Group asks to project Marshall County’s economic future

Marshall County
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December 25 2021 12:00 am

MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — Marshall County Commissioners were handed a folder and asked to support a study Tuesday. The papers showed their county’s trends and that of other Ohio Valley communities.

The Ohio River Valley Institute wants to project the future of the Ohio Valley’s community and then take that information to officials.

Sean O’Leary, with the Ohio River Valley Institute, talked economic development for Marshall County’s citizens, and not investing in industry that doesn’t promise jobs.

He asked for support in this research that would take a headcount from businesses, employers, and education institutions in Marshall County.

In the pamphlet presented Tuesday, Centralia, Washington’s largest employer was coal until that coal plant retired and committed money back into economic development assistant transition funds.

What struck us when we looked at Centralia was the results they were generating. Starting in 2016 they began generating jobs that was twice that of the US economy.

Sean O’Leary, Ohio River Valley Institute

The commission president says it is important to not step on the toes of industry that is already established, but that he is curious about what the study would find.

Their (Centralia) power plant, their coal plant situation; it does sort of mirror what we have here. You know, we’re all interested in economic development and we want to promote that. And we just want to make sure we take advantage of everything that is out there. And Mr. O’Leary’s project. I think it’s worth seeing what he’s got to offer once it’s complete.

John Gruzinskas, Marshall County Commission President

O’Leary is going to Ohio County Tuesday, as well, to ask for similar support and he has already stopped in Belmont County.

The study would not start until the new year and yield results six months after that.

For the full Ohio River Valley Institute study on Centralia, click here.

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