In a recent address to about 170 students in the College of Business and Economics management course (BCOR 370), West Virginia Delegate Tim Manchin reviewed the many advantages to choosing West Virginia as the home for their careers.
The lecture by Manchin, who represents West Virginia’s 43rd District, Marion and Monongalia counties, began with the subject of taxes. He noted that our state corporate taxes are among the lowest in the nation when all factors are taken into consideration. He said that over 50 bills have been introduced since 2006 to lower business taxes, in one way or another, to stimulate job growth in the state. He sees West Virginia’s desire to become a job friendly state as an important element in attracting companies to come to here. West Virginia is currently eighth among all states in attracting new business, with much of that growth taking place in the Morgantown-Fairmont-Parkersburg triangle.
In addition to an attractive tax structure, Manchin added that West Virginia’s “business friendly climate” is enhanced by a strong fiscal policy, pointing out that a recent CATO study identified West Virginia as one of the three most “pro-growth” states in the country. Other fiscal strong points include a strong S&P bond rating, the privatization of Workers’ Compensation, the state’s medical malpractice laws, the stability of its banks and the $780 million in West Virginia’s Rainy Day Fund.
Manchin next turned to the state’s quality of life, offering it as yet another factor favoring West Virginia’s future. He noted West Virginia has 50 state parks, 1.5 million acres of public land available for hunting, 800 miles of hiking trails, 5,000 acres of fishing, and a host of attractions covering everything from skiing in the winter to white water rafting in the summer. Added to this is a low cost of living and, in general, an absence of crime and congestion.
However, Manchin said the greatest basis for faith in West Virginia’s future is to be found in the character of its people. He described the people of West Virginia as proud, loyal to their state and country, honest, hard working and always willing to help someone in need. He argued these characteristics, more than anything else, will serve to both hold current employers and draw future employers to our state.
Manchin concluded his talk by inviting the students to each consider the top five elements they believe a law, seeking to serve the people of West Virginia, should have.