforms and reliefs for West Virginia taxpayers and businesses and an ardent supporter of common-sense governmental reforms that focus on effectiveness and efficiency.

“Our community and technical colleges make it possible for every West Virginian to further his or her education, train for a new career path, or re-enter the workforce. These colleges create opportunity,” Blair said. “Now more than ever, our state needs highly skilled, well-trained, drug-free people who are ready to go to work.”