AND THEN AGAIN…….by Tamara Pettit

……Thanks for participating in our survey to find out what you would like to read about in Hometown Daily. While I’m still compiling the results, one subject came through consistently: Business. We’re hearing a lot of rumors along with solid information; we’re seeing dirt moving; we want to know specifics?

…..Is a return to prosperity in the cards Hancock County? Well it certainly doesn’t seem to be in gambling because Mountaineer appears to be downsizing on many aspects and dropped from the glory days of being number one in employment to number3. There are rumors of The Harv being torn down, but I stress just rumors cause no one in the media can get a call back when we have questions.

……According to Workforce West Virginia keeper of employment stats the steelmaker ” Cliffs” is our number one employer. The Board of Education is #2 with Mountaineer coming in at #3. Fiesta which used to known as Homer Laughlin is #4. Bellofram is #5, Ergon is #6, Weirton Geriatric Center is #7, Highmark #8 and the City of Weirton #9.

……..Workforce has our unemployment rate at 5.7 for February down a little from 6.4. 750 workers are unemployed in the County. We have land, we have workers, educational institutions ready to train those workers…..and I’m sure we have specific groups that know exactly what the plan for our return to prosperity is. Now its time to let the residents know!

……..Form Energy has the right idea. They are hosting two informal open house in the Weirton Room of the Millsop Community Center on Thursday and Friday. They promise to have information about the timeline of construction in the former Weirton Steel Property and the type of jobs and training needed.

,,,,,,Form Energy was founded by energy storage entrpreneurs who came together to reshape the global electric system by creating a new class of low cost, multi-day energy storage system.

……..I’m going to take a look in coming columns and articles about what is coming, what’s a maybe and what’s a for certain. What’s dependent on a tax break and what’s dependent on a road being built or water or sewage.

…….Other questions sure be asked: length of construction and what type of construction workers will be needed? Will local union construction workers be utilized or will FORM use internal workers. Production is supposed to be underway in 2024. I see job applications for professional engineers, what other type of employment will be available. Will FORM go through Workforce West Virginia or set up their own human resource division ahead of time to have a trained and ready workforce. And, who is the spokesperson for FORM and what is their cell phone number because I’m sure I’m going to have lots more questions,