West Virginia Public Broadcasting – With coal industry jobs dwindling and many young people leaving the state to find work, speakers at the Bright Economic Future for the Mountain State Conference in Charleston outlined many of the challenges for the state’s economy. Despite these obstacles, many entrepreneurs, policy experts, and grassroots organizations who gathered at the conference see plenty of opportunity. Read
While the Union of Concerned Scientists usually focuses on issues related to climate change and renewable energy, West Virginia native and UCS Fellow Jeremy Richardson noticed the need to apply those issues to the economy and helped organize the Bright Economic Future Conference.
“What I’m learning is that people really, really are interested in having this conversation about what our future looks like. I think that people—I think we see really strong support for the idea of diversifying our economy,” said Richardson.
West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy Executive Director Ted Boettner says a diverse, healthy economy ultimately comes down to a healthy and financially stable workforce. But, he said, the state has struggled with that in recent decades.