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Forum Held in West Virginia to Discuss Jobs and Economic Growth

In spite of the inclement weather, more than 100 people gathered in Beckley, West Virginia, last week for a community forum on jobs and economic growth, held as a follow up to President Obama’s December 3 White House briefings on job creation.

The forum was co-hosted by USDA Rural Development, USDA Farm Service Agency, and the new River Community and Technical College (NRCTC).  Congressman Nick Rahall delivered the keynote address to a wide array of representatives from local businesses, community-based organizations, economic development authorities, regional planning and development councils, educational institutions, labor organizations, healthcare providers, financial institutions, units of local, state and federal
government, and the recreation and tourism industry.

Officials at the January 7 West Virginia Job Forum

“There is no one silver bullet, no one plan, no one piece of legislation, no one individual that can alone solve our double digit unemployment, but collectively, with the ideas being shared here today, we can make a significant start,” Rahall said.

In referring to the forum as a “historical, national conversation,” Dr. Ted Spring, President of the NRCTC, noted “today we are listening to each other and gathering insight into how our country can emerge from this current economic crisis with a stable economy and a workforce prepared to compete in the global marketplace.”

As Rural Development State Director I want to thank everyone for their input and assured those who attended that their comments will be provided to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to be presented to President Obama.

You can read more and/or watch the featured video of the forum here.

Submitted by West Virginia USDA Rural Development State Director Robert D. “Bobby” Lewis, through Public Affairs Specialist Gail Bennett.

To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth

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