MORGANTOWN – Finding a way to help the majority of West Virginians who do not attend college was part of the foundation of Riley Moore’s campaign to unseat six-term incumbent State Treasurer John Perdue. After winning election last week, as Treasurer-elect Riley Moore’s top priority is to see his idea for the Jump Start Savings plan come to fruition.
“This is for the 75 percent of West Virginians who don’t college. What do we do to help them out?” Moore asked on Talk of the Town with Dave and Sarah on WAJR-AM.
According to Moore, the program would mirror the current Smart 529 College Savings Plan. Under that program, individuals and family members can save and invest pre-tax money to be put toward college eductions. What Moore is proposing is provide a similar savings account but instead of later using the money to pay for tuition or books, use the money to pay for equipment, licenses, certifications and other necessary expenditures associated with an individuals chosen field.
While the actual cost of attending a community and technical college can be covered by the state, Riley asserts the hidden costs of entering a skilled trade remain a hindrance for many West Virginians.
“This is to get people going in their career path,” Moore explained. “We’re not just looking at trying to train people for the jobs of the future, but we want to train and equip them for the jobs of the future.”
Like all other candidates, Moore faced the challenge of getting his message and name out to voters in the middle of a pandemic, prohibiting him from many of the traditional campaign evens and appearances. However, Moore got an early start and was able to introduce himself to many voters in 2019 before shutdowns and social distancing.
“We got started really early. We got a head start and then COVID hit and we had a pretty sophisticated digital and social media outreach strategy that we were able to continue and put more resources into it,” Moore explained.
The online presence paid off as Moore won more than 56 percent of the vote as part of a Republican sweep of the Board of Public Works.
“I’m looking forward to making the office more transparent and more accountable to the people and finding new ways to use the treasurer’s office in manners in which it has not been used previously. I think there’s a lot of options out there that can help spur economic growth in the state and provide opportunities where there haven’t been for so many West Virginians.”