17 May 2016
Jane Dittmar, 60, Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives, sat down with the Fluvanna Review to discuss her goals for the 5th district.
If elected on Nov. 8, Dittmar hopes to bring job creation, workforce training, and internet access to the people in her district, which includes Fluvanna County.
“We need to make sure that our workforce training programs are centered around certifications and credentials that employers need now,” Dittmar said. “We have 70,000 jobs in Virginia that are unmet right now because we don’t have people trained for them.”
But training isn’t sufficient without infrastructure, said Dittmar. “And the missing infrastructure is the internet,” she said. “We need to get internet to small businesses and homes. Without that we can’t expect our small businesses to grow – and there’s no way we can go hunting and attracting more employers.”
Dittmar’s experience on the governor’s Broadband Advisory Council and the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has given her good insight into this issue, she said. “There are several federal agencies that supply very good grants to communities,” she said. “We need to get those grants.”
But above all, Dittmar wants to work in tandem with local government to make sure that communities receive the kind of support they need. “If they want wireless, then that’s cell towers. If we need to lay fiber, then that means land use decisions,” she said. “We need to team up.”
Internet access has become mandatory, Dittmar said. “The information highway is critical infrastructure,” she said. “It is as critical now as electricity was to deploy in the early 1900s.”