With all of the problems in the economy right now, we at CMC thought it would be excellent timing for some good news. A sleepy little town in eastern Ohio with its only claim to fame being the birthplace of Dean Martin, has a new title - America's next boom town. Steubenville, population 19,015, is about to see a major inflow of new residents. The town, which had unemployment of up to 15 percent just last year, is expected to have 10,000 new jobs added over the next three years. Steubenville has been sitting on known shale reserves for years, but due to recent discoveries the amount of oil and gas that can be harvested is multiples of what was previously estimated. The opportunities are so enormous that the nickname 'Little Saudi Arabia' has even been given to the town.
What we found shocking after researching Steubenville was how affordable housing was. For example, a simple search of available homes with a maximum price of $50,000 provided pages of results. The average monthly rent is $507 and property taxes run about $900 a year. Wow, thousands of jobs and cheap houses, what a great combination. When I see opportunities such as Steubenville, the first thing that crosses my mind is how many people I know that need jobs and affordable housing. The sad reality is that most of the people that 'need' to pack up their stuff and start driving to Steubenville probably won't. What they want is their old job and lifestyle back and they want this to all magically appear right in their own neighborhood.
It may seem like it all happened on another planet, but it was just 400 years ago when the founders of this country packed up their families and sailed across the Atlantic from England. It was just 200 years ago when settlers traveled in horse drawn buggies thousands of miles to take advantage of free land, gold mining, and a host of new job opportunities in America's western states.
I have heard the presentations about why it is impossible to move. We will have to leave our church, relocate the kids to new schools, make new friends, hey it is cold there we might have to buy warmer clothing... (they might not have a Starbucks there!). Steubenville is not your only option, consider what is happening right now in North Dakota.
A good friend of mine reads the employment ads each week in the Sunday newspaper. He said his dad suggested this as a good discipline to keep a tab on the pulse of the economy and the job market. I think it also says something about proactive people that are always on the lookout for an opportunity. These people are willing to reinvent themselves, go back to college, relocate, or do whatever is needed to be self sufficient. This type of rugged individualism is our heritage as Americans, but too many of us have lost this trait.
If you would never consider a move to Steubenville, that might be the real reason you don't have a solution yet to your financial challenges. This is the kind of 'out of the box' thinking that is a must in today's difficult economy. There are a great deal of opportunities out there today for those that are willing to go after them. For example, consider this list of 20 Big Salary Jobs that Don't Require A College Degree. Take a look at this recent article in Forbes, How To Get An $80,000 A Year Job In Healthcare Without A College Degree.
Agree or disagree, use the comments section below to sound off.
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