Woody Thrasher on Technology
Broadband is a must; recruit tech companies
Q: What do you think should be done to diversify the state's economy?
Thrasher: Broadband is a must. We also need to look at each region's unique strengths and work with what we already have started, along with paying attention to trends.
When I saw how many IT grads West Virginia exports, I got to work as Commerce Secretary recruiting tech companies.
Source: Williamson Daily News on 2020 West Virginia governor race
, Mar 24, 2020
Only build highways that generate new economic activity
Thrasher added, "We need to invest in things that are not going to be simply an expense but an investment. An example is the Roads to Prosperity program. Great.
We'll build some great highways, but the Governor is spending $300 million in McDowell County on a four-lane coal field expressway which has no beginning and no end but lowest average daily traffic.
It will be an expense that will not generate any new activity. McDowell County and our southern coal fields need some help from the state, but we need to be strategic with what we do.
You look over here where those infrastructure dollars could get a real return."
Source: Martinsburg Journal-News on 2020 West Virginia governor race
, Mar 9, 2020
More Internet infrastructure, to keep young people in W.V.
Thrasher said he feels West Virginia desperately needs to turn a corner. "I do not believe we are going in the right direction now," he stressed. Thrasher said the key is to create opportunities for young people that will incentivize them to stay in the
"One key element would be to empower the communities which have declined," he said. "In order to do that, you have to have infrastructure.
One particular item is the lack of broadband [high-speed internet]. If you do not have cell service, and you do not have broadband, no one wants to move there."
He said West Virginia received grant monies for internet and the money was given to
Frontier Communications, which "installed copper wire instead of fiber and installed an antiquated system." He said as a businessperson he knows how to run a business efficiently and said the government needs to be run much more efficiently.
Source: MyBuckhannon.com on 2020 West Virginia Governor debate
, Aug 27, 2019
Page last updated: Dec 17, 2020