The Bay Area Economic Club's speaker earlier this week brought a hopeful message to the area. Is the economy making a turnaround? Jan Hopkins, president of the New York Economic Club, and former CNN anchor and correspondent, seems to think so and delivered that message at the economic club Monday night.
Hopkins points to a rising stock market and businesses rebounding and expanding. There are many economic indicators that look promising. Hopkins is probably right - the economy most likely has turned the corner. Things will get better, but it will take time.
To a large degree, how a person perceives the economy has a direct correlation to their situation. The person who has been unemployed for months with little prospect of finding a job is not going to have a rosy view of the economy. Someone gainfully employed in a secure job is likely to have a more positive view.
How something is perceived can make all the difference. In her presentation, Hopkins encouraged Americans to stop being angry about what has happened and try to make a change for the better.
This is sound advice not only for all Americans, but local residents as well.
It is easy to be angry. Being positive, however, and looking ahead for ways to make the area thrive, recover and become a better place is a step in the right direction.
And there are things to be positive about.
NewPage has recently run ads seeking applicants.
Businesses are expanding. Elmer's County Market is in the middle of an expansion project. The Island Resort and Casino is also expanding its convention center and has already booked events anticipating its completion.
Other construction projects this summer include the renovation of the Escanaba High School and repaving of Stephenson Avenue. Also planned in the city of Escanaba are a $3 million water intake system at the Escanaba Water Treatment Plant and construction of a $3 million main electric substation.
All of these projects will bring jobs and money to the local economy.
Tourism officials are also hopeful for a good summer as people continue to vacation close to home and discover the U.P.
The recession is something to be angry about. It has hurt many people. In fact, it would be difficult to find someone who has not been impacted by the recession in some way.
The recession won't last forever. Perhaps one way we can speed up its demise is to take Hopkin's lead. Instead of being angry, lets focus on the area's assets and try to build a more positive future.