Anyway, local business leaders like Jack Fruth, Charles Lanham and Gerry Gust were just a few of the names that I remember being associated with that group. They were committed to promoting economic development. They had good ideas. Unfortunately, the group dissolved after a few years.
Since that time, business leaders in each of our three counties have worked hard in the hope of attracting business and industry to the tri-county area. There has been some limited collaboration between development leaders, but as we move forward into this second decade of the 21st Century, we still find our three counties, collectively and individually, struggling.
Maybe it’s time to revive the idea of a regional economic development entity, pool our resources to attract business and industry and form business partnerships with other counties. A new business that creates jobs in any one of our three counties is good for all of our counties.
Bottom line: Our people need jobs — badly. We need to put aside any provincialism that would prevent companies from coming in and bringing new jobs with them.
There is a light on the horizon with American Municipal Power’s plan to locate a gas-fired power plant in Meigs County. The company stated in September that it hopes to have the plant operational by 2014. That project is expected to generate about 500 jobs related to the construction of the plant and 30 permanent jobs once it’s completed.
That’s a good start, to be sure, and kudos to the Meigs County economic development team for its work. Hopefully, the AMP plant project will be the jump-start for significant development in our area that will lead to the creation of jobs that pay a good wage.