2017-09-20 / Opinions

Real opportunities built on vision

The opening of Procter & Gamble’s training lab at The Pines -- the former War Memorial Hospital – was worthy of celebration last week. That company has built a $3 million lab in Morgan County’s building because many people saw the benefit of partnering with Blue Ridge Community and Technical College years ago.

Drawing higher education to Morgan County was a great step. It benefited local residents who wanted job training and college classes close to home. It also gave the county rent money to start improving the former hospital.

The joint venture between Blue Ridge and P&G will now train the company’s employees for technical and well-paying careers with a long future. Morgan County youth and adults can look at those careers as a real, closeto home option. When lab tech training opens to all students of Blue Ridge here, local people will have access to a direct career path built on future technology. That’s a very good thing.

Past and current county officials who have supported the development of The Pines as a learning and business center deserve credit for their vision and decisions.

Former editor John Douglas urged the county to sell the county-owned hospital business when its future was uncertain. He saw the potential for Valley Health to take over the hospital, and for the county to put its resources elsewhere. That’s what the county did, and now local residents have a modern hospital, a college campus and a high-tech lab training center with many future possibilities.

We look forward to the County Commission holding a public Open House for residents to see and explore the improvements at The Pines. Local taxpayers have footed the bill for many of the upgrades that are visible in the Health Department and the Blue Ridge section of the building. The WVU Extension office will also move there in the coming months. In addition to seeing what county and private dollars have built at The Pines, we think local citizens will be inspired by the opportunities available there.

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