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Economic future looks promising

August 26, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

With so much going on in the news during the past week, you may have overlooked some pretty impressive numbers that came out of Tuesday's Community Improvement Corp. and Partners in Progress meetings.

That would be a mistake.

Reports presented during the meetings held at the YMCA Wellness Center at St. John Arena showed that there is some very impressive economic growth going on right now - with the potential for even greater improvements in the near future.

For instance, Ed Looman, executive director of Progress Alliance, reported that space is rapidly filling up at the Jefferson County Industrial Park and that a second entrance and a additional room soon will be needed.

In fact, Looman said that companies in the oil and gas industry have even considered building the second road themselves.

It also was reported that membership at the YMCA is growing, and that its collaboration with Trinity Health System will continue to expand, with the goal of improving the health of area residents.

Trinity, meanwhile, continues to expand its services, Fred Brower, president and CEO, said. That expansion includes a significant step west, with the recently renamed Trinity Hospital Twin City in Dennison. Services which had been cut during the past two years, are already being restored at the hospital, which was rescued out of bankruptcy by Sylvania Franciscan Health, of which Trinity is a part.

Brower also said Trinity Express Care in Wintersville has been a great success, and added that an 8,000-square-foot office complex is being constructed in the Tri-State Plaza to better serve area residents.

Work still needs to be done - the industrial park, for instance, still lacks easy access to high-speed Internet service, for instance, and there are big concerns about the workers who have lost jobs and benefits as a result of the RG Steel bankruptcy - but, overall, the area's economy is heading up, as indicated by the recent increases in sales tax money collected in Jefferson County.

That gives us reason for optimism, and the opportunity for a brighter future.

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