Rural Jobs Council could benefit area
Posted: February 2, 2013
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — A group convened by Gov. Bob McDonnell to improve the state’s rural economy could benefit the local area.
On Thursday, the governor announced the members of his Rural Jobs Council, which is assigned to find ways to develop a rural infrastructure plan including transportation, education and community development.
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling will lead the council and Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore will serve as vice-chairmen.
The 24-member council will study impediments to job creation, strategies to improve kindergarten through 12th grade education, and the state’s tax and regulatory environment in rural areas.
The council could be beneficial for the Winchester area, said Patrick Barker, executive director of the Winchester-Frederick County Economic Development Commission.
Challenges and barriers to continued economic expansion are always present, he noted. “If this commission can remedy a few of them, the effort is admirable and worthwhile.”
Although none of the 24 members of the council is from Winchester or Frederick or Clarke counties, Barker is confident the panel will solicit suggestions from area leaders.
Bolling championed the creation of the panel in a Thursday news release.
“This group will give Virginia the chance to expand Gov. McDonnell’s recent initiatives in the areas of entrepreneurship and education reform to ensure that all Virginians have the same opportunities, no matter their zip code,” he said.
— Contact Conor Gallagher at email@example.com