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Opinion Pieces by Rob

Bringing Virginia jobs, manufacturing and a strong supply chain

In recent years, the United States has witnessed a shift in global trade dynamics and supply chain vulnerabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic further exposed the risks of relying heavily on foreign suppliers for critical goods and materials. It is now more crucial than ever that we prioritize domestic manufacturing and strengthen our supply chains to ensure our nation’s economic and national security.

With Virginia’s skilled workforce, strategic location and vibrant business community, it is uniquely positioned as a hub of job creation and manufacturing excellence. We have a rich history of industrial innovation and a diverse range of industries, including aerospace, defense, shipbuilding and advanced manufacturing. By harnessing these strengths and investing in our infrastructure and workforce development, we can attract businesses and industries that will bolster our economy and create well-paying jobs.

One area where we must focus our efforts is reshoring critical manufacturing capabilities. We cannot afford to rely on other countries for essential goods, especially those vital to our national security and public health. By incentivizing domestic production through targeted tax policies and regulatory reforms, we can encourage companies to invest in American manufacturing and bring jobs back to our shores.

In Washington, House Republicans have led the charge to bring jobs back to America by advancing legislation such as the REINS ActLower Energy Costs ActTax Cuts and Jobs Act and the Fiscal Responsibility Act. These policies incentivize businesses to invest in domestic job creation by offering tax credits for energy-efficient technologies and manufacturing facilities in the United States, allocating funds for workforce development programs, and reducing regulatory burdens on businesses from major regulations. These efforts will ultimately promote job growth in the energy sector, bolster domestic employment, and entice companies to establish or expand their operations on American soil.

As co-chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, I know that ensuring all Virginians have high speed internet access is crucial to incentivize domestic manufacturing. This is why I continue to fight to extend broadband service through the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative and by introducing the Serving Rural America Act, which served as the blueprint for the federal Broadband Infrastructure Program for high-cost per mile broadband construction projects in underserved areas.

The 1st District of Virginia is home to some of the most pressing transportation challenges in the country — including highway congestion, strained commuter rail, aging ports and crumbling roads and bridges. Upgrading our transportation networks will enable us to reach international markets more efficiently. To ease congestion along the Interstate 95 corridor, I introduced the Long Bridge Act to improve rail traffic between Virginia and our nation’s capital, which was signed into law in 2020. I continue to advocate for grants to incentivize companies to plant new employment centers or expand existing ones in strategic areas that will spur growth for the Port of Virginia.

Additionally, we must support workforce development initiatives that equip our workers with the skills needed for the jobs of the future. This Congress, I introduced the bipartisan Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act, which would permit the use of 529 account funds for postsecondary credential program expenses, including tuition, exam, training and supply costs associated with obtaining in-demand workforce certifications. By bridging the skills gap, we can ensure that Virginians have access to high-quality employment opportunities and that our businesses have access to a skilled workforce.

As the representative for Virginia’s 1st District in Congress, I continue to advocate for policies that promote job creation, manufacturing and a robust supply chain in Virginia. It is time for Virginia to take the lead in bringing jobs back to our communities, revitalizing our manufacturing sector, and strengthening our supply chains. By seizing this opportunity, we can ensure a bright future for Virginia’s workers, businesses and families.

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