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October 10, 2013

Taking the Field

Virginia is one of the wealthiest states in the country, but our ability to sustain strong economic growth is shaky.

Our reliance on the federal government for jobs has placed too much of our fate in the hands of Washington, making us subject to shifting political winds – as the current government shutdown painfully shows.

The recession battered the middle class and undermined our schools, colleges, health care and other foundations of a strong, enduring economy.

Even in the best of times, too many hard-working Virginia families were left behind as income inequality grew and opportunities to climb the ladder to economic security became scarce.

In a word, Virginia is vulnerable. No matter who Virginians call governor next year, this is the landscape they will confront.

Earlier this year we released Taking the Field: A Game Plan for a Resilient Economy. It lays out the choices we need to make in order to build a durable economy. We sent this document to all state legislators and all candidates to help inform a meaningful discussion about the issues confronting the state and how lawmakers can address them.

It is critical, for example, that the state diversify its economy and train the workforce of tomorrow today. The question is how.

It is critical to protect and support working families. The question is how.

It is critical for the state to invest its resources wisely for the benefit of all Virginians. The question is how.

In Taking the Field, we present the facts about the problems facing the state, and we offer a game plan for how to address them. Because no matter how the elections turn out on Nov. 5, when the sun rises on Nov. 6, we all have to take the field together.

–Sara Okos, Policy Director

The Commonwealth Institute

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