With Halliburton breaking ground on their new Zanesville operation, it marks the third Fortune 500 Company to locate in the EastPointe Business Park. Since the start of April, over 100 Ohioans have been hired for good, well-paying jobs ranging from engineers to mechanics to administrators. As one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the energy industry, Halliburton plans to bring about 300 jobs to our area over the next three years. While that provides an incredible and positive impact for our community, it goes beyond just jobs. Governor Kasich was correct in making this distinction at the groundbreaking ceremony earlier this week - it's not 300 jobs, it's 300 families. This is 300 more families with a promising future in Southeastern Ohio. This is the effect of what Utica shale has begun to offer. To fully understand the economic potential of shale development in Ohio, we only need to turn to a series of recent reports illustrating the economic impact of shale development in Pennsylvania. Reports from our neighboring state found that in 2010 alone, natural gas development generated $11.2 billion in economic development benefits, contributed $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenues and supported nearly 140,000 jobs. As the development of our state's shale reserves expands, our region is active in taking full advantage of our own natural resources. We're seeing companies come in with significant investments to our infrastructure and expanding employment opportunities for our young people. The Columbus Dispatch recently estimated that 65,000 jobs will be added to Southeastern Ohio by 2014. This is very exciting news for our region. I'm proud to see that this investment is not just being overseen by companies relocating to our region. Zanesville's own Producer Service Corporation is also expanding their company by adding equipment, crew and even space for a new fabrication shop to take full advantage of the increased development. In addition to the obvious economic growth that energy exploration will bring, the secondary benefits are indisputable as well. From our trucking industry and construction companies to our restaurants, hotels and other small business, the demand for local goods and services will certainly expand greatly. Recognizing the opportunity that shale brings, we can also see the rising potential for education in our area. Our local educators are leading the charge in workforce development. Zane State College recently celebrated the first graduating class from their new Oil and Gas Program. Places like Zane State, Marietta College, and Ohio University have all made concerted efforts to provide research and worker training that will help the industry flourish in Ohio. Halliburton's groundbreaking is the first of many announcements that will bring new hope for the economic development of Southeastern Ohio. As your State Senator, I will continue to work with this industry and our local officials to ensure that our friends and neighbors see the full benefits of the great potential beneath their feet.
Senator Balderson represents the 20th Senate District of Ohio, which is made up of Athens, Coshocton, Guernsey, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, and Washington Counties
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