Not all new jobs deserve incentive program boost
The head of West Virginia's Development Office this week told a state senate committee that although tax incentives have led to the creation of jobs, they haven't been the "quality" jobs that will improve the state's economy. But if state officials are going to alter the incentive program, first they'd better decide how they're going to measure progress.
A new yardstick is needed because the definition of a "quality job" is mighty vague. To someone who's been working a minimum-wage job, a quality job might be anything that pays $7 an hour or more. However, to us that term means a job that requires advanced training and holds the opportunity for growth and advancement.
In the same vein, the Development Office will have to improve its tracking mechanisms, because, according to Don Rigby, chair of the West Virginia Council of Community and Economic Development, state officials haven't been able to count job losses or track those positions created through state incentives. Without such information, it would be nearly impossible to tell whether the state is making progress or falling behind.