EDITORIAL: Creating a bright future

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 8, 2022

In recent years, Ohio’s senior U.S. senator, Sherrod Brown, has become known for saying “it is time to bury the term ‘rust belt” when referring to Ohio and other states in the region.

It is a sentiment everyone can get behind, and, with developments on the horizon, it is more likely that the image of a region in decline, associated with that moniker, may finally be fading.

The recent move by Intel to open a microchip plant in the state, the largest in the world, is the kind of economic development that is sorely needed and state and national leaders, both public and private, worked to make that a reality.

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Similarly, an event at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday showed that opportunities are not only coming to Lawrence County, but, in many cases, are already firmly established.

The Chamber of Commerce’s Manufacturing Day event celebrated companies and workers in our county and, showed the strides that have been made.

Whether is Harbison Walker opening a refractories plant at The Point, Vertiv bringing jobs to Ironton or the announced opening of a new physical rehab hospital in South Point, quality jobs are being brought to this area.

The Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation has been vital to this goal and its success can be seen throughout the county.

And county, city and village leaders have worked alongside them in attracting development.

There is still much work to do — such as seeing to it that youth are prepared for the jobs of the future (something that is being addressed by the region’s universities, vocational schools and STEM programs in public schools), as well as defeating the opioid epidemic impacting the region (again, many groups and businesses are stepping up to that challenge as well), but a path to revitalization is possible.

The county’s best days do not have to behind us and the cooperation we have seen shows a brighter tomorrow can happen.