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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Hard Times In Local Community

If it weren't bad enough that the economies of Bluefield, Virginia and Bluefield, West Virginia (just up the road from where I live) have taken a terrible hit as the coal industry in the area has slowly eroded over the years, their other major employers have struggled for survival as well.

How bad is it?

This bad: From The Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce's website, we get this promotional publicity blurb:
Diversity of the area's economy is seen in such companies as Flower's Bakery, Bluefield Beverage and Bluefield Gear & Machine/Industrial Plating Manufacturing. Retail and services, banking and the communications industries are proof of a financially successful Bluefield economy.
What's bad about that?  Sadly, two of the three manufacturers listed as being "proof of a financially successful Bluefield economy" are - or will soon be - shuttered forever.

Bluefield Beverage.

Flowers Baking Company.

Mercer County - on the West Virginia side of the line - as of the 2010 census, has a population smaller than it did before World War II.  And, with the closures of these two manufacturers (along with the recently announced closing of its only Kroger store), it will probably, by the next census in 2020, be smaller than it was in the 1930's.

Meanwhile, the president is focused on contraceptives.

And the news media are in a frenzy over abortion.

And a lot of people in the Bluefields are looking for work.

Where no work is to be found.

Where will it all end?  Where will it end?