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.
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.
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 https://www.rick4wv88.com/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.