One step closer to recovery

Published 8:36 am Saturday, October 31, 2009

On Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the nation’s real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property in the U.S. — grew at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in July, August and September.

In the wake of that announcement, some business and political leaders have boldly declared the recession “over.”

The next day, Gov. Tim Kaine came to Franklin to visit with local officials and paper mill employees and discuss options available to get the region’s economic recovery rolling. Ah, the irony.

For years, the paper mill provided well-paying jobs in a region that might otherwise be dominated by agriculture. The region will be challenged to draw additional well-paying jobs to replace those lost by the mill’s closure.

Kaine’s visit here Friday and Rep. Randy Forbes’ visit here Wednesday show that government at both the federal and state levels are committed to helping the region meet that challenge.

The recession is not “over” for our region.

But if it is truly over on the national level, that would only help us move closer to recovery.