Attracting and retaining the next generation of leaders in West Virginia is critical to the state’s future.

In 2008, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce proposed innovative legislation that created a new an economic incentive to help keep young people here in West Virginia.

This legislation, known as “Brains for Business,” would provide tax credits to state residents for the two years after receiving an associate, bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution in certain areas of study, including science, technology, math, engineering, education and nursing.

For the past three years, “Brains for Business” has received strong support in the West Virginia Senate, but has met challenges in the House of Delegates. On Tuesday, the bill was approved on the House floor. It’s now headed to the Senate for full passage. This is a milestone for our partners who have worked hard on this initiative, but most of all, it is vital for the future of our state.

Economic success in today’s global market is driven in large part by the talent and skills of the workforce. Creating an environment where businesses know that the talent they need to thrive has incentives to remain is important for West Virginia’s continued success.

This legislation, if passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, will ease the burden of graduates in those first two difficult years after graduation, when many of our youth are being saddled with high levels of student loan debt.

The House sent a message this week, with the passage of this bill, that employers can continue to find talent in West Virginia. Our state is working hard to keep and attract our most talented individuals. We’re proud to have inspired this legislation and we’re hopeful for a positive conclusion.

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce thanks the sponsors and supporters of this legislation in the House of Delegates. Later this week, we will have another blog post that will provide the contact information for the senators. We hope you will speak out and ensure the state Senate passes this legislation.


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