Latest News

‘Jammin’ for Jobs’ in Morgantown: Concert event part of THRIVE Act lobbying effort

MORGANTOWN — The hills will be alive with the sound of activism Saturday across West Virginia.

Music, too.

Concerts will be held simultaneously in Morgantown, Charleston and Martinsburg, as part of a lobbying campaign for the THRIVE Act, which U.S. Congress is expected to take up when it returns to Washington, D.C. after spring recess Sunday.

THRIVE is short for Transform, Heal and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy, which is built on renewable energy, and the recasting and reinventing of other pursuits and occupations.

Proponents say the proposed $954 billion act could create 50,000 new jobs a year in West Virginia.

The grassroots West Virginia Working Families Party is helping lead the lobbying effort here.

And the party hopes to steer the state’s senior senators on Capitol Hill, Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito – Democrat and Republican, respectively – to a yes vote.

The initiative, said the party’s executive director Ryan Frankenberry, could make a $5.2 billion fiscal splash – in a state, he said, long moored by a stagnant economy, built on the boom-and-bust years of the fossil fuels industry.

The jobs would come in infrastructure, agriculture, clean energy, the care economy and public health, the director said.

“We’re counting on our federal officials to take bold action so that our children see West Virginia as a place they want to stay,” Frankenberry said at the launch of the campaign two weeks ago.

Visit to view the report.

Morgantown’s 123 Pleasant Street music venue, meanwhile, is hosting the University City leg of the concert series, known as “Jammin’ for Jobs.”

Performances by Hillbilly Gypzies and The Greens begin a 1 p.m., and people may watch the livestream or attend in person, provided that all the pandemic protocols and mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing are observed.

Additional information may be found at the 123 Pleasant Street page on Facebook. There’s no charge to attend or view online.

The West Virginia Working Families Party also has details on all the concerts and performers, plus other events, on its Facebook page as well.

Such an initiative, with its jobs potential, is a long time coming for the Mountain State, said Alexandra Gallo, a community organizer with the West Virginia Citizen Group.

Her group is one of several in the lobbying campaign.

“For far too long, West Virginians have been in survival mode, right?” she said.

“Many folks have worked hard to fuel other parts of our country, and at this stage in the game, we have little to show for it – in terms of resources and quality of life.”