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2023 Update

   I continue work closely with both labor and academia and I think the pendulum is swinging back toward a balance between encouraging our young people to pursue a post high school education that is academically focused and one as a skilled tradesperson.  The fact that some trade programs are including the ability to earn an AA degree while completing an apprenticeship is a good and natural, thing that also has led to some key legislation such as HB2005 which was a key bill the Republican caucus sought to pass in 2023.

   Job creation also comes in forms beyond education. Below are some of the bills that I co-sponsored in 2023 to help with job growth by: dual enrollment, incentives for workers to move to WV, incentives for the creation of entire communities that are built around supporting remote workers, and expedited licenses for Veterans.


Last Action
To create the Remote Worker Home Development Act
House Finance
Creating a tax credit against the corporate net income tax for companies paying moving expenses of employees to West Virginia
House Finance
Expediting License Applications for active military members and veterans, and their spouses
Effective Ninety Days from Passage – (June 9, 2023)
Creating a liaison program with the federal Department of Veterans Affairs Transition Assistance Program
House Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security
Relating to vocational and technical education programs
House Education
Establishing the dual enrollment pilot program to be administered by the Higher Education Policy Commission and the Council for Community and Technical College Education in conjunction with the State Board of Education.
Effective from passage – (March 10, 2023)

   Good paying jobs don’t just happen; they take planning. Below are a few of my thoughts on providing good-paying jobs for our constituents.

Career Training

   As noted in my position on education, both Mineral and Hampshire County schools have and offer vocational training opportunities, but what happens after the student graduates? And what about the individual who is beyond high school age who wants to learn a trade?  What makes a good vocational career path is one that provides the student the ability to advance from being an apprentice, and work all the steps until they become a master, and perhaps licensed (depending on the trade). One key component of the vocational career path is finding matching business partners who are willing to participate for each vocation.  Some of those business partners might not exist locally, but there are things that West Virginia can do to incentivize businesses to participate, such as financial incentives.

Improved infrastructure

Regardless of the product–whether corn, cows, steel, or “just” words–businesses need the ability to obtain resources and “ship out” finished products.

  • Physical products such as corn, cows, and steel need good roads, railways or waterways. (Air transport is generally too expensive.) In the Potomac Highlands of WV, there is no currently existing water transportation network, so we are dependent upon roadways and railways. Mineral County is already working on a north-south highway, a critical way to move goods in and out of the Keyser Industrial Park.

  • Of course, printed words need to be moved physically, too, but today a significant number of businesses rely upon the instant transmission of words and ideas using the internet. To attract new businesses and nurture current businesses so they grow, all in order to create and expand our local job base, we need a robust internet. See my other position on broadband  

There are other parts to infrastructure too, but I believe the transportation of our raw materials and finished products into and out of the area physically or via the internet is fundamental.

Cut Business Payroll Taxes for New Hires

   This may sound counter intuitive:  make more money by taking in less.  A payroll tax cut aimed at new workers encourages firms to hire new employees.  Experience has shown that businesses use tax savings in one of four ways: to reduce prices, to buy more supplies, to increase wages, and/or to hire more employees.  Each of these four behaviors spurs job growth.

Improve the Quality of Life

   Fundamentally, this idea is built upon making our community so attractive that people are drawn to either live here, or visit.  As more families and tourists come to the area, all the supporting industries increase, too.  Everything benefits–the hotel industry, restaurants, entertainment, grocery stores, etc., not to mention all the trades that would be employed by either upgrading existing buildings and infrastructure or building new.

Example:  With a lot of effort in 2021, the WV Peach Festival committee more than doubled the previous festival’s attendance. That attendance increase had an immediate positive impact on the community. With all the hotels fully booked, the local merchant stores experienced more business than they have in years. The restaurants were packed, and all the lines in the grocery store were open and had long lines.

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