jobs, jobs, jobs
Supporting coal while bringing new industry to the area, expanding small business, and becoming a hotspot for innovation.
This area does not need handouts. What we really want, what we really need are good jobs. We want to provide for our families, and ensure our children have a bright future. It wasn’t long ago we could depend on the coal industry to offer our miners a good living.
We must continue to support our coal miners and keep our coal jobs. We also need to look to the future and make coal valuable again. We need to create innovative ways to utilize and commercialize our assets, including coal and our farming land and natural resources, while ensuring we keep the wealth in SWVA (e.g. coal to graphene).
As we support our farmers and coal miners, Southwest Virginia must attract new industries, like our neighbors have done in Kentucky and Tennessee. We can use multiple avenues including tax-based incentives, and ensuring sites are ready for development. We need to creatively reuse our abandoned mine land. We need to incentivize young professionals who have left the area to come back to live and build businesses. We must also continue to support our schools, and ensure access to high-speed internet, which are necessities for attracting industry.
We must support our small business owners, and provide opportunities for our young people to become entrepreneurs. We should also support research and development in areas including clean and renewable energies, so that SWVA can become a hotbed of innovation in this and other areas.
Our state and local leader’s primary focus should be on bringing jobs to SWVA. Although the economy is booming on the coasts and in the cities, our communities continue to be left behind. We cannot be complacent. We will not be able to thrive as long as our brightest residents have to leave the area to make a living. Our residents will continue to be sicker if their families cannot find jobs. Our young people will continue to be affected by opioid addiction if we do not give them hope from a young age that they can live out their life’s purpose and make a decent living in SWVA.