LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – An Ohio Valley Coalition is expected to unveil the blueprint to a new policy that will expand economic opportunity.
“Reimagine Appalachia” is made up of leaders and organizations from West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
The “New Deal that Works for Us” blueprint, outlines a vision for communities where everyone can support themselves, and have clean air and water, the blueprint incorporates voices from across the region.
The plan was announced in a press webinar Tuesday morning. Part of this plan is to expand opportunity through public investments:
- Maximize good union jobs.
- Provide fossil fuel workers with genuine opportunities doing the work.
- Ensure access to union jobs for black, indigenous, women and low-wage workers.
- Ensure community benefits from federal investments via public input and community oversight.
Next the plan includes building a 21st century sustainable appalachia:
- Restore our damaged lands and waters.
- Modernize the electric grid: decentralize generation, increase use of clean energy and expand broadband.
- Grow manufacturing by making it cleaner and more efficient while also making appalachia a hub for electric vehicle production and alternatives to single-use plastic.
- Build a sustainable transportation system and create new jobs for transit workers.
- Revive the civilian conservation corps: reforest the region, restore wetlands, and promote regenerative agriculture and eco-tourism while simultaneously absorbing greenhouse gases with natural landscapes.
And finally rebuilding the middle class:
- Promote union rights, better pay, benefits and local ownership models for working people across all industries in the region.
Hannah Halbert, Executive Director of Policy Matters Ohio says, “People are the economy and what’s good for people is good for the economy. Right now our nation is facing unprecedented challenges with covid epidemic, a deep economic downturn, extreme inequality, racism, police brutality and the consequences of a changing climate.”
The effort was convened by policy matters ohio, a state-focused economic and policy research institute.
This group says they are hoping to create an economy that is good for working people, communities, and health, that is centered on creating wealth locally and that offers hope to the next generation’s workers regardless of the color of their skin, ethnicity or gender.
To learn more about this, visit the Reimagine Appalachia website.