Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Mark Warner (D-VA) joined the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Appalachia Initiative to release a bipartisan report to boost prosperity and economic growth in the region.
Over the past few months, the senators led policy roundtables with regional and national stakeholders on four critical topics: entrepreneurism and job creation, energy and infrastructure, rural health, and education and workforce, and then developed 19 bipartisan recommendations designed to address the region’s most pressing economic needs.
Click here to watch the panel discussion.
“The economic miracle we witnessed over the last 70 years was built on innovation and capital formation,” said Senator Perdue, who led on entrepreneurism and job creation. “We must encourage innovators to stay and invest in Appalachia to help spark growth in the region.”
“We must take advantage of the region’s abundant energy resources and economic opportunities while working to overcome our infrastructure challenges,” said Senator Manchin, who led on energy and infrastructure. “With the right investments and smart policy, we can benefit from the energy transition now underway, as well as build and modernize transportation, water and sewer, and broadband infrastructure for the next century.”
“To reach communities in Appalachia experiencing poor health outcomes, we will need creative partnerships that leverage federal, state, local, and private resources to ensure that both clinical and community-based services are available to those who need them most,” said Senator Tillis, who led on rural health.
“Lifelong education and worker training – not just to get a job but to hold one – are key building blocks for sustainable economic development in Appalachia,” said Senator Warner, who led on education and workforce. “We should focus on ideas that are proven to work, helping people to successfully acquire the skills that create opportunity for the region.”
The senators’ recommendations are outlined in Appalachia Initiative: A Bipartisan Approach for the 21st Century, which conveys the need for federal support, state and local coordination, and partnerships with businesses and academic institutions.