For McDonnell 65 Jobs is Major Achievement?

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    So this is what it comes to. Following his Asia tourism stimulus tour, the Governor sets us up for a letdown. “Tight-lipped McDonnell set to unveil ‘major economic development'” screamed the Washington Times yesterday. “McDonnell to make major announcement in Staunton” announced the News Leader on Saturday. 65 jobs.

    Now we see why he was so tight-lipped. McDonnell continues to pay businesses because they are in Virginia. He can’t bring new business and investment into the state and he’s “rewarding” current businesses that come hat-in-hand. There is a threshold where these “accomplishments” amount to something sinister. A week ago the Governor doled out $350,000 to a company that had abandoned its plant in Franklin in return for reducing job cuts from 1,100 to only 887. Meanwhile he has accomplished nothing to entice potential new suitors. Instead he rewarded International Paper for cutting employment.

    Governor McDonnell’s announcement today, as welcome as it is for Staunton, is no major achievement for the state economy. But he is grasping at straws while he attempts to maintain the illusion that he is a mover and a shaker. The guy who couldn’t arrange a meeting with established Chinese trading partners in Chongqing is nothing more than a shameless huckster.

    Oh, and it’s 65 jobs within three years, whatever that means.

    • which, of course, helps make him an effective – albeit slippery, slick, and slimy – politician.  

    • DELEGATE WARD ARMSTRONG STATEMENT ON STARTEK CLOSURE

      “I am saddened to hear the announcement that StarTek will be closing its operations in Collinsville and eliminating 631 jobs.  As the largest remaining private employer in Henry County, StarTek’s closure will have a significant negative impact on the economy of Martinsville, Henry County, and the surrounding area. It is a difficult day for the Virginians who received notice that they will be losing their jobs. My office stands ready to assist displaced employees in any way with the acquisition of unemployment benefits, job training, education, and other services as they make the transition from StarTek.

      Although the average unemployment rate in Virginia may be less than the national average, the unemployment rates in Henry County-Martinsville are in the double digits. The McDonnell-Bolling Administration has been touting the creation of jobs throughout Southside and Southwest Virginia.  But the Administration has not been able to create more jobs than have been lost. Unless that trend is changed we will continue to go backwards.

      The economic situation in Henry County-Martinsville and the surrounding region is desperate, and it is going to take a greater effort on the part of the Governor and state government to turn the region around. I stand ready to work with the Governor to reverse this downward trend but it is going to take a higher level of commitment and greater investment to generate the kind of economic development we need.  It is time to get serious about revitalization and job creation in Southside and Southwest Virginia.”