Appalachian Basin

Governor Kasich Highlights Shale Impact on Jobs, Manufacturing Industry

When I came to Ohio State in 1970, we were the promised land and somehow we drifted. We lost 600,000 in the last 10 years, 600,000 jobs gone, 400,000 jobs gone in the last four years, 400,000 families. One third of our college students were leaving the state within three years of graduation. They’re finding their destiny somewhere else. Who can blame them? If there is nothing happening here, they’re going – and I don’t blame them. – Governor John Kasich, State of the State address, 2/7/12

There’s something happening here.

Back in October, ABC News stopped by Steubenville, Ohio to gain a little insight on the positive impacts Utica Shale development is having in the region.  They found a city, and state, on the verge of renaissance.  This was not lost on Ohio Governor John Kasich during his State of the State Address.  For the first time in Ohio’s history, the Governor held the address outside of the capital city of Columbus, this time heading to Steubenville to provide these remarks.

We applaud the Governor for this choice.  After all, why not Steubenville? This old steel-town has become a visible embodiment of Ohio’s potential revitalization.

It is home to the Wells Academy the top rated elementary school in the state.  Education was one focus of the Governor’s remarks. The other: jobs. More specifically, job creation.

The people in Eastern Ohio, and especially Steubenville, know very well the promise our state’s natural resources can provide, and what the development of our state’s natural gas resources has meant for rebuilding the workforce here.

Just look at the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce website. If you scroll down just a bit, you’ll notice there is an entire section devoted to oil & gas  information and the jobs that come with it.

In his remarks the Governor highlighted that last year Ohio was 48th in the nation for job creation.  This year it ranks 9th.  Just a few breaths away from that comment, the Governor announced that Markwest is locating three facilities on Ohio.  One of them just 20 miles down the road in Harrison County.  These will require 700 construction jobs to complete and will offer many well-paying full-time jobs as well as $500 billion in investment to the region.

The development of shale is having a positive impact in other industries as well, namely in manufacturing.

Moms and dads, stop telling your kids that they shouldn’t try to get a job in manufacturing. Manufacturing is coming back. Encourage your people, your kids. If God made them to make things, let them make things. 

It’s coming back because of our workforce, because of our location, because of our ability to move things. It’s coming back to Ohio.  – Governor John Kasich, State of the State address, 2/7/12

It’s happening all across the Mahoning Valley.  It’s happening in Youngstown, where there the long dormant steel industry is coming back to life thanks to shale. This is a great resurgence  highlighted by Governor Kasich:

V&M Star Steel in Youngstown, advanced manufacturing. What are they doing? It’s energy. Republic Steel is auto and maybe energy. Hey, don’t forget the human investments from United States Steel right up there next to that plant at Republic Steel. They believe in Ohio.

Listen to this, folks, I mean, I just don’t even – I can’t believe it. The unemployment rate in Youngstown has gone from 11.5 to 8.3 percent in the last year. The Mahoning Valley is alive again. And they deserve it.

Indeed they do Governor.

It has been just 5 months since Steubenville was featured on ABC News.  Since then a lot has changed for the better and the future only looks brighter.  I hope ABC makes another stop next October to see how much the area has progressed. In fact, dear reader, I hope you have an opportunity to stop in as well.


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