FRANKFORT, Ky. – State Rep. Chris Harris cited Eastern Kentucky’s “ready-made workforce” and a large pool of potential employees with a “strong, personal work ethic” as positive attributes for companies looking to invest in rural communities as he participated in a panel discussion held during the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) recent Legislative Summit in Chicago.
“Our region has the workforce and the work ethic that other areas across the country would envy,” Rep. Harris said. “We have skilled workers who are ready to go that truly understand the value of a hard day’s work. We need to think of our people as an asset that’s in our advantage as we look to attract more investment in rural Kentucky.”
Rep. Harris accepted an invitation to serve on the panel assembled by the national Rural Jobs Coalition to discuss the importance of strengthening small business opportunities in rural communities. On August 9th, he joined business leaders, legislators from across the country, and coalition representatives as they considered new initiatives for growing small business in rural America and increasing access to capital for entrepreneurs interested in investing in communities hit particularly hard by the economic recession.
“We need to do more to ease regulations that prevent our community banks from providing the capital necessary to grow our economy,” Rep. Harris said, adding that he plans to introduce legislation during the 2017 session of the Kentucky General Assembly that will aid Kentucky’s small businesses and entrepreneurs in obtaining access to the capital they need to create jobs. The legislation will also offer tax incentives to those companies willing to invest in rural Kentucky.
The Rural Jobs Coalition is a non-partisan, non-profit formed for small businesses by small businesses to highlight to lawmakers the message that the rural economy matters. The organization seeks to be the “voice of rural America and its entrepreneurs.”
Rep. Harris represents the state’s 93rd House District in Pike and Martin counties.