Archive for Appalachia

New Orleans

Excerpts from AP:

“This is not just a city. This is a culture,” said Carville, who lives in New Orleans and serves as the co-chairman of the Super Bowl host committee with his wife and fellow political pundit, Mary Matalin. “We have our own food, our own music, our own social structure, our own architecture, our own body of literature. By God, we have our own funerals.”

What if we said the same about Appalachia? This is not just a city. This is a culture. We have our own food, our own music, our own social structure, our own architecture, our own body of literature. By God, we have our own funerals.

Capitol St Charleston_WV-sjsw

Charleston, WV – Capitol Street – Winter Scene

From 1970 to 2002, New Orleans was a regular host of the Super Bowl and hopes to become one again. This Sunday, when the Baltimore Ravens meet the San Francisco 49ers in the Superdome, the Crescent City will host the NFL’s marquee game for the 10th time, tying Miami for the most of any city. If all goes well, it hopes to get back in the rotation.

Jay Cicero, president of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, said his group will ask the NFL for permission to put together a bid for the 2018 Super Bowl, coinciding with the city’s celebration of its 300th anniversary.

It is that history, which produced a colorful culture driven by a mix of European, Caribbean and African influences, that makes New Orleans such an attractive Super Bowl city, noted political consultant James Carville said.

What can Appalachia be home to on the World stage?

Read more:

Top States for Business – Appalachia WV – Where do WE stand?

As I began hearing about the upcoming release of 2010 data pertaining to CNBC’s “America’s Top States For Business”, my mind started turning..

What would the data look like for the thirteen Appalachia states in 2010? From New York to Mississippi each state has multiple counties in the Appalachian Region, of which all the counties within West Virginia are Appalachian.

The ARC (Appalachian Regional Commission) provides data on multiple levels for community development. For example, the County Economic Status segments  Appalachian counties from non-Appalachian counties within the region.

For the most part, the “general public” sees a state for what it is: A State. Tennessee is Tennessee; Pennsylvania is Pennsylvania and so on.


Taking Appalachia out of the equation – Where do WE stand?

I began extracting the data from CNBC’s report for 2010 for the Appalachian states. Though, the 2010 information did not quench my thirst for information.

(My university students would probably say, “Your thirst for information is never quenched.”)

Based upon the 2007-2010 CNBC reports and my non-governmental analysis, I have concluded the following for West Virginia:

Advantage Neutral Disadvantage
Cost of Business
Cost of Living
Access to Capital
Technology Innovation
Business Friendly
Quality of Life*
  • Cost of Business (rated 15th – 10th) and Cost of Living (rated 21st – 15th) has been and continues to be an advantage.
  • Economy (rated 46th – 11th) has been the receiver of a mixed economy – what is good for the country is bad for West Virginia and vice versa.
  • Education (rated 36th – 33rd) is in need of repair when comparing the amount of money spent on students – the amount of money students spend – and the end result.

CNBC definition: Education and business go hand in hand. Not only do companies want to draw from an educated pool of workers, they want to offer their employees a great place to raise a family. Higher education institutions offer companies a source to recruit new talent, as well as a partner in research and development. We looked at traditional measures of K-12 education including test scores, class size and spending. We also considered the number of higher education institutions in each state.

  • Transportation & Infrastructure (rated 42nd – 38th) – beyond coal and people, what are the value based exports?

CNBC definition: We measured the vitality of each state’s transportation system by the value of goods shipped by air, land and water.

  • Access to Capital (rated 40th – 35th) – beyond the SBA and micro-lending, where does an entrepreneur go for venture funding? OR..

Is the question(s): WHERE are the entrepreneurs? Does West Virginia ENCOURAGE entrepreneurialism from a young age and grow its own business(es)?

CNBC definition: Companies go where the money is, and venture capital—an increasingly important source of funding—flows to some states more than others.

  • Workforce (rated 48th – 42nd) – the key to prosperity is: enabling employers to hire an available educated workforce that meets their needs without hampering free market competition.

CNBC definition: Many states point with great pride to the quality and availability of workers, as well as government-sponsored programs to train them. We rated states based on the education level of the workforce, as well as the number of available workers. We also considered union membership. While organized labor contends that a union workforce is a quality workforce, that argument, more often than not, doesn’t resonate with business. We also looked at the relative success of each state’s worker training programs in placing participants in jobs.

  • Technology Innovation (rated 49th – 48th)  SEE ABOVE Access to Capital

CNBC definition: Succeeding in the new economy—or any economy—takes innovation. The top states for business prize innovation, nurture new ideas, and have the infrastructure to support them. We evaluated the states on their support for innovation, the number of patents issued to their residents, and the deployment of broadband services. We also considered federal health and science research grants to the states.

  • Business Friendly (rated 50th) – many of my university graduated students will tell you, “perception IS reality”. The reality is: businesses DO NOT want to locate in an “over-regulated state”. Is this perception TRUE in West Virginia?

What better way to have the perception dispelled than to have businesses “tell their story” of how business friendly West Virginia is.

Tennessee rated 10th – 2nd during the same time period.

CNBC definition: Regulation and litigation are the bane of business. Sure, some of each is inevitable. But we graded the states on both perceptions as well as hard data about their legal and regulatory frameworks.

  • *Quality of Life (rated 32nd – 40th) – I must admit to a West Virginia bias of being able to experience the four seasons, rural and urban living all within an hour drive, seeing my kids play in a neighborhood, having my oldest learn to play the violin from a VOLUNTEER music teacher, and being able to utilize technology.


I do live in one of only two “competitive” ARC counties in the state of Appalachia aka West Virginia.

Taking Appalachia out of the equation – Where do WE stand?

Sources: CNBC Data – Appalachia 2010CNBC Data – Appalachia 2009CNBC Data – Appalachia 2008CNBC Data – Appalachia 2007CNBC Data – Categories