House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) has been one of the Recovery Act’s most vocal critics. Despite evidence that that the stimulus is helping to turn around the economy, Cantor repeatedly says that it is “failing” to “create jobs.” On Monday, Cantor hosted a job fair in Midlothian, VA, to demonstrate how he — and not the Obama administration — is working on “long-term solutions that will put Virginia businesses and Virginia workers back on the path to financial stability.”
ThinkProgress attended the event, which attracted more than 2,000 people. Watch a video report on Cantor’s stimulus-fueled job fair:
The Recovery Act created and saved jobs by injecting funds into local governments, while also fueling demand in the private sector by spurring improvements to infrastructure and other critical projects. ThinkProgress found in Chesterfield County that many jobs represented by employers at the job fair were a direct result of those funds:
— Commercial building contractor Colonial Webb credits the stimulus package with helping to create 20 new jobs. Colonial Webb, a firm that deals directly with helping to increase energy efficiency and LEED certification, is directly benefiting from Virginia’s $164 million in stimulus grants for weatherization and energy-efficiency programs.
— The Chesterfield County Police Department, which has received $505,822 through the stimulus, created 10 jobs.
— Chesterfield County Public Schools received over $4.4 million in funds from the stimulus. The money help plug budget gaps while aiding in 61 new hires.
It’s worth noting that among the job fair participants, more than half were from the public sector, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, the CIA, FBI, Army and the Department of Motor Vehicles –- even though Cantor previously has criticized the stimulus plan for placing too great an emphasis on “preserving jobs in the public sector.”
Over the next two years, Chesterfield County will receive more than $38 million in stimulus funding. Fliers were also displayed at the job fair advertising stimulus-enabled unemployment aid. Sixty two million dollars in stimulus funding is headed to Virginia that will extend unemployment benefits, providing many at the job fair with a lifeline.