We all play a part in welcoming $20 billion Intel investment

People were in attendance during a live televised announcement discussing how Intel will be investing 20 billion dollars building two computer chip factories in Jersey Township, in Licking County, at the Midland Theatre in Newark, Ohio on January 21, 2022. Local and state politicians, as well as Intel personnel, were in attendance for the historic announcement.

“What’s the ‘blue light special?’” 

As an economic development guy, I was horrified at the thought of all that could go wrong. Walmart executives, lacking a local Walmart store to stop at in Steubenville in 2001, went to the local Kmart to get a feel for the workforce and community. They asked one worker to explain this technique for sparking impulse buying amongst Kmart shoppers.

It was as if the fate of hundreds of jobs in eastern Ohio rested in the hands of one person. That’s because it did. 

I witnessed as the gentleman was respectful and more than happy to explain. He did a great job. Little did he know what role he played and, if he had had a bad day or behaved differently, how he could have turned the story for the worse. 

Rick Platt is President and CEO of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority.

Three months later, the community would receive the incredible economic news that a new $75 million Walmart Food Distribution Center would be built. Today, it’s the largest economic base employer, with 800 employees, in Jefferson County, Ohio. 

It’s always been my personal example of how everyone in the community has a role in economic development. Everyone. 

I have some new stories on the heels of this recent Intel announcement. Intel is amongst us.   

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