As a lifelong citizen of West Virginia I have seen the economy and community in the Kanawha Valley from its stages of development to a current state of retrogress. I have engaged in over thirty six years of working in the chemical industry here in the valley, beginning my career as a Union Carbide pipefitter. I have worked in this industry at a time that the valley and community were thriving. Local work and jobs were available to hard working skilled laborers providing for their families.
Over these thirty six years, I have been led to many opportunities in my industry spanning from operations to maintenance and now as a specialist in my field. These opportunities would not have existed if I had not entered into the workforce as a skilled pipefitter.
It is time the future of West Virginia has the right to the same opportunities that I had in a once fruitful and fierce economic community. It is time that we put local jobs and work first, time that the hard earned money from our beloved natural resources stay in the hands and pockets of this very community. It is time that we educate our youth and provide them with every opportunity to have a fulfilling life. This will in turn help our economy and take proper care of those that took care of us. Additionally, make West Virginia a place where not only our children want to stay after they are educated but also a place that others will want to come to.