It’s not every day the governor comes to town. And it’s not very often that one appears in Salem, Ohio.

Gov. John Kasich visited Salem April 18 to tour MAC Trailer and get a sense of what is happening here in this area.

During the tour of the plant, he got to see what real people are doing right here in Salem to produce trailers. He even tried his hand at welding — let’s just say it didn’t take this man long to figure out welding is a skill and it is not one that can be learned a few minutes.

It was nice to see him visiting with Mike Conny, who created MAC Trailer from his garage in 1993. Although I admit I couldn’t hear a whole lot about what was being said, I got the feeling Kasich was taking everything in and could appreciate the hard work Conny and his wife have put in to build such a company.

After all, MAC Trailer employs about 600 people and they are looking for 100 other people to fill positions.

Here is a scary statistic from Conny himself today, though: In the past three weeks, 1,100 applications have been submitted by people looking for a job. Let’s face it, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unemployment in the region.

When Conny introduced Kasich, he didn’t hold back on what the area needs — a skilled workforce — but he appeared to believe that Kasich will help to make it better.

“Bring welders back to northeast Ohio, we can keep industry here,” Conny told the crowd.

The good news is that Kasich talked about MAC trailer’s newest product, which is the pneumatic tank. The tanker trailer can be used to haul flour, sugar and sand. Why is this important? It goes back to the Marcellus Shale boom hitting the area. The trailer will be marketed to drillers to haul sand to the drilling sites.

It’s just an example of what could be ahead when the Marcellus Shale drilling hits the area.

I have to say that I was surprised by some of the things Gov. Kasich talked about. It appears he is in tune with what is going on right here in our corner of the state. He talked about how if there are deposits of gas in the Marcellus Shale and Utica layers, good things could be ahead for the state.

Kasich actually encouraged the audience to go home and pray about it.

“It could be a godsend for the entire eastern portion of Ohio,” Kasich said.

However, he did say that the right precautions need to be taken when drilling. He has a team of people working the issue and not just the economic benefits, but the environmental end as well.

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses with her husband, Kurt. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism.
Kristy Foster Seachrist
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