May 13, 2011
Hundreds of students at Piedmont Virginia Community College graduated Friday evening at the John Paul Jones Arena.
554 students walked the stage in front of their friends and family to receive their two-year college degree.
Congressman Robert Hurt was at the graduation as the commencement speaker, giving perspective on the road ahead for the graduates and job-seekers.
The graduates worked hard to earn their degree but extra challenges made it more difficult.
Never mind the expense of going to school without the cost of getting there with fuel prices sky-high?
CBS19 asked Congressman Hurt if fuel prices are going to decline.
"I hope so," Hurt said. "The President has talked about opening up the strategic oil reserves, I don't think anyone thinks that's a good idea. That would only provide temporary relief and would put our future in jeopardy."
66% of the graduating class are age 22 or older, looking to get a job right away. The problem is, the lack of jobs.
"We need to reward small businesses that want to start or expand their companies," Hurt said. "If we could keep the government from taxing them too much, regulating them too much, making it impossible for them to be successful, I think that unleashes the power of the marketplace."
Hurt says with the right policies in Washington and the right education in Charlottesville, the possibilities are endless for students both young and old.