Warner visits Virginia Highlands Incubator in Abingdon, tours Wize Solutions
ABINGDON, VA. — Sen. Mark Warner stopped by the Virginia Highlands Incubator in Abingdon, Virginia, on Wednesday, where he toured the offices of Wize Solutions and met with local officials, community leaders and entrepreneurs.
In his remarks, Sen. Warner emphasized that in many ways, Wize Solutions embodies the promise and vision that drew him to the technology sector as a young entrepreneur in the 1990s and highlighted that since its inception five years it has become a model for anyone seeking to start a business not just in Southwest Virginia, but rural communities across the country.
“Wize Solutions, 35 folks working for a variety of companies. They could be working anywhere else in the state or the country, but they chose to stay here in Abingdon in Washington County,” Warner said. “We’ve got to take this model and duplicate it a dozen times over.”
Sen. Warner spoke about his ongoing efforts to set up an R&D-style tax credit that would incentivize companies to invest in the training of their employees.
“We still have a system in this country that really focuses and benefits capital and physical goods over human beings,” Warner said. “I think we ought to create the equivalent in R&D tax credit for businesses that invest in skilling up their people.”
“If ultimately Wise Solutions wants to go public, you guys ought to be viewed as assets to them,” Warner added.
Sen. Warner highlighted that at the end of the day, the goal is to create the opportunities that will allow young people to stay in their communities, “If you go to college or you go to graduate school, and frankly, even if you don’t and you get technical training, you ought to have the choice to stay in your community.”
During his stop, Warner also answered questions about everything from housing to public education and sewer lines. He also spoke about Southwest Virginia’s energy sector and his belief in the future of small modular reactors.
“Southwest Virginia and the coal industry powered America’s economy, that’s going through transition,” Warner said. “The way the new law says you can get a 50% discount if you’re investing some of the newer energies in coalfield areas and, I believe, small modular nuclear. It is safe, It is reliable.”
“Southwest Virginia understands energy. It’s got to be the future for energy production in the 21st century,” he said.
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