Nate McMurray, Democrat running to represent the 27th Congressional District, released his proposal for job creation and economic growth in Western New York.
McMurray’s plan includes funding critical infrastructure development; investing in stable jobs in education and healthcare; encouraging the development of rural broadband and clean energy industries; promoting workforce training and small businesses; and raising the minimum wage. As the vast majority of new private sector jobs in the state continue to be concentrated in New York City, McMurray’s plan outlines strategies to spur economic growth in Western New York.
“There is an incredible wealth of talent and potential in Western New York — it’s just a matter of harnessing it,” said McMurray. “We have the opportunity, with the right resources, investment, and training, to sustainably grow our economy and make sure all working families are lifted up in the process.
“As your representative, I would ensure that we have the funding to repair our bridges and roads, that we’re investing in the healthcare and education sectors, and that our region is a leader in emerging industries like solar and wind where sited properly.
As the Town Supervisor of Grand Island, McMurray created jobs by attracting major business, investing in infrastructure and green technology, and filling dormant industrial space with new business.
McMurray’s plan to expand job opportunities and spur economic growth includes:
- Funding and expanding infrastructure development: For years, our state government has diverted money away from critical investment in our bridges and roads, leading to crumbling infrastructure in our region. The federal government can, and should, step up to invest in transportation, infrastructure, and mass transit where we need it most. Encouraging the development of rural broadband: Internet access is a fundamental necessity in the modern workforce — and yet, 80 percent of the 24 million American households that do not have reliable, affordable high-speed internet are in rural areas. Investing in broadband access for our communities will spur good union jobs and bring our economy into the 21st century.
- Investing in the education and healthcare sectors: “Eds and meds” are powerful economic drivers in our region, providing good, sustainable jobs for thousands. We must prevent further funding cuts to these sectors — which result in job cuts — and invest in the hospitals and public schools that support our community. We can do this by supporting the Rebuild America’s Schools Act which invests $100 billion in public school facilities to create jobs and improve schools, and the Strengthening Our Rural Health Workforce Act of 2019 a bipartisan bill that supports key rural health workforce programs.
- Supporting local small businesses: We should be supporting small businesses that fuel local job creation, not providing tax breaks and incentives to the wealthiest among us. We should support the creation of an Office of Emerging Markets within the Small Business Administration to expand resources and assistance to small businesses in rural areas.
- Investing in the burgeoning solar, wind, and other sustainable energy industries: Investing in the solar and wind industries in our region helps us create jobs while also helping to meet our nation’s clean energy goals. These pieces of infrastructure must be properly sited. We can also support legislation that provides workforce training in the clean energy industry for our veterans.
- Exploring new crops to grow in our region, including hemp and cannabis: New York State took steps in 2019 to regulate the production and sale of hemp products, but we still need to do more to protect and support in-state growers and fully take advantage of this economic opportunity. If New York legalizes adult use recreational marijuana, there’s huge potential for economic growth if we take steps to assist in-state farmers and properly regulate.