Business execs offer ideas for job creation

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Top leaders in government and business are working on ways to create new jobs, but are their efforts making a difference?

If you're looking for the key to an economic recovery...maybe you'll find it, right here.

"I think we, like many other businesses, are constantly looking at ways that we can continue to make the  economy grow and create jobs," said Tammy Finley of Advance Auto Parts.

Advance Auto Parts was founded in Virginia, and now has more than 50,000 U.S. employees. Virginia leaders want more of that kind of growth, so Gov. Bob McDonnell joined top executives from big companies to figure out how to do it.

"We've got to continue to bolster and strengthen the free enterprise system. Get the entrepreneur to do  what he or she does best," McDonnell said.

The obstacle though, is a depressed economy. Evidence of that was found at a Virginia Employment Commission Workforce Center, where people come to get  help finding jobs. During the lunch hour, the waiting room was so full that some people left, preferring to come back another time.

"I see people going out day to day, even just car washing, picking up side jobs, trying to get advancement, but it's hard," said Shirley Walden, a nurse.

The business leaders urged McDonnell to keep a low corporate tax rate and create better workforce training.

"I think we echoed a lot of the same positions from other business leaders, which was continuing to look at how we can market the state," Finley said.

The McDonnell goal is to keep Virginia a top state to do business, whether it's a small business or Fortune 500 company.

"If you unshackle creative people, they're going to create more wealth and opportunity, it's going to make government's work easier in the long run," McDonnell said.

The roundtable talk was organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which listed Virginia as the #2 state for overall economic growth behind North Dakota.

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