Bob McDonnell, Republican gubernatorial nominee and former Attorney General of Virginia, unveiled his economic plan for rural Virginia, “Good Jobs Everywhere: Bob McDonnell’s Economic Vision for Rural Virginia” Monday in front of Blue Ridge Aqua Culture in Martinsville.
The Blue Ridge Aqua Culture is a leader for indoor aquaculture facilites. It raises nearly four million pounds of Tilapia each year at its 100,000 square foot facility in Martinsville (Ridgeway).
RIDGEWAY– Bob McDonnell, Republican gubernatorial nominee and former Attorney General of Virginia, today unveiled a comprehensive plan to bring new jobs and more opportunities to rural Virginia. He announced his plans during a press conference held at Blue Ridge Aquaculture in Henry County, where the unemployment rate is 15.4%. Ridgeway is just outside Martinsville, a city struggling with a 21.6% unemployment rate, the highest in the state. McDonnell’s plan emphasizes the need for a coordinated statewide effort to spur growth in rural Virginia, noting the importance of putting individuals in Virginia’s rural cities and counties at the helm of these efforts. The plan highlights the need for bold action to overcome current economic challenges, and builds off of plans McDonnell has already unveiled relating to small businesses, education and energy.
The Highlights of Bob’s “Economic Vision for Rural Virginia: Good Jobs Everywhere” Plan include:
· Making Virginia the best state in America in which to open a small business
· Establishing a HUBZone Empowerment Contracting program to spur job growth and economic development in historically underutilized business zones
· Designating one Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade to focus solely on rural economic development
· Creating a Governor’s Rural Virginia Taskforce to ensure cooperation among agencies
· Fully utilizing the Center for Rural Virginia
· Providing a $1,000 tax credit per job to businesses that create 50 new jobs, or 25 new jobs in economically distressed areas
· Expanding use of the Governor’s Opportunity Fund by roughly doubling the funding available and broadening Fund rules to allow companies that generate additional state and local tax revenue to qualify
· Establishing academic opportunities in K-12 and higher education that train a workforce in transferable skills, and expanding existing programs to every area of rural Virginia
· Developing a comprehensive infrastructure plan
· Making Southwest and Southside Virginia the nation’s hub for traditional and alternative energy research and development
· Promoting farm preservation, championing agriculture issues, and reviewing over-burdensome regulations and Executive Orders
· Fighting for the permanent elimination of the Death Tax at the federal level
Speaking about his proposals to launch a coordinated statewide effort to bring economic revitalization to rural Virginia, McDonnell remarked, “Most Virginians have been impacted by this economic downturn and we are all anxious about what the future holds. Many of our rural communities have been hit the hardest. Here in Henry County unemployment tops 15.4% and in neighboring Martinsville the unemployment rate is the highest in the state at 21.6%. The people of Ridgeway, and all of rural Virginia, are hard working, innovative, and talented. What they need are the new jobs and opportunities that will allow them to achieve their dreams, and grow our economy. From manufacturing to dairy farms, I know that rural Virginia will be a key part of the economic resurgence that we will create in the Commonwealth. I will be a jobs governor. Working together, across party and regional lines, we will bring new jobs and greater opportunities to rural Virginia.”
McDonnell continued, “In my administration I will enact specific policies geared toward job creation in rural Virginia. We will designate one Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade to focus exclusively on rural Virginia. This individual will have one simple mission: help keep the jobs we have, and create the new jobs we need, in our rural areas. We will provide tax credits for employers who go into our hard hit rural areas and create jobs for our citizens. We will work to provide aspiring entrepreneurs the educational and financial resources necessary to maintain and grow their businesses. We will expand the energy revolution in Southside and Southwest and make these areas the nation’s hub for traditional and alternative energy research and development. We are also fully committed to the creation and sustainability of good jobs in rural Virginia to provide the next generation with the opportunity to live and work in their hometowns and communities. Our focus is simple: bring good paying jobs and great opportunities to the hard working people of rural Virginia.”
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Election 2009, Politics, State Politics
Tags: election2009, governor, republican