" Zed on welfare and oxycontin in Appalachia"
I presume that as we speak Zed and his buddy Cooter are screwing the lids firmly back on their jars, packing away the still* and heading for Silicon Valley to take up all those soon to be vacant technical jobs - or maybe they (and a few others) need just a tad more education before the golden dream of a great 'murica with jobs for all comes true..
In the meantime, while Zed and Cooter are finishing their education and completing their engineering degrees, perhaps some of those nice, qualified, people from overseas can keep the industry going until our two friends are ready to take over?
If a company only needs 40 employees it only needs 40 employees, regardless of the size of its balance sheet or how wealthy the owner is - it is not the role of a commercial company to create unnecessary jobs just because they can. In most countries that's a government function realized via publicly funded infrastructure projects, but for some reason the average US citizen appears to consider this to be a blasphemy and dang it, nobody better be thinkin' of taxing me to pay for it!
If you're really concerned about providing long term, viable and local jobs for Zed and Cooter, start pushing for taxpayer funded research on things that will drive industry in their locale that they actually have a hope of being able to work at - clean ways to use coal for energy, so that mining can restart, would be a good beginning for a lot of people in that part of the states.
* Yes, I'm sure that not all of Apalachia is populated by Zed and Cooter, but after watching a few episodes of 'Moonshiners' .........................