Augusta Free Press

Robert Hurt: A victory for job creation in Virginia’s Fifth District

Last week’s March Jobs Report once again demonstrated that this administration’s policies are hindering the dynamic economic and job growth we so desperately need.  The report showed that our economy is not growing fast enough to reduce the unemployment rate, the percentage of able-bodied adults that have given up looking for a job is nearly the highest it’s been in thirty years, and more than seven million Americans are only working part-time when they would rather work full-time.  This bleak status quo that our country has experienced for the past five years is unacceptable, and we should do everything we can to remove the federal government as a roadblock to job creation so people have greater opportunities to provide for their families.

Thankfully, our efforts to remove one of those roadblocks impeding job growth in the Fifth District came to a successful resolution this week.  I was pleased by the news that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finally issued a permit to the Henry County Industrial Development Authority to proceed with the development of the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre after a lengthy and unnecessary delay.  This site has the potential to bring a significant number of much-needed jobs to Southside Virginia.  Along with Congressman Morgan Griffith and Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, we introduced the Commonsense Permitting for Job Creation Act last summer to expedite approval of the site, as we have long supported efforts by Henry County and Martinsville to secure a permit for site preparation.  I thank our local officials in Henry County and Martinsville who have worked diligently to bring jobs to Southside Virginia despite the bureaucratic red tape that continually stalled their progress.

I look forward to Commonwealth Crossing’s development and the jobs it will bring to area residents.  It is my hope that the Corps will now turn its attention to approving the permit for Pittsylvania County’s Berry Hill Mega Park, which is currently at a standstill because of the same unnecessary red tape that stalled Commonwealth Crossing.  To remedy these problems permanently, I will continue working with my Virginia colleagues to pass the Commonsense Permitting for Job Creation Act, which will ensure that future economic development projects do not face the same regulatory hurdles as Commonwealth Crossing and Berry Hill and instead can focus on creating jobs for Virginians.

If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.