Things looking brighter, literally and figuratively

METEOROLOGICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY, YOU might say that we’ve been under water for awhile around these parts.

On the weather front, things should be looking up – or drier – eventually, right. The snow is almost all melted away and the mercury is slowly – too slowly – creeping up to more normal numbers.

The greatest flooding threat seems to have peaked and, while there are still plenty of wet basements around, waters are receding and things should be drying out all around.

On the economic front, things are looking sunnier as well.

Like so much of the nation, the local economy has struggled and remained sluggish for a number of years. But the signs are that the pace is picking up.

Just a glance at the pages of The Review shows an increasing number of help wanted advertising over the past few months, always a good sign of an improving economy.

New businesses are springing up in Plymouth and the surrounding area - including restaurants, beer pubs and more - and there are new and expanding industrial facilities underway or being planned.

The County Board heard a report last week from Dane Checolinski, the new executive director Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp., that painted a bright picture of the county’s economic outlook.

The three-year-old public/private partnership designed to promote economic development and growth throughout the county has already exceeded several of its original five-year goals, Checolinski told the board.

For instance, the SCEDC has completed 22 projects in its first three years impacting a total of 2,433 jobs – either new jobs created or existing jobs retained.

But the group is not stopping there.

According to Checolinski, the SCEDC has worked on increasing the visibility and marketability of the county’s many industrial parks, with positive results already. He reported numerous contacts regarding interest in the industrial parks, including one manufacturer interested in locating in Plymouth’s industrial park on County PP and Willow Road.

Checolinski did warn that the county does still have what he called a “workforce issue” with a lack of trained workers available for industries looking to expand or move here.

But there are programs that have been initiated over the past several years that should help to alleviate at least some of that concern, such as the combined Lakeshore Technical College/ Plymouth School District technology education programs, supported by local industries seeking to train the workers they need for now and the future.

That program is already filling the pipeline with trained workers ready to fill open jobs and should keep the flow going even greater in the future.

All in all, the sun seems to be shining a little brighter around here, both in the sky and in the economy.

At issue:
Weather and economy
Bottom line:
Here comes the sun

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