Once again, the West Virginia Manufacturers Association (WVMA) is coming to the Legislature with a proposal to give large manufacturers and mining companies a property tax break.
For years, we’ve watched our young people leave West Virginia. The children of our friends, whom we’ve watched grow up, head off to college or a job opportunity, and they don’t come back. Now, their parents—our friends and neighbors—are entering or nearing retirement, and asking one another: Are you going to stay in West Virginia? It’s remarkable how many say no, or give a long sigh and shrug that says, “I don’t know.” It’s not that they have somewhere else calling them. It’s the politics.
West Virginia downtowns in dire need of redevelopment and revitalization are getting much needed aid through the Downtown Appalachia Redevelopment Initiative.
According to Houser, Bordoff, and Marsters, 2017, West Virginia’s total coal job loss from Q4 2011 to Q4 2016 was 12,533. This has been a scary time for many Appalachian people. Severe environmental damage has been done, and social problems, such as drug addiction, continue to threaten their future. To help combat these issues, the Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition, a regional collaboration, is pursuing mine reclamation projects throughout Central Appalachia that are responsive to community needs and interests.
Growing up, I had heard many negative stereotypes associated with folks from my home state, but when it was suggested that there was a real bias against West Virginians, I was unconvinced.
The decline of the coal industry has left many in Richwood and other parts of West Virginia unemployed, contributing to the state’s economic troubles. Programs such as Richwood Scientific Inc, which offer free or cheap training in other industries, could help retrain and eventually employ those without jobs.
The City of Charles Town officially christened a new nature park housed on a former brownfield site and kicked off the first piece of a large-scale project in its urban center.
As Shepherdstown and Shepherd University continue to successfully expand and become increasingly intertwined, the value of cooperative partnerships cannot be overemphasized.
A robust movement advocating for greater state tax credits for the rehabilitation of historic properties is spreading throughout West Virginia—and is picking up steam in the state’s legislature.