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Ho-hum political talk: Where's the substance?

| Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, 9:00 p.m.

It can't be missed: Politicians in TV ads proclaiming themselves job creators or would-be job creators.

In Armstrong County, we do a collective shrug and say, “ho-hum.”

Politicians don't create jobs; the best they can do is create the conditions for companies to establish in their districts while the economy dictates what actually happens.

Yet as news breaks periodically of economic development in other counties in the region, we do wonder why so little happens here. ACMH Hospital remains the largest employer.

There is something we can do that won't cost much money. We can demand that our political leaders promote this area in forums outside the county.

In the 1970s and '80s, the local political talk was of a county airport, completion of a four-lane Route 28 to Interstate 80 and of growing industrial parks. Yet the effort was internal. The airport and highway completion were not to be, and industrial park growth has haltingly advanced.

Candidates for state and federal office in this area need to promise that when they resume office or become new officeholders, they will make sure Armstrong County is on the map when the region is eyed by business leaders and entrepreneurs. Our fortunes are tied to regional growth.

Officeholders can't do it alone. They must enlist the best spokespeople in the public sector and in the business community to work with area congressional representatives, state leadership and regional officials to get the Armstrong story told.

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