Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Potomac Highlands to Lose Key Facility

The Robert C. Byrd Center in Mineral County has announced that it will expand its Machinist Technology Program to include a larger number of students. In one way, this is a positive move because it offers more opportunities for locals to gain valuable skills. The problem lies with what has to go to make room. The CNC Machining Center and the CNC Turning Center must move to Bridgeport so that the MTP can expand.

This does not seem to affect the region on the surface. One program expands, another contracts. However, this represents yet another loss to those trying to recruit companies to the region that provide good paying industrial jobs. No company, especially in these times, wants to deal with any longer distances than are absolutely necessary. The Potomac Highlands loses an asset when it loses these facilities.

So what is the answer? The various legislators and county commissioners of the region should work together and fight to keep this facility local. We have industrial parks with plenty of room to accomodate a variety of operations. Decentralization in this time of restricted energry supplies and high costs is crucial.

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