Experts predict growth for West Virginia’s economy.
That’s how the headline on the story read. And, if true, this is news that the Mountain State has been awaiting since 2008.
Most people have been living below their standards for far too long now. It’s been a long time since prosperity has reigned.
The State Journal, the business newspaper for West Virginia, pointed out that the state ranks third in the nation relative to the median age. And it ranks as the second oldest in terms of individuals aged 65 or older. And these figures are related to the manner in which West Virginia is expected to prosper.
The aging population — the senior citizens among us — demands certain things from the economy, such as health care and financial services, according to Paul Speaker, an associate professor of finance in West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics. And both of these sectors are expected to grow over the next five years.
Speaker points out that the state has had very steady growth in the health-care sector in terms of jobs, and that trend is expected to continue. The sector grows at about 2 percent annually.
Health-care jobs typically pay more than the minimum wage, and the wage scale is expected to climb. Speaker noted that health-care jobs are anticipated to take the gross state product from its current 9.12 percent to 9.66 percent by 2017.
Another way the state can help the aging population is by expanding the professional business services sector, primarily financial services. Workers need help in planning their retirement, and it stands to reason that seniors could use similar services.
State officials have long predicted a growth in Medicaid costs, and in anticipation of those rising costs, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin last year asked state agencies to cut 7.5 percent from their budgets. While West Virginia has closed the gap in terms of per capita income, this does affect how much federal money the state’s Medicaid program will receive.
Despite the rising costs in Medicaid, businesses that serve the senior population of the state are expected to prosper. If this helps the state economy grow, and it should, so be it. We’re still at the point where we need all the help we can get.
Experts predict growth for West Virginia’s economy.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
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- Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial