Building Opportunity: Toolkit Introduction

July 17, 2017


We all want to believe that if we meet our obligations — we take care of our family, we manage our finances — and if we work hard at the things we choose to do — our education, our careers — that we’ll be rewarded with the opportunities we seek to get ahead, to make a life for ourselves that builds on the generations that have come before us.

And for many in Virginia that works, and works well. Virginia overall is among the richest states in the nation. But for many of our neighbors — in every community across the state — the promise of opportunity, the hope to build a bright future, remains just a blueprint of ideas despite hard work, despite playing by the rules.

That’s not right. It’s not fair. And it’s time for us to build up and build out better opportunity for ourselves and for those who will follow.

It can happen if we invest in the things we know build up strong families and communities, things like education and health care. It can happen if we invest in the things that build out a thriving economy, things like infrastructure and workforce training.

It can happen if the people in this state take a stand against those who stall progress — those who disinvest, underfund, and ignore our needs. It can happen if communities press their leaders to address real problems — like crumbling schools in crumbling neighborhoods near shiny new schools in neighboring ZIP codes. It can happen if we see that our own opportunities are tied to the opportunities of others.

It can happen if we unroll those blueprints and start building that future right now. In some cases, we need to lay a foundation. In others, we need to shore up what we already have. And in others, we need new means of opportunity that will drive future new growth.

In Virginia we know how to build: from ships to trusses, from furniture to IT systems. Now we need to build a better state. One that works for everyone.


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