Area EZ has made impact

Published 2:26 am Sunday, December 28, 2008

Just because something is easy, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing. Especially if that task is actually “EZ.”

Thankfully, two Tri-State leaders seem to realize that and know that they may actually face a difficult battle in strengthening a government program that has made a difference right here at home.

U.S. Reps. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., and Ohio’s Charlie Wilson are urging the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee leaders to consider including legislation that would strengthen Empowerment Zones before proposing finalized versions of the economic stimulus package planned for early next year.

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Our nation’s 15 Federal Urban Empowerment Zones are designed to promote economic growth and revitalization by providing tools for new job creation, creating new business and industrial sites, providing workforce training and improving area infrastructure.

The Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone has made a positive impact in Lawrence County on a variety of levels.

Projects in Lawrence County that the local empowerment zone has helped make possible include The Point industrial park, improvements to Center Street Landing in Ironton, exterior renovations to Toro Loco in downtown Ironton, scholarships for Ohio University Southern and a variety of other projects.

Created under the Clinton administration, the empowerment zones didn’t receive as much support from the Bush administration as many economic leaders would have hoped.

President-elect Barack Obama has the chance to change that recent history and we appreciate the efforts of our legislators to get us headed in the right direction.