Rural Jobs Council created

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Gov. Bob McDonnell announced members of his Rural Jobs Council, which is tasked with developing recommendations to address challenges of economic growth in rural Virginia.

The group is supposed to make recommendations to develop a rural infrastructure plan to include transportation, education and community development.

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling will chair the council and Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore will serve as vice chairs.
“Virginia’s rural communities are the heart and soul of our Commonwealth and we must do everything we can to bring jobs and opportunity to these regions,” McDonnell said a in a statement. “ I am
confident this group will develop thoughtful recommendations and a solid infrastructure plan for rural Virginia.”

Members include:
•      Shannon Blevins, director of economic development, U.Va. at Wise, Wise County

•      David Brash, senior vice president of Business Development and Rural Strategy, Wellmont Health System, Lebanon

•      Delegate Kathy Byron, Lynchburg

•      Elizabeth Crowther, president, Rappahannock Community College, Saluda

•      Katie Frazier, president, Virginia Agribusiness Council, Richmond

•      Timothy Heydon, CEO, Shenandoah Growers, Harrisonburg

•      Rebecca Hough, co-Founder and CEO, Evatran, Wytheville

•      Thomas Hudson, president, Virginia Coal Association, Richmond

•      Delegate Danny Marshall, Danville

•      Ned Massee, chairman, Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Richmond

•      Delegate Don Merricks, Martinsville

•      Martha Moore, vice president for government affairs, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Richmond

•      Delegate Israel O’Quinn, Abingdon

•      Bill Parr, Parr Properties, Cape Charles

•      State Sen. Phil Puckett, Tazewell

•      Delegate Margaret Ransone, Kinsale

•      Nicole Riley, state director, National Federation of Independent Business, Richmond

•      State Sen. Frank Ruff, Clarksville

•      Brett Vassey, president and CEO, Virginia Manufacturers Association, Richmond

•      William Wampler, executive director, New College Institute, Martinsville

•      Delegate Onzlee Ware, Roanoke

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