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Early’s efforts commendable

Despite its status of being the Roanoke-Chowan area’s number one source for places of employment, Hertford County is seeing its jobless rate on the rise.

Local companies are feeling the effect of a nationwide slump in the economy. That has resulted in numerous lay-offs as these companies do what they can to survive.

These are troublesome times, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Such is the case of Hertford County Economic Development Director Bill Early.

Earlier this week, Early announced that while Hertford County’s 10.6 unemployment rate is lower than 72 of the state’s 100 counties, that figure is unacceptable in his eyes.

Early made no secret of the fact that he is actively pursuing three major projects in Hertford County – expansions at both Nucor Steel and River’s Correctional and the development of an electric cogeneration station. Because the latter project involves the burning of biomass fuels, that becomes doubly important as that possible new employer could assist local timber-cutting and transportation operations, now struggling due to the downturn in the housing market.

We salute Early’s efforts. He is doing everything within his power to bring jobs to the area and we encourage Hertford County government officials to make sure he has all the needed resources to make his efforts a reality.