July 2016 Archive

Ohio Valley Lures Manufacturers With Rock-Bottom Natural Gas Prices

The Wall Street Journal

A group of business leaders in a small corner of Ohio and West Virginia are laying down a big claim: They have the cheapest natural gas in the industrialized world.

This part of Appalachia has become the country’s driver of gas production as improved drilling techniques have cracked gas-rich shale formations. The Ohio Valley from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Ill., has a long industrial heritage, with chemical companies, and oil and gas producers, that have been operating there for decades. A group of them in Marietta, Ohio, and Parkersburg, W.Va. – with a combined population of about 50,000 — aim to tout their low gas prices and industrial heft to energy-hungry businesses from Brazil to Thailand.

Many businesses in those towns and nearby in Pennsylvania buy gas from a hub called Dominion South Point that has become among the cheapest in the country along with a few others above Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale. Tuesday’s price there…

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Kraft is ‘good fit for the community’

The Coshocton Tribune

COSHOCTON – When the inaugural Appalachian Bacon Nation festival came to town in 2014, it attracted locals and out-of-town visitors to check out the unique event and indulge a favorite food. Organizers used the opportunity as a way to showcase what it means to the community to have Kraft in Coshocton.

In turn, Kraft employees were eager to help, and the company provided seed money to get the first festival up and running – and, of course, a generous helping of bacon.

“It was exciting. We were happy to be a part of that,” said Kurt Bain, plant manager of the Kraft Heinz plant in Coshocton. The name changed from the Kraft Foods Group after the 2015 merger with the H.J. Heinz Holding Corp.

The local Kraft plant brought the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile to Coshocton for the festivities, and donated a pallet of bacon totaling 1,920 pounds to the event. It was a…

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10th shell building ready at The Point industrial park

The Herald Dispatch

SOUTH POINT, Ohio – The adage “build it and they will come” certainly applies to what has been going on in the past dozen years at The Point, a South Point industrial park.

The tenth shell building at the industrial park is ready for occupancy and more than 600 people are working in the buildings and at several more structures at the industrial park, said Jeremy Clay, director of the industrial park.

“We have someone interested in it,” Clay said of the 58,000-square-foot shell building that the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation has built at the 500-acre industrial park off U.S. 52. “No contracts have been signed as yet, but we’re hopeful.”

A dedication ceremony is planned at 11:45 a.m. Friday, July 1, and the development corporation has scheduled its semiannual board of trustees meeting at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 1.

A spec building is one that is built on speculation with the hope that…

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Playing the Long Game

Every once in a while you will hear a country, a politician or a company described as “playing the long game.”  Urban Dictionary defines the phrase as “active participation in achieving goals which may take some time.”  Other sources add that those playing the long-game may pass over short- or medium-term gains in order to reach larger and more beneficial long-term goals.

Economic development is a field where winners learn playing the long game produces more benefits.  Economies rise and fall over decades so strategies work best when they address long-term opportunities and challenges and answer questions like:

• What are our unique competitive advantages and how can we capitalize on them?

• What new industries are emerging that are right for our region? How do we attract them?

• How do we preserve viable segments of declining industries?

• What infrastructure, sites and buildings need to be in place 5, 10, 20 years from…

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