Zach Jackson

Aquaculture and Seafood in Virginia

I have always said Virginia doesn’t get enough credit and my recent research into the state’s seafood industry has given this statement some additional weight. Unbeknownst to me, Virginia is home to the nation’s largest shellfish industry and the nation’s third largest aquaculture industry for 2016. During that same year, Virginia growers and fisherman sold…

The Business of Eating Healthy

Of all of my vices, drinking soda has been the hardest habit to break. Maybe I need to get out more, but there really isn’t much better than a Coca-Cola on a summer day. I have somewhat recently given up my favorite sugary drinks and have been noticing how few people still regularly drink soda.…

How does housing affect economic development?

I had the opportunity to participate in a housing conditions survey in Radford this past weekend. Over the course of a Saturday, my partner and I surveyed over 800 houses, ranking their physical condition on a five-point scale (with 1 being the best condition and 5 being the worst). Our method was somewhat simple in…

Let’s be Nicer to Cyclists, They Do More Then Take Up Space

My experience with cycling is changing. I spent four years racing at the highest collegiate level at Virginia Tech, however, a significant reduction in free-time and a long list of injuries has shifted my interest in the sport. Most of my riding during my racing days focused on training, now, I ride more recreationally. One…

Public Banks, An Economic Debate

A running joke amongst my friends was that North Dakota didn’t exist in that we had never met anyone from there, nor had we met anyone who knew someone from the state. Whether you know a North Dakotan or not, I can assure you that it is both real and is thriving. For instance, the…

Visions of Home

Virginia Kyanite Mine

I often have a hard time explaining where I’m from. This is not because I have moved around or live out-of-state. In many cases, I live only an hour or so from those who ask. I can’t blame anyone for not knowing where Dillwyn is on the map- it’s a “one-light” town with a population…

Risks and Rewards of Automation

The risks and rewards of automation have been a major element in a year-long studio course I am taking this semester. While technology has the capability to mitigate global warming, lengthen and improve our lives, and enable the global south to participate in the ever-expanding world economy, there are several implications that keep me up…

Assessing the Gender Pay Gap and Income Inequality

Gender pay gap shows women make less then men.

Throughout my coursework, internships, and my GA positions, I have seen a lot of wage data. Average weekly wages, median household income, inflation adjusted occupational wages- I thought I had seen it all prior to doing the background research for our upcoming quarterly workforce report. Filtering this data by gender yielded results I had never…

A New River Valley Gem, Roanoke

Roanoke Star

What does the average Virginia Tech undergraduate think about Roanoke? Probably not much at all. I may be speaking for myself, but during my first few years as a student in Blacksburg, Roanoke was a way point for my travels from home to campus. I visited downtown, ate dinner in Grandin Village, and stocked up…

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

When many of us think about our nation’s large and robust transportation and warehousing sector, we think of large trucks on the highway, delivery confirmations on Amazon packages that couldn’t get here soon enough, and the mirage of a locomotive hurling down a narrow track. What many of us don’t consider is how vital this…