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Appalachia's cities face an uphill fight as they compete for talent and try to lure firms on the national market. In an open system of cities, skilled footloose workers seek out high paying jobs in high quality of life cities. Firms seek out locations that are "Business friendly" featuring low input costs and in areas of the country where their prospective workforce wants to live. Appalachia's cities are relatively small, located far from the high amenity coasts and endowed with relatively few major universities. Appalachian counties located in pro-union states will have a difficult time attracting new manufacturing plants.
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