This summer has been a busy one in the 93rd House District, especially considering the steps the area has taken to advance community and business development. As always, I was able to make my rounds to most of our county fairs — one of the true highlights of the season in southern Ohio. It is incredible to see the dedication our 4-H students put into their craft, and I commend them for such devoted civic involvement. In addition to our fairs, I attended groundbreakings for many different industries across the district.
In Lawrence County, I joined HarbisonWalker International to cut the ribbon for its new $30 million manufacturing plant. As its first new plant in 40 years, the company made a crucial decision to locate in South Point, opening up many job opportunities for those in the region. The plant manufactures refractories, materials used in furnaces and more, and with raw materials nearby, production is more efficient. As the most advanced refractory facility in the United States, HarbisonWalker’s new plant demonstrates that Ohio continues to be a leader in manufacturing.
Back in Gallipolis in Gallia County, I participated in the groundbreaking for Ohio Valley Bank’s renovation and construction of its old building on the square. A bank that has been a part of the community since 1872, it is remarkable that it is not only still in business after all these years, but it is making strides to expand and improve. The new bank building will help revitalize downtown as Ohio Valley Bank continues to serve the area and strengthen the banking industry. It was especially exciting to be a part of this growth in my hometown.
In Jackson County, the Valley View Health Center has undergone recent upgrades that will allow the organization to offer expanded services. It was my pleasure to partake in the grand opening of the renovated facility, which has nearly doubled in size. With this expansion, the health center can now help patients with primary care, behavioral health, dental, and vision services. Not only will Valley View Health Center be a resource for residents — accepting all types of insurance and turning away no one for the inability to pay—but it also added several new jobs. This type of care is in high-demand in the area.
Through these visits, I learned that southern Ohio continues to grow due to investments from our local business partners. It is reassuring to know that companies are committed to our district and that jobs and services remain available in the community. Further, with these expansions coming in all kinds of industries, it is clear that Ohio as a whole is diversifying and progressing.