By Charlotte Lane
In 1861, as the Civil War raged and brother fought against brother, the counties in the western part of Virginia began the process of seceding from the eastern part of the state. Originally known as Kanawha, by the time President Lincoln proclaimed our official statehood the area had been renamed West Virginia.
Our state constitution was ratified in March 1863, and on June 20, 1863, West Virginia became the thirty-fifth state in the nation, allied with the Union forces in the war.
Today, June 20 is a state holiday known as West Virginia Day.
Even today, the roots of our citizens run deep in the values that our founders brought to this land. Making a life in these mountains and valleys was never easy. To endure, people had to be strong and independent. Mountaineers are always free, after all. At the same time, they understood the value of community and cooperation to survive and grow. Their work and sacrifice made West Virginia the wild, wonderful home we love.
I can think of no better way to honor that heritage than by serving the state and the citizens of West Virginia. In fact, I have dedicated my life to doing just that. I have worked hard and accomplished much, but I have done so alongside others who are equally committed to the welfare of West Virginia.
As we celebrate our beautiful state, I want to encourage you to consider doing the same. The state of West Virginia needs the skill of people from all areas of business. Most state agencies are headquartered in Charleston, but there are employees in every corner of the state. Job opportunities range from cooks and secretaries to attorneys and historians and everything in between. Some of you might even consider running for office to represent your fellow citizens in the state Senate or House of Delegates.
The benefits of working for the state are considerable. State employees enjoy reliable health insurance packages, safe working conditions and a healthy retirement program. At a time when many corporations and public companies are cutting back on staff, the state has plenty of openings.
Most of all, there is a deep satisfaction that comes from knowing that you are part of the workforce that keeps West Virginia moving forward and growing stronger. In service to the state of West Virginia, you can build a rewarding career.