ReImagine Appalachia Implores WV Senator Joe Manchin to Help West Virginians and Support the “Build Back Better” Plan


Contact: Kirstin Snow;; 215.510.9336


The letter ran as a full-page ad in Sunday’s Charleston Gazette-Mail and implored Sen. Manchin to support a major funding package that would create good union jobs in 21st-century industries for all West Virginians, as well as for those in other Appalachian states PA, OH, and KY.

Harrisburg, PA — ReImagine Appalachia is a four-state (PA, WV, OH, KY) coalition of labor, policy experts, and community leaders working together to ensure everyone who lives in Appalachia has access to good union jobs and the ability to put down roots. On Sunday, the group ran a full-page ad in West Virginia’s largest paper with an open letter asking Sen. Manchin to support a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build the foundation for a 21st-century, sustainable Appalachia. The letter highlighted the incredibly high stakes for West Virginia, both in what could be gained and the long-term impact for the local economy and the people.

The future that West Virginians—and Pennsylvanians—want and deserve could be in jeopardy if Sen. Manchin does not support the [Build Back Better plan] major funding package pending in Congress, one that could create good jobs in the region, rebuild our infrastructure, and address floods caused by changes to West Virginia’s climate. The ad asks Sen. Manchin to focus his efforts on helping his own state get its due share of this budget reconciliation package.

“Sen. Manchin has a historic opportunity to change the future of his state and ours for the better—creating hundreds of thousands of good jobs in places hungry for them,” said Stephen Herzenberg, economist and executive director of the Keystone Research Center.

“We implore Sen. Manchin to join his colleagues by putting people to work repairing damage to our land, reforesting the region, and manufacturing the products of the new energy economy,” said Kelly Allen, executive director of the WV Center on Budget and Policy. “We don’t have time to wait: we must prioritize jobs and industry right now, at the same time we tackle the climate crisis. But we need real investments in the people of our region, and we need them now. We are publicly asking Sen. Manchin to stand up for Appalachia, secure its place at the climate infrastructure table, and turn this budget package into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build the foundation for a 21st century, sustainable Appalachia.”

ReImagine Appalachia is committed to building a new future for our region, a “New Deal That Works for US.” That means ensuring a federal investment big enough to bring the change that residents desperately need.