With Amazon coming to Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia seeks opportunity for economic development
Amazon officials made their first visit to far Southwest Virginia this week to give local legislators and economic development leaders the chance to pitch the region’s assets so it can have a stake in the company’s second headquarters that will open in Northern Virginia.
The state hopes the benefits of the Amazon project will expand across Virginia, and those in the economically distressed region of far southwest want to make sure they reap the benefits.
Amazon officials spent Sunday and Monday visiting Bristol, Abingdon and St. Paul, where local leaders showed off the region’s amenities, including restaurants and outdoor recreation. At a roundtable in St. Paul, educational leaders and lawmakers emphasized a desire to build a bridge between prospering Northern Virginia and Southwest Virginia to try to shrink the wide economic divide between the two regions.
“The challenge is in Northern Virginia, these companies are competing for talent,” said Gov. Ralph Northam, who oversaw the roundtable. “If you go to the Eastern Shore, where I’m from, or here in the Southwest, we have talented people that are competing for jobs. We don’t have the jobs in these areas. So that’s really what we need to focus on and figure out how to provide jobs for these talented people.”
Virginia’s pitch as to why Amazon should come to Northern Virginia hinged on the strength of that region’s intellectual workforce and a promise to provide the highly educated workers it needs in the future.
To learn more, check out the whole article below.