How to Create Jobs for Young People in West Virginia

West Virginia is full of incredible outdoor adventure, beautiful mountains and endless opportunities.

Recently, the Mountain State became home to the country’s 63rd national park: The New River Gorge. The sweeping vistas give way to hiking trails, blooming rhododendrons and some of the best whitewater rafting in the world.

This new designation will bring in outside tourism at a scenic, federal property while providing an employment opportunity for locals – like park rangers, who develop and present educational programming, guide walks and serve as stewards for the land.

These are the initiatives that could benefit West Virginia for years to come. Young people can learn on-the-job skills with room for advancement – but these types of jobs are difficult to come by in the Mountain State.

So, how does West Virginia create more opportunities like this – especially for government-funded projects?

Good news.

There’s a way to reverse the worker exodus and make job opportunities like this regularly available, rather than few and far between.

We can keep West Virginians here.

Connecting West Virginians with local jobs

You can help restore the Prevailing Wage Law by signing the petition. Sign your name, share with your friends, and let’s restore the Prevailing Wage Law to help move West Virginia forward.

We can help keep young West Virginians in the state and inspire businesses to locate or expand here by restoring the state Prevailing Wage Law.

The law, which has been proven to be a great economic development tool in West Virginia and other states, ensures workers are paid a fair wage based on a regional survey of rates for their particular level of skill and experience. 

In other words, it assures West Virginians are paid the “going rate,” ensuring that government dollars do not undercut local wage and benefit standards, but instead support good jobs and provide good value to taxpayers.

What is the Prevailing Wage Law?

State Prevailing Wage laws, or “Little-Davis Bacon Acts” come from the federal Davis-Bacon Act which has long required contractors and subcontractors on federally funded construction contracts to pay locally Prevailing Wages and provide benefits.

What happened to the Prevailing Wage Law in West Virginia?

Find your West Virginia representatives here and reach out to them to let them know you would like them to reinstate the Prevailing Wage Law.

West Virginia’s Prevailing Wage law was repealed in 2016 with the promise that repeal would save tax dollars. Unfortunately, those savings never materialized and thousands of Mountaineer families suffered and in some cases construction costs rose.

Currently, there’s no law in place to prevent companies from submitting “low ball” bids of proposed costs for public projects. As these companies pocket the profits, wages go down, and the government can end up paying more over time to redo poor quality work.

What are the benefits of restoring the Prevailing Wage?

woman sitting at table
Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Restoring Prevailing Wage will give West Virginia companies employing local workers a fair shot at winning contracts for taxpayer-funded infrastructure projects. This puts West Virginians to work in good-paying jobs.

Restoration creates a number of other benefits, including promoting quality work, increasing apprenticeship training opportunities, boosting worker productivity, reducing injury rates, addressing the shortage of skilled laborers in blue-collar jobs, and promoting standardized and fair compensation.

Skilled local workers do the job quickly and efficiently, pay local taxes and spend their paychecks in West Virginia in our state’s shops, grocery stores and other businesses. With Prevailing Wage, everyone wins.

Citizens and businesses in states with Prevailing Wage are prospering and making best use of their tax dollars. With prevailing wage, West Virginia can join these states and experience the same economic success and high-quality work product.

How Can I Help?

You can help restore the Prevailing Wage Law by signing the petition. Sign your name, share with your friends, and let’s restore the Prevailing Wage Law to help keep our young people here and move West Virginia forward.

It’s simple: Sign the petition.

The petition requests your name to let our leaders know that you support the restoration of our Prevailing Wage Law. It’s time to share your opinion. Prevailing Wage Law can generate new opportunities for our people and reposition our state for the future.

Like many other states enjoying the prosperity associated with the Prevailing Wage Law, West Virginia can move forward. We can create a vibrant economy that retains our young people and offers them valuable training opportunities that allow them to earn as they learn and avoid the burden of student loan debt.

If you value our younger generation and want them to stay home, please join other West Virginians all across the state in sharing their voice by signing the petition to ask lawmakers to support reinstating the Prevailing Wage Law.