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Old 05-07-2017, 02:27 AM
 
Location: Elkins, WV
1,981 posts, read 5,250,078 times
Reputation: 807

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I pose this question to all state residents and even outside residents. I've been working with my students on a lesson on which they're in charge and they reinvigorate West Virginia's economy. I would like to hear from others on this topic. This is a non-political based question so please leave that out... But I think it is important we as a state start to think about a future West Virginia. We have lived through the coal era... which for what it has been worth did provide some very good paying jobs at the expense of our miners health and our communities destruction. Not saying coal is going away but it is quite evident that it is not going to play a significant role in our economy in the future.

But my questions are... What can we do to change the image of the state? What industries could we encourage? What would bring us off the bottom of nearly all the positive state rankings? What could we do to keep our young people here, instead of bleeding them out to other states? What could we do to stop the brain-drain? What should our elected representatives at local and state levels be considering and looking at to revamp our cities and towns? Ideas we have proposed would be special TIF districts, protecting the environment and using state subsidies to develop adventure and family friendly resorts/waterparks/amsusement parks, luring 21st century manufacturers for solar panels and technology, encouraging WV students to go to college or trade schools with loan forgiveness in order to keep them here, recruit or encourage venture capitalists.
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:02 AM
 
Location: Leesburg, VA
532 posts, read 773,249 times
Reputation: 397
I don't know.... dissolve the state and rejoin Virginia? (How is that for thinking outside the box?)
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:34 AM
 
829 posts, read 1,206,069 times
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Ideas we have proposed would be special TIF districts: Some areas are starting to put these to use (Morgantown, South Charleston, and Parkersburg are all using this now. Morgantown is further along and it looks to be successful, thus far.

using state subsidies to develop adventure and family friendly resorts/waterparks/amsusement parks: where will the funds come from our state budget? While this potentially could make an area in WV attractive for tourism and such, the jobs at these facilities are seasonal and not very conducive to supporting a family. It would take some deep pockets to do this type of development. Would be better than nothing and could be a boost to several areas of our state. Would have to be something major in order to draw sufficient numbers of people to make it a major player in the economy. We need a Dolly Parton type person or someone that will take the initiative to heart the way she has done in her area.

luring 21st century manufacturers for solar panels and technology: Would be a good source of employment with decent wages. Should be given serious consideration. The technology center off I-79 has been a success from what I can tell. Some abandoned strip mines could be used for solar technology but the manufacturing of such would need to be more accessible transportation-wise.

encouraging WV students to go to college or trade schools with loan forgiveness in order to keep them here, recruit: There must be something for them to do after graduation so we are in a which comes first situation here. Again, funding would have to come from somewhere.

encourage venture capitalists: Great idea if we could get some people interested that have the capital and are strong enough to see things through the lean beginnings.
------ ------ ----- -----

We definitely need to get off our dependence on extraction industries as the main source of employment and income generation for our state. Diversification is a must but getting the people with the funding available to risk is, I believe, the major problem.

Agriculture in our state is way under what it could or should be, in my opinion.
---------- ------- ------ ------ -----

After writing this reply, I read the article about how WVU almost gave up baseball as a sport. The steps Oliver Luck took to assist in making a decision are exactly the steps needed to develop WV's economic future. The trick is getting the right people to the right table at the right time to make a decision of what is needed and how do we get it done. More of this type of thinking will generate some good things, in my opinion.


http://www.wvgazettemail.com/sports-...ing-eliminated

Last edited by bballjunkie; 05-07-2017 at 11:49 AM..
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Old 05-07-2017, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Morgantown, WV (Native Texan)
817 posts, read 643,799 times
Reputation: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by venture2000 View Post
I don't know.... dissolve the state and rejoin Virginia? (How is that for thinking outside the box?)
it'll never happen but I think it should....
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Old 05-07-2017, 12:09 PM
 
591 posts, read 703,729 times
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Urbanization is the only path forward. WV needs urban centers that are vibrant and diverse to attract new businesses and residents. While there are some exceptions, the population migration trend in the US is to go from rural to urban and not the other way around, and there is nothing WV can really do to change this.

What WV can do is to prioritize its metro areas like Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, Beckley, ect. in funding and economic development initiatives, as well as establish programs to buy out isolated communities and encourage resettlement in WV cities.

Additionally, the state must step up its economic development strategies. Right now they are trying to play single A ball in a major league world. Instead of focusing almost exclusively on expanding the road network into rural areas and flat land availability, the state should empower counties and cities to pursue businesses by starting a Payment In Lieu of Taxes program (PILOT) that many other states use. The program would allow cities and counties to initiate agreements with businesses to pay a fee in exchange for local/ state tax abatement for a set number of years tied to the business meeting measurables, such as total employment at the location and average salary. If the business fails to meet the terms of the PILOT, then the agreement is cancelled and the business must pay the previous taxes that were abated. The local government comes out ahead via the increase in people working/ living/ paying taxes in the community
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Old 05-07-2017, 12:39 PM
 
1,429 posts, read 1,117,217 times
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On the agriculture front, the agriculture secretary has been working on a program to teach veterans how to farm and set up big green house growing facilities. Imagine instead of having to bring in herbs, flowers, tomato's and other hot house grown items from the west coast, we could grow enough to meet the states need and export to other east coast states since we are in such close proximity to large population areas. We have the land to build green houses, our weather is pretty stable year round (no 120 degree weeks, no -20 weeks) and we are in a pretty good geothermal area (cheap heating and cooling for hot houses).

Encourage beer brewers and distilleries to set up shop/expand production in the state and then help them market the products.

TIF's if the finances make sense.

Legalize weed and hemp.

Advanced manufacturing like mentioned above.

Encourage/lure space and aeronautical related industries.

Stop trying to punish areas that are growing/doing well (currently the state punishes growing areas, takes a dollar away from growing area to give to dying area. Meanwhile if growing area had kept that dollar, it would have resulted in 2 dollars going back to the state. A lot of this is because of hatred and jealousy on the part of certain areas and groups within the state). Instead encourage and help those areas continue to grow and prosper. If they do well, they help raise up the rest of the state (extra tax money, charity, rising tide raises all ships type of thing).

Related to hemp above but also to all of the natural gas we have here, lure and encourage plastics manufacturing and other related industries.
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:38 PM
 
20 posts, read 16,802 times
Reputation: 33
I feel that a lot of West Virginia's problems could be solved with the legalization of cannabis and hemp. If only you knew the effects this has had on the west coast, you'd all be flipping your biscuits right now.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Dublin, Ohio via WV
402 posts, read 356,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude6 View Post
I feel that a lot of West Virginia's problems could be solved with the legalization of cannabis and hemp. If only you knew the effects this has had on the west coast, you'd all be flipping your biscuits right now.
It would be great for the state in the short term for sure. So called "pot tourism" would be huge as WV would be the only state in the area to legalize it. Then use that money to diversify the economy, bring in new businesses. Also, build a regional airport in Teays Valley/Hurricane. The metro valley has a 50%+ leakage of people traveling to Cincinnati, Columbus, and Lexington to fly out at cheaper prices and more places. And like others have said, put the money into the cities. Stop building roads to nowhere (King Coal Highway, Corridor H. etc) and put that money into finishing the I-64 expansion and future extra lanes on northern I-79 and I-68
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Elkins, WV
1,981 posts, read 5,250,078 times
Reputation: 807
Quote:
Originally Posted by 304eer View Post
It would be great for the state in the short term for sure. So called "pot tourism" would be huge as WV would be the only state in the area to legalize it. Then use that money to diversify the economy, bring in new businesses. Also, build a regional airport in Teays Valley/Hurricane. The metro valley has a 50%+ leakage of people traveling to Cincinnati, Columbus, and Lexington to fly out at cheaper prices and more places. And like others have said, put the money into the cities. Stop building roads to nowhere (King Coal Highway, Corridor H. etc) and put that money into finishing the I-64 expansion and future extra lanes on northern I-79 and I-68
Disagree with you on Corridor H... Corridor H isn't a road to nowhere. Corridor H if it was built and funded when the other corridors were built as was intended... This area would look a lot different today in terms of economic development. We draw tons of tourists from the DC area and corridor H would open up this part of the state more to the huge DC populous. Corridor H is mostly finished aside so stopping now would be like making a cake and stopping right before you put the icing on to add extra icing on another cake. I-68 was originally an ARC corridor as well.

I agree that more work needs to be done all over the state in terms of infrastructure development with highways and upgrading our interstates and we need to open up all areas of our state, and I think we should pass a bond and get to work on them ASAP. The proposed regional airport never had a chance because Yeager and Tri-State didn't want to give up their autonomy despite the fact a regional airport on FLAT land in Putnam County would have longer runways for larger planes and also would have more carriers, flights, and connections. Shame that it never came to fruition, but maybe with enough support it could become viable again.
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:14 PM
 
9,438 posts, read 11,592,872 times
Reputation: 1525
Quote:
Originally Posted by 304eer View Post
It would be great for the state in the short term for sure. So called "pot tourism" would be huge as WV would be the only state in the area to legalize it. Then use that money to diversify the economy, bring in new businesses. Also, build a regional airport in Teays Valley/Hurricane. The metro valley has a 50%+ leakage of people traveling to Cincinnati, Columbus, and Lexington to fly out at cheaper prices and more places. And like others have said, put the money into the cities. Stop building roads to nowhere (King Coal Highway, Corridor H. etc) and put that money into finishing the I-64 expansion and future extra lanes on northern I-79 and I-68
Pot tourism isn't going to work unless the Feds legalize it. That won't happen until they can make money from it.

I fully agree that the state is building roads in areas that basically already have adequate infrastructure, including areas that are losing population, and ignoring the areas with the greatest growth potential. If you are in some areas of this state, the state government is like a dead albatross weighting things down, and instead of helping, it literally does everything possible to get in the way. If there weren't provincial, clannish jealousy in play state government would do everything possible to maximize growth in areas with the greatest potential and use that as a springboard for the whole state. Now, they are dumping resources into one economic black hole after another.

In the southern tier, the emphasis should be on changing attitudes to encourage people to attain more education and encourage healthy lifestyles. There is a vastly different attitude there in those regards. I was in Charleston a few weeks ago for a ballgame, and the number of obese people I saw there is startlingly noticeable compared with other areas. That can't be lost on potential investors when they look at potential places to invest for growth. I have a hunch it is even more evident in the rural areas south of there. I realize they are building new bike lanes and such, but there needs to be a different attitude in place too.
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