The news Tuesday afternoon that (to paraphrase LeBron James) Amazon would be taking its talents south was met with a combination of shock, bitterness, anger and resignation by Clinton Countians and those in surrounding counties.
That’s clear from online postings to the News Journal.
For many it felt like 2009 all over again. At least this time the jobs amounted to about 300 existing ones combined with thousands that weren’t yet here, as opposed to when DHL kicked thousands of area residents to the curb from their existing jobs.
But that’s no consolation to those 300, and their families, who are losing their jobs. They all need our help.
We can certainly assume that all local parties involved did what they felt needed to be done to keep Amazon here. ATSG seemed to demonstrate over the past few months that it could effectively handle everything Amazon threw at it. Local and elected officials — from the port authority to the city, county and state — certainly had no reason to give it less than their all to bring a worldwide business leader, thousands of jobs and millions (or more) dollars to Clinton County and to the entire region.
Amazon, whether they called their then-secret air cargo service projects Aerosmith or Arrow, proved that they’re good at keeping projects under wraps. And once they unveil what’s under those wraps, Amazon is good at keeping mostly silent on why — or more importantly to us, why not — they spring forward in a particular place.
Clinton County managed to recover from the DHL debacle of 2009. The Amazon decision is a bad blow, but we all know how much worse things can be. The air park is going strong, just not as strong as many of us would like.
But both the county and the air park have diversified, and the county is stronger for it. And there’s no reason to think the local economic future isn’t bright — regardless of how many 767s are in the Clinton County sky.