Priorities on Economic Development

To keep talent in the High Country, we must attract future employers and match local talent to employer needs.

The residents of the High Country deserve to have the opportunity and resources to continually improve their economic circumstances. Our region’s talent pool remains our most significant competitive advantage. But to keep that talent in the High Country, we must attract future employers and match local talent to employer needs.

The economic success of our communities will rely on the following factors:

Recruiting New Business and Retaining Home Grown Talent

Affordable Housing

Our work towards recruiting new businesses and training our home-grown talent will only be successful if we also address the availability and affordability of housing in our region. To support working parents, we also need to increase access to community centers, child care facilities, after-school and summer programs, and other resources that will ensure we remain competitive as we look at attracting increasingly mobile companies and talent.

Talent Retention

We need to find competitive niches and new ways to attract and keep our young people. The ability of our workers to find jobs that allow them to apply their education and skills in their home communities will determine whether they stay here in the High Country or migrate for urban opportunities.

Sustaining all Sectors of our Economy


Starting and growing new businesses has always been a cornerstone of life in the High Country and we must find ways to further encourage and support new start-ups. The new and growing green economy will be a great place to start.

Place-Based Assets

We need to protect, strengthen, and build upon our natural and cultural assets. Our counties are blessed with beautiful natural resources and centuries of culture that draw visitors and people looking to relocate. We have created vibrant downtown communities supporting local residents and attracting a growing tourism industry. Careful planning will be essential to maintain a balance that sustains all sectors of our economy.

Connecting and Collaborating


It is important that we continue to support collaboration between employers and education and training providers; strengthening the working relationships between our community colleges and other training options and local employers will ensure postgraduate job opportunities and a workforce that meets the needs of local business and industry.

Broadband Connectivity

Ensuring full access to high-speed internet and fully available cellular service is vital for economic vitality. Connectivity will be critical going forward for education, training and attraction of new business and industry.

Our Fair Share

The bipartisan infrastructure bill signed by President Biden last November will be sending $8.5 billion to North Carolina for highways, bridges, high speed Internet, public transportation, and EV stations. We need to be sure that the High Country receives its share of that infrastructure money and the jobs and related industry that come with it.

Business and Education – A Working Partnership

We must help our available workers gain the right education, skills, and experience to provide them with career opportunities leading to higher wages. To help with this, we need to support Governor Cooper’s goal to increase the attainment of high-quality credentials to ensure that by 2030, the workers of the high country are among the two million North Carolinians who have the necessary post-high school credentials to qualify for new, challenging, and rewarding jobs.

The path to increased opportunity for all individuals also depends on businesses creating meaningful work experiences that connect our youth and re-trained population to a career ladder. Expanding business assistance services to focus on workplace, talent attraction, and retention strategies is critical to ensuring a sustainable and durable economic ecosystem.

“We must help our available workers gain the right education, skills, and experience to provide them with career opportunities leading to higher wages.”  — Ben Massey

we are hiring sign

“It’s no surprise to you to know that we probably fall in different places on some of the issues and challenges that face our state and nation. But I am absolutely committed to see people of Character and Integrity like you in the state and national legislatures.”

Wadsworth Duane (Skip) Roy, III, Registered Republican



“I believe we need individuals like you who will bring to our government an open mind and the ability to seek reasonable outcomes.”

Robert Bartlett, Registered Republican



“It takes guts, will and social commitment to have the courage to run. Your attitude of helping others, and your reasonableness in debate to ideas of others makes you what our society needs.”

Robert G. Johnson - Registered as Unaffiliated



Also endorsed by Mrs. Phyllis Goss, wife of former State Senator Steve Goss from Jefferson, who served in the NC Senate, 2007 – 2010



“I can tell you with all sincerity, that I have always seen you as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly. You have an extraordinary intuition for the legislative process, as well as the innate skill for blending the toughness of negotiation with the art of compromise.”

Randall C. Stewart, Former Member of the NC House of Representatives and Registered Democrat



"I am most happy to endorse Ben Massey for NC House Representative in the 93rd District. Ben cares about people and knows the issues that impact the lives of hard-working people in the 93rd House District—Affordable healthcare, Quality education for all, Clean air and water, Creating economic growth, and Assisting farmers. He has my enthusiastic support."

Ray Russell, the NC House, 2019 -2020



"Congrats for making the decision to run for NC district 93! Wow. And Thank You God! No one is more suitable & qualified than you, my Gentle Ben. Our country needs your knowledge & service, so much more than ever before. Good Timing, Good Man! Thanks with my Heartfelt Gratitude."

Bonnie Wooten



Also endorsed by Representative Cullie Tarlton from Blowing Rock, who served in the NC House, 2007 – 2010




Proudly endorsed by Progressive Turnout Project, the largest voter contact organization in the country, specifically dedicated to mobilizing the Democratic Party and defending democracy.




The National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter (NASW-NC) Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE) committee would like to offer our endorsement of your campaign for the upcoming 2022 General Election for House District 93.




"I know Ben Massey from our years as physical therapists. He possesses tremendous leadership ability with success serving on both national and state organizations. Ben has integrity and the desire to serve. Our mountain counties will do well having a people-caring person like Ben representing them."

Charlotte Hanes