Jobs and the Economy

The number one issue in Southwest Virginia is the economy.  We simply need more economic growth.  For too long Southwest Virginia has lost jobs to other regions, states and countries.  In fact, as the jobs leave, the workers tend to leave as well. Southwest Virginia has so much to offer and it is unacceptable for our best and brightest to be forced to leave the area for other opportunities.

Israel works continually with the Southwest Virginia legislative delegation of Senators and Delegates to bring jobs to our region. There are several avenues through which Israel has worked to tackle these complex issues and he is committed to continuing in these efforts.  

First, Israel has worked to reach out to prospective companies.  We have great quality of life and a strong work ethic, two of the most desirable characteristics businesses seek.  Israel has worked hard to showcase our region to any and all prospective companies.  That collaborative work has at times included the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Governor’s Opportunity Fund, the Tobacco Commission and local economic development teams.  Southwest Virginians must continue working together for our region.  

Secondly, we must ensure that Southwest Virginians have the necessary skills that employers are seeking.  If we want to bring high-tech jobs to the region, we must provide citizens with high-tech training so that they can succeed in that work environment.  Through partnerships with local community colleges and private workforce development programs, we have been able to train folks in highly technical skills making them desirable employees. These efforts include retraining workers who have been displaced or previously laid off.  Many exciting partnerships are being developed to accommodate these needs and we must continue to provide educational opportunities to those who seek them. 

Third, Southwest Virginia has an incredible blend of natural beauty and unique culture, providing us the prime opportunity to promote tourism.  Our region is an asset and Southwest Virginia is well-suited to providing enjoyable tourism experiences.  By working collaboratively, we can promote Southwest Virginia as a wonderful place to visit. 

Finally, Virginia is consistently rated as one of the best states in America in which to do business. Forbes ranks Virginia as number one in their 2013 ranking. To maintain this business environment, we must be vigilant in keeping taxes low, keeping regulations to a minimum, protecting our right to work status, and giving small businesses the resources they need to be successful.  Politicians do not create jobs; it is the business owners who create jobs and they often look to these factors in determining their potential to be successful. 

Quality jobs in Southwest Virginia means our economy will inevitably improve.  The Commonwealth of Virginia is a great place to do business, and Southwest Virginia stands ready, willing and able to provide a solid, qualified workforce.