The economy of Hampton Roads has always been dependent on federal spending, leaving the region vulnerable to government shutdowns and budget sequestration.
Diversification of the Hampton Roads economy is not just possible, but necessary. Fortunately, there is huge potential for the creation of new jobs in Hampton Roads.
Nationwide, jobs in the renewable energy sector are growing exponentially. Our region's potential for job creation in offshore wind, solar, and other renewable technologies is immense. Unfortunately, lobbyists for utility giant Dominion have been successful in pressuring the Republican-led General Assembly to kill legislation that would have encouraged competition from smaller renewable energy companies. Kelly will never accept donations from Dominion and will fight for green job creation.
While sea level rise and recurrent flooding is a real and serious threat to our economy, the need to solve this growing problem creates new opportunities. The creation of a water management economy to deal with the problem, as recommended in The Hampton Roads Intergovernmental Pilot Project report last year, would mean thousands of new jobs in the region.
The expansion of Medicaid in Virginia would lead to the creation of as many as 10,000 new jobs in the state. Many of these would be in our region.
The opportunity to create new, high paying jobs in the region has never been greater.