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Delay proof that diversity is paramount

Valley Mayor Leonard Riley announced recently that a delay has come up in the John Soules project, pushing the move to Valley back to January 2019.

This issue came about due to a problem that has emerged at the company’s main plant in Tyler, Texas.

While the commitment to come to Valley is still in effect, this news shows the need for a continued push for more industrial diversity, in order to offset the possibility of a closing or delay affecting us in such a way that it devastates the area.

This is exactly what happened when the mills started closing. Slowly but surely, more and more businesses in a similar industry started closing and people started leaving. There was no diversity of industry to ensure the continued advancement and economic strength of the area.

This is something we have slowly been rectifying, but this can easily be reversed. If something were to happen and John Soules were to cancel its plan entirely, it could spell trouble for our area.

Whether a company changes plans or decides to shut down is a decision that is out of the control of citizens. But what we can do is make the area so appealing that businesses are knocking at the door to set up here. In addition, we can be active in courting every business we can to move here, which is something our elected officials are doing well. That way if one industry leaves the displaced workers will have others to look to for a job.

Thankfully, Mayor Riley and the Valley council have been working tirelessly to make Valley as appealing as possible and they should be given as much praise as needed to keep them working hard. Our officials in Lanett, West Point and LaFayette have done similar good work as well.

The news of the delay isn’t the end of the world, but it is a sign that while we are better off than we were, that can change.

The future looks bright but, as with most predictions of the future, that is not set in stone.