The ceremonial turning of the valve at the Harrison Hub fractionator on Monday was a big step into the future for Eastern Ohio.
Representing a combination of three companies, the plant takes the natural gas brought out of the ground in the region and turns it into more valuable forms of gas, including methane, butane and propane.
The hub plant, near Scio, is designed to take gas processed at the Kensington plant in Columbiana County that travels to Harrison County via a new pipeline.
The Harrison Hub represents the first fractionator serving the gas producers in the region, and it is a natural step in the evolution of the energy industry in the area.
As these kinds of facilities come on line, greater employment for local workers will take place as more gain experience and training. Hopefully that means that more trained workers also will be available locally to work on construction projects as the gas field continues to mature.
For now, it is good to see physical embodiment of the conversion of the area from a factory and industrial economy led by steel to one led by gas and energy.
It's good to hear leaders of the companies speak of jobs for a lifetime, the kind of news that should be music to the ears of residents of a place where once workers could be sure to work a lifetime in the mills.