DICKENSON COUNTY LEADERS ATTEND SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA LEGISATIVE RECEPTION IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
DICKENSON COUNTY, Va. –Last week, Dickenson County leaders, along with representatives from Addiction Recovery Care attended the 2023 Southwest Virginia legislative reception held at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, VA.
While in Richmond for this event, the Dickenson County and Addiction Recovery Care delegation had the opportunity to meet with state leaders and state agencies to share the Wildwood Recovery Center project and other ongoing projects in Dickenson County.
“We are happy to report back to our citizens that we were received with overwhelming support from all state leaders and agencies”, said Larry Barton, Administrator for Dickenson County, VA. “As we continue to work toward the opening of Wildwood Recovery Center, and discuss the potential and options for future phases, we are confident that if called upon, our local representatives will step up to the plate to provide the support needed. This project impacts not only Southwest Virginia, but also impacts the treatment model and availability for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment in the entire Commonwealth.”
Over the course of three the group covered fourteen meetings, to include meeting with the Attorney General Jason Miyares, Senators Hackworth and Pillion, Delegates Wampler, Kilgore, Morefield, and O'Quinn, and the Commissioner of Behavior Health, Nelson Smith. State agencies included the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Virginia Tourism, and Virginia Housing. Rural Development, a Federal agency that has participated in many Dickenson County projects, also met with the group.
One objective of the trip was to familiarize leaders and seek state support for the Wildwood Recovery Center project that was announced January 25, 2023. "Substance abuse and addiction have affected every corner of the Commonwealth, particularly Southwest Virginia. Part of the way we fight against this disease is by ensuring that Virginians have access to treatment and programs that help them recover and move forward”, said Attorney General Jason Miyares. “I'm proud to support the Wildwood Recovery Center, a state-of-the-art program that will revolutionize treatment in Dickenson County and throughout the region. I am thankful for the generosity of the leading partners, Addiction Recovery Care and the Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority. I look forward to seeing the good that the 'crisis-to-career model' substance use disorder treatment facility will do for Virginians."
“I was pleased for the Virginia Chamber to meet with the team from Dickenson County and Addiction Recovery Care to discuss this innovative economic and workforce development project. This “crisis to career” model will help meet the needs of the community and work closely with local businesses to meet their workforce needs. The Virginia Chamber will continue to encourage collaboration to develop creative proposals to combat substance abuse disorders, and support programs that increase employability, skills development, and educational attainment for all adults, especially those underserved populations”, said Barry DuVal, President and CEO, Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
Josh Evans, Board of supervisors Member for the Willis district, has been vocal with his opinion of county travel in the past. Evans, along with Board of Supervisors Members Rhonda Sluss and Ron Peters were among the Dickenson County Delegation to attend several of the meetings in Richmond and the Southwest Virginia Legislative Reception. “My stance on the legislative trips has been public, however, this trip was extremely BENEFICIAL to our County. There was a clear agenda with objectives and goals and the Dickenson team delivered”, said Evans. “In my 3-year term of service I have never been more proud and energized. I recognize there is a time and place and importance to all things, and legislative trips are no different, as proven by our team last week”.
According to Dickenson County Director or Economic Development, Dana Cronkhite, “There are very few projects that we can tackle on our own. If the county wants to move forward, it is imperative that we take every opportunity to meet with our state leaders and the agencies that bring knowledge, access to funding, and the desire to see Dickenson County and Southwest Virginia thrive. We believe these efforts to be the tip of the spear when it comes to overcoming the opioid epidemic and resolving workforce shortages in our community”.