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Buchanan County and the Virginia Employment Commission Scam

Another example of how they "create" jobs while others lose their jobs. This was again a relocation of government jobs within the region, not new jobs.

VCEDA holds grant-closing ceremony for VEC customer contact center

GRUNDY, Va. -(October 6, 2003)-The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) today awarded a $1,040,000 grant to the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) to be used for equipment and other improvements for the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) customer contact center locating in the Buchanan Information Park in Grundy. The VEC plans to employ 60-75 at its first state customer contact center, which will process unemployment insurance claims. The VEC plans to begin taking calls at the Buchanan County center in December 2003.

We are pleased to provide this grant to the Buchanan County IDA to enable the VEC to locate its center at the Buchanan Information Park facility," said Donald Baker, chairman of VCEDA. "The jobs created will mean a great deal to the people of Buchanan County and the VCEDA region. We are grateful to VCEDA for its continued support of economic development initiatives in Buchanan County," said Jay Rife chairman of the Buchanan County IDA and VCEDA board member. "This grant will allow us to prepare the vacated Pro Air facility to meet the technology needs of the VEC."

Webmaster comment: this shows the typical pattern for this region. They moved in a private firm such as Pro Air only to have them leave. Then move in government jobs to fill the void. As VCEDA executive director Yates stated, government jobs are more stable and provide better pay than private companies. In the Southwest Virginia region, 23% of the employment (most of the better jobs) is government.

In 1996 VCEDA claimed the creation of 318 new jobs at Pro Air. VCEDA is still claiming those 318 "projected" jobs to this day. What they forgot to tell us is the plan to fire workers at other VEC offices. In Southwest Virginia, the plan calls for eliminating more than 50 jobs at seven field offices.

That represents about a 40 percent cut in staff. They claim this is due to a drop in processing unemployment claims, so why open a center to process unemployment claims? Net real job gain is zero and pay is less than the jobs lost. VCEDA gets credit for so-called "job creation" and fills an empty shell building.

In fairness, VCEDA is trying to do their best to recruit and retain jobs for the region. But the question remains, does government job creation really work anywhere other than working for the government? In the LENOWISCO region almost 30 percent of the population works for government (health, education, social services, local government).

Throw in non-profits getting government grants, etc. it could be higher. In this case in Buchanan County they simply relocated existing state jobs, the net result was no new jobs overall.

For a related issue see Travelocity Dumps Clintwood, Virginia

To quote the Bristol Herald Courier June 3, 2005

VEC plans to lay off most hourly, part-time staff...In Southwest Virginia, the plan calls for eliminating more than 50 jobs at seven field offices. That represents about a 40 percent cut in staff. Funding for the Employment Commission comes from the federal government based on the number of unemployment insurance claims filed in the state...

In an article entitled "Where Do All the Welfare Billions Go?" (Human Events, February 6, 1982) M. Stanton Evans points out:

One has to wonder how it is possible to spend these hundreds of billions to alleviate poverty and still have the same number of poor people that we had, say, in 1968...It prompts the more suspicious among us to ask: What happened to the money?...[A] tremendous chunk of these domestic outlays goes to pay the salaries of people who work for and with the federal government - including well-paid civil servants and an array of contractors and "consultants," many of whom have gotten rich from housing programs, "poverty" studies, energy research grants, and the like...