Regionalism. It’s a word people are going to have to get used to if they want to embrace growth in jobs and revenue to the area.
When plants or businesses choose to locate in southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky, residents need to keep in mind that we are all in it together. For instance, the most recent growth includes the location of the $1.3 billion steel plant operated by Braidy Industries, Inc., in South Shore, Kentucky.
“Regionalism is what really attracts companies of this caliber,” Scioto County Commissioners Chairman Bryan Davis said. “They want to be able to go somewhere that has a pool of workers who cross county lines, cross city lines, even cross state lines to go to work.”
Davis said the advantage is, by locating regionally, the job pool is larger. He said, by limiting your scope of employment to just Scioto, or Greenup, or Boyd County, one would be limiting this area’s ability to reach out and attract those companies to this area.
“We need to be thinking in a regional aspect,” Davis said. “What attracted Braidy Industries to this area is the quality of workers. I was so glad to hear that from them. They looked at our past and the fact that we’ve had hard knocks recently. They knew that that labor pool was still here and they also knew what the labor pool was capable of.”
He said the recent loss of AK Steel meant a lot of the people trained in that industry are still around.
“Remember, the employees are going to be spending money in Scioto County,” Davis said. “They’re going to be spending money in Greenup County, and there are employees who are going to be living in Scioto County. It makes an impact across our region.”
Davis said he is also grateful for the work by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and the Kentucky Legislature for making the package possible for that company to come to this region.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT