Senator Mark Warner believes that no one should have to leave their hometown to have a world class job. Since his time as Virginia’s governor, Warner has been focused on protecting jobs and creating opportunity in rural Virginia, for people like Teri who want to work in the technology field.
During his tenure as governor, Mark Warner worked to bring technology opportunities to communities like Teri’s hometown of Lebanon in Russell County. Thanks in part to Warner’s tireless work, the Southwest Virginia Information Technology Center of Excellence opened in Lebanon in 2006, bringing more than 400 jobs and over $68 million in economic impact to the region. During the 10-year anniversary of the dedication of the center, Warner said, “we should not—and cannot—give up on our small towns and expect the rest of the state to prosper. And what you have done here in Lebanon is a success story – a success story that’s worth rewriting all across America.”
Infrastructure is critical to economic development, and no infrastructure in the 21st century is more important that fast, dependable broadband. Unfortunately, not everyone in Virginia has access to reliable broadband service. Sen. Warner has been relentless in pushing to get high-speed internet to rural Virginia to help unlock our economic potential and even the playing field for all Virginians. In 2014, he helped change the law to make it easier for the government to fund rural broadband projects in Virginia and across the nation. In 2019, he successfully pushed for over $30 million in grant funding for rural broadband, and rural parts of the Commonwealth are already taking advantage of these new programs.
Warner is fighting to bring job opportunities to rural Virginia outside of the technology sector as well. In 2019, Sen. Warner and Sen. Tim Kaine introduced the bi-partisan Job Corps Protection Act to protect successful job training centers nationwide, including the Flatwoods Job Corps facility in Coeburn, VA. The Flatwood Job Corps has helped young Virginians gain the skills they need to succeed in a changing economy for decades, and thanks to the work of Sen. Warner and his colleagues, it remains open.
Bottom line: Sen. Warner is committed to making sure that every Virginian has access to the tools and opportunities to help them succeed, regardless of their ZIP code.